As a background thought for the introduction of the toolbar, it can be assumed that the toolbar has led to the fact that Google search has become even more popular worldwide. Because the browser plug-in made Google the search engine of choice by default, long before browsers worked with their own search fields, for which contracts with search engine providers had to be concluded. Even today, the Google toolbar is like a kind of Trojan horse for Windows Internet Explorer, for example, so Windows users are urged not to use the company’s own search engine Bing, but Google instead. It can be assumed that newer versions of Internet Explorer will no longer allow toolbars.
The Google Toolbar features the following web search optimizations:
- coloured highlighting of the search query in the SERP
- static search field to start search queries directly from Google
- Option to use other Google search services in the browser window, eg Google Images
- integrated pop-up blocker
- Search function for the currently opened website
- built-in translation of individual words
- additional information about a site such as cached links to similar sites
- integrated spell check and correction
- Creation of usage statistics via the Google Toolbar and the activated weblog for registered users
- Displaying the PageRank of a website: for a long time, the toolbar was the only way to find out the PageRank of a website
- Web History: Users with a Google account can use the toolbar to add all visited pages to their web history. The toolbar then sends the URLs of the pages viewed to Google, where they are stored in history. The previously visited pages can then be searched through the Internet service and statistics on Internet behavior can be viewed.
Special case SideWiki
Originally started as SearchWiki, SideWiki was a special function of the Google Toolbar that allowed users to make a public statement about a website. Other users of the toolbar could see these comments. Probably due to numerous (legal) problems, SideWiki was discontinued in 2011. For example, a webmaster could not defend himself against defamatory or business-damaging comments. In addition, comments made via SideWiki could no longer be edited.
The Google Toolbar and SEO
For a long time, the Google Toolbar was the tool of choice for SEOs to determine the PageRank of a website. The same was also a common method for a long time to determine the “value” of a website and, for example, to handle link exchanges fairly. Today, PageRank is just one value among many that can be used to evaluate a website. Key figures such as domain popularity or link popularity have gradually reduced the importance of PageRank. If you still value the determination of PageRank, you can have it determined with other tools these days.
Regardless of the PageRank feature, the Google Toolbar can still be used for SEO purposes to examine important indicators of a website. This includes, for example, the cache views or the coloured highlighting of the search terms. However, the functionality of the toolbar is surpassed by far more extensive plug-ins for Firefox, Chrome or other browsers. Today, many of the functions integrated into the toolbar can even be taken over by browsers without having to download a plug-in.