McSearchPreview – a better GooglePreview?

In: Mozilla

18 Aug 2004

In response to Martey’s comment and my entry (I think), Carlo has updated the McSearchPreview webpage to include an explanation of the Amazon affiliate codes mentioned below.

When you use McSearchPreview and click on an Amazon result, you support me and the further development of the extension if you actually purchase a product.

Support extension authors!

Carlo Zottmann wrote me about 2 weeks back to let me know about his McSearchPreview extension for Firefox. He wrote his first Firefox extension after using the GooglePreview extension (which I wrote about) and discovering that it lacked similar capabilities for other search engines that he uses. Attending a need is indeed excellent inspiration.

McSearchPreview adds preview thumbnails to search results for Google, MSN Search, Yahoo Search, A9 and AllTheWeb. Unlike GooglePreview, the thumbnails are retrieved from Alexa (by default – Thumbshots can also be used as an alternative). This means a larger number of results will have preview images, since Thumbshots only has thumbnail images of pages that are in DMOZ (in which very few pages would be listed).

Screenshot of McSearchPreview options dialog

McSearchPreview also adds an “Open in new window link” at the end of each search result – the actual usefulness of this feature is a little arguable since we are using a browser with tab browsing, after all. It also adds a “Site Info” link that takes you to the Alexa page for the search result’s domain. It seems like an Amazon affiliate link but I’m not exactly sure if the author gets any benefit from it. Well, I’m fine with letting Carlo make a little profit from his neat extension, if any, but it would have been nice if he’d explained why there’s (what appears to be) Amazon affiliate code in the “Site Info” links. Incidentally, the author of GooglePreview has removed Amazon affiliate code from version 0.3 of the extension.

Anyway, this is a really nice extension and I’m using it in place of GooglePreview at the moment (more pretty thumbnails!). Thanks Carlo!

7 Responses to McSearchPreview – a better GooglePreview?


Rory Parle

August 18th, 2004 at 1am

For some reason Google is now giving me all my search results as redirects so this extension is giving me “preview” images of It works fine for I agree that the Alexa thumbs are much more useful than the Thumbshots ones.


Carlo Zottmann

August 18th, 2004 at 3am

Thanks for the nice review, Chu Yeow! :)

Rory, please mail me the URL of the page with the screwed up search results ([email protected]). I can’t reproduce these search results, but I already know how to counter the problem. ;) So any helpful URL is highly appreciated.

As for the Amazon affiliate code — Alexa is sometimes linking Amazon products on their pages, and if people decide to click thru to those products and then actually purchase anything, I’m getting a small percentage of the sale. Not much, tho, and it sure is not the reason why I added the “Site Info” links (I really liked having a one-click access to some more details about a particular site), but since Alexa/Amazon are offering the referral program… heck, why not. :) No harm done, I think. (Same goes for the Amazon search results.)



August 18th, 2004 at 8am

To Carlo:

It would be nice if you disclosed the fact about the referral program on the extension’s home page, like the author of GooglePreview did..


Carlo Zottmann

August 18th, 2004 at 5pm

Yes, you’re right. Will do. The info is in the About dialog since 1.0, tho.


August 18th, 2004 at 11am

Skimming Singaporean weblogs.
Lucian writes a parable about rice farmers. Or an ethical dilemma. Erm.

James Seng takes us through the Innovator’s Dilemma. Ooh. Another dilemma.

Nicholas mercilessly takes apart a personal safety guide to Rome. I don’t think there are any dil…



October 10th, 2004 at 10am

Don’t forget to mention the profanity in the source in the new version! It’s fucking fabulous!

There should be a checkbox in the extension options to remove the affiliate bunk if you want to… there’s no sense carly benefitting from code he snaked from another extension.


markoni george

October 31st, 2004 at 9am

version 1.5 has an anonymizing feature