Google Plug-In Widens Search Capabilities

By Grant Du Bois  |  Posted 2000-12-18

Google Inc. has rolled out a free browser plug-in that allows Internet users to quickly search for information on 1.3 billion Web pages from any Web site with Googles search technology.

The Google Toolbar, announced last week, produces a new tool bar on Microsoft Corp.s Internet Explorer 5.0 browser when downloaded to a PC. It enables users to search for keywords on the Web site they are visiting or on other sites, even if the sites do not have their own search engines, said officials of the Mountain View, Calif., company.

Other features include the ability to highlight keywords on any Web page, with each term highlighted in its own color, instead of using the browsers find feature; determine the importance of Web pages browsed with Googles PageRank technology; and move up one level on a Web site regardless of whether the user has previously visited that level.

If a link is broken or has been taken offline, users of the Google Toolbar can access Googles cached version of Web pages that are no older than 30 days. They also can search for related Web pages and jump to Googles home page and directory, officials added.

The Google Toolbar is available now at In addition to integrating with IE, the plug-in can be used with Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows 2000 or Windows NT.

Meanwhile, Google will open an office in Amsterdam, Netherlands, in the first quarter of next year to better service the needs of users in Europe, company officials said. It will also secure more partnerships there and begin selling targeted European advertisements. Half of Googles traffic comes from users outside North America, whereas the number was 30 percent when the company was formed in 1998, officials said.

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