Tag: Google

I’ve been a fan of Google since 1999 or so, back when nobody knew who they were. I loved the simplicity of their site and how well their search techniques worked. And while they are still my go-to search engine, they recently added a feature that can only be described as horrible. I’m talking ‘I completely hate this, do I need to switch to Blekko now?’ kind of horrible.

I’m talking about instant preview, the snapshot of a given search result that pops up when you hover the mouse over it, or click the magnifying glass next to it. I didn’t mind the instant search feature they rolled out earlier this year. I used it for a couple of weeks until the constant screen updates as I edited the search box got annoying. And then I simply turned it off. For instant preview it’s not so simple. Oh you can sort of turn it off by closing the popup box, but as soon as you (inadvertently) click the screen near a search result, the popup returns.

I did some cursory searching and lots of people don’t like this feature, and they all wanted to know how to turn it off permanently. Google apparently hasn’t given users a clear way to do that, which makes me wonder what the heck is going on over there.

But there is hope if you are a Firefox user and have AdBlock Plus installed. You can add these three filters to stop instant preview for good:

google.com##.vspi
google.com##.vspib
google.com###vspb

They are working well so far. I shudder to think what new stuff is in the works.

Musing