Last week, when Google rolled out the latest version of its toolbar, I was dumbfounded that a Firefox version still wasn't offered. What's the deal?
After all, Google is the default search engine within Firefox. Also by default, Firefox starts you off at a page with Google's search box front and center. And Google is the company that seems to keep hiring Firefox developers. How about a little Google love for the up-and-coming browser, such as with an edition of the Google Toolbar for it?
As it turns out, Google says it hasn't felt it needed to create its own tool because of the handy Googlebar tool that's already been developed by others.
"There is the Googlebar, and we've been respectful of the fact they've done a very good rendition," said Marissa Mayer, Google's director of consumer web products. "It's one reason we feel the Firefox community has already been serviced."
Chris Sherman's written about this extremely good clone of the Google Toolbar before. I've even mentioned in way in the past. Nevertheless, I somehow I had a brain funk when I complained earlier this month about missing Google Toolbar features in an all-in-one package.
Google helped cure that with a new special page that's now up which managed to shake me out of my forgetfulness on Googlebar. Detecting that I was visiting the Google Toolbar page with Firefox, they redirected me earlier this week to a new page that promotes the Googlebar option. Dirson's noticed it too this week, pointing to where the change is being discussed. Google says the change happened late last week.
Googlebar doesn't have the PageRank meter, an essential tool for many search marketers. Don't worry. My Closer Look At Yahoo Toolbar For Firefox explains how to get a PageRank meter via a plug-in and summarizes some other nice Firefox search features that Chris has written about before, at the end.
Meanwhile, what about Firefox being so friendly with Google? How did that happen?
"That is a business relationship that we fostered alongside of Firefox. They really felt we were the best search engine and were interested in providing a good user experience," Mayer said.
Though she didn't reveal specific terms, she said it encompassed a variety of things, such as hosting the Firefox start up page (which will increasingly grow in traffic and bandwidth demands) plus distribution gains for Google by being a favorite in the browser.