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Google Giving Firefox Better Features

The Google Blog says Google is using a special prefetch feature in Mozilla-based browsers (including, of course, Firefox) that downloads the top result immediately so it loads faster when you click on it. Google’s FAQ says you can disable this in your about:config by setting “network.prefetch-next” to False. Google’s webmaster FAQ notes that Google only inserts the tag when the first result is the one clicked on a large percentage of the time. This means those with the top ranking can get a site hit even if people are searching for someone else’s site.

UPDATE: As C|Net points out, prefetch could get you in big trouble at work if your bosses check for employees visiting pornographic websites. You’ll be shown as visiting the porn site, even though you were searching for a different thing. Much like image thumbnails in the search results, this is a good Google feature that should have an option to disable in the preferences. I don’t understand why Google even has a preferences page if they barely let you customize anything.
(via Gary Price and Search Engine Guide)

March 31st, 2005 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Search, General | 2 comments


  1. I did a bit more investigation into the matter on Google’s role in the link prefetching stuff, and came up with this:

    Comment by Mike Lambert | March 31, 2005

  2. FYI,
    Theres a new Firefox extension, just for porn. Kind of like Stumbleupon but better - cause its porn! You can also scrape media clips and save to your online gallery. Check it out:

    Comment by Porn Extension | September 7, 2007

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