This new browser plugin will stop Google products dominating search results

Simple Search
(Image credit: Simple Search)

A new browser extension promises to get rid of the clutter that accompanies Google search results today, stripping them back to just “ten blue links”. 

Simple Search, developed by The Markup, doesn’t actually change the search results, however, so marketers can sleep easy knowing that their traditional SEO tools will prove just as effective – perhaps even more so.

When Google first started it received praise for its simplicity, providing users with just ten blue links per page in response to their search query. Today, however, Google adds a plethora of other content before users even get to the first link.

An investigation carried out by The Markup earlier this year found that 41% of the first page of Google’s search results and 63% of the first screen on mobile devices was given to “direct answers” – content other than search links. In addition, for more than half of the 15,000 search results that were analyzed, Google gave 75% of the page to itself.

The good old days

“Remember when search results provided ‘ten blue links’ that sent you to the right place, rather than having to wade through a plethora of sponsored results and info boxes first? We do, too. So we turned back the clock,” The Markup explains. “Simple Search doesn’t modify the search page, it just adds a new view on top, showing just those “traditional” search results provided by the search engine. If you’d rather see the other results, too, you can easily close the window.”

When using the Simple Search plugin, individuals will be presented with the exact same search results they would normally see, but without Google’s other content. The extension overlays a box displaying ten blue links and nothing else. The box can simply be closed if users desire to see the Google content underneath.

The Simple Search plugin is available for Firefox and Chrome browsers and works for both the Google and Bing search engines. It can also be toggled on and off with the click of a mouse.

Barclay Ballard

Barclay has been writing about technology for a decade, starting out as a freelancer with ITProPortal covering everything from London’s start-up scene to comparisons of the best cloud storage services.  After that, he spent some time as the managing editor of an online outlet focusing on cloud computing, furthering his interest in virtualization, Big Data, and the Internet of Things.