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Closer Look At Yahoo Toolbar For Firefox

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I've been using Firefox for the past three weeks now and generally enjoying the experience. But I've missed some of the easy access options the Google Toolbar has allowed, like being able to quickly search for all pages on a particular web site or viewing a cached copy of a page.

Google, of course, doesn't yet support Firefox. That dawdling is Yahoo's gain, thanks to the new Yahoo Toolbar For Firefox that Gary blogged about earlier.

At a site and want to search all the pages just there? A drop-down box makes this easy. The drop down box also provides easy access to things like Yahoo News, Yahoo Shopping and other specialized search options.

That's handy. For example, I used to hit Google News using its toolbar drop down option. The built-in Firefox search box isn't configured for this. I know, I know -- there are ways to customize that to your heart's content. I could search at Mycroft for a plug-in that will do it. But I'm busy like other people, so it's nice to have a search engine just configure things I want for me. Yahoo's done it -- Google hasn't. As I result, I'm more likely to hit Yahoo News now.

Want a dedicated button for some of these options? Use the customization screen you can reach by using the toolbar's pencil icon to set these up. Among those options is the ability to have a Translate Page feature added to the toolbar, along with a range of other items.

The ability to add a page's feed to your My Yahoo account is handy, but this only works for pages where autodiscovery is supported. If the site you are at has done this, you see a blue box with a + symbol show up. Click on that, and into My Yahoo it goes. Want to test? The SEW Blog has autodiscovery in place and should show you a blue box, while it's not yet been added to the SEW home page.

Yahoo also knows about feeds from all over the web, as I've written before. A nice feature would be if it could provide this option for places where autodiscovery isn't provided. Even better would be a way to send the feed to the feedreader of your choice instead of -- or at least along with -- My Yahoo.

What's missing? Cache viewing is a biggie. With a click, I can see exactly what Google has recorded for any page I'm viewing. I want the same from Yahoo in this. Click on that, and the feed will be added.

Google Desktop-like support of capturing copies of what I've viewed on the web also isn't present. That's actually part of the Google Desktop tool -- but I want someone, Google, Yahoo, anyone, to make it so what I'm now viewing in Firefox isn't lost for future recall.

Reverse link lookup is another missing in action. It's nice to be on a page and with a click, see all the backlinks to it. Yahoo, bring it on! But in the meantime, checkout SearchStatus, which I've written about before. That will give you backwards links from Yahoo, Google and others.

Those who can't drag themselves away from the Google PageRank meter will be happy to know that SearchStatus provides this and Alexa rankings, plus cached pages from Archive.org. It's a seriously nice little tool.

For some other Firefox and search-related tips, see our recent series on searching and Firefox, the Three Cool Search Gizmos and A Great Search Tool for Firefox article and our Toolbars & Utilities category for Search Engine Watch members. Also see Firefox Got Yahoo! for more directly from Yahoo.


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