Google Pushing Google Chrome over Firefox: Gloves are Off?
January 23, 2012
I wrote a few days ago that when visiting Google in Firefox, they were recommending I upgrade to Google Chrome to experience a “A faster way to browse the web.”
In the past, I have only seen this message when using Internet Explorer, but I do run a somewhat unique build of Firefox, so I figured they were just not parsing it correctly.
However, since then, I have done a bit of testing and it appears the truce is over and the gloves are off. Google is now promoting their own browser as a faster alternative to Firefox.
Suggesting Google Chrome to Firefox Users
Using a user agent switcher, I tried a bunch of different User agents, including Firefox 3.5, and the only time the notice did not show was when using a Google Chrome User Agent.
I also was at a non-tech friends house yesterday and preformed the usual spyware/windows update/virus/startup check of their old XP machine that I always do when I visit. They were running Firefox 3.5, so before and after updating I checked Google and the suggestion was still there.
Using some user-agents does, however, produce a slightly different style sometimes. For example, using Windows Safari results in a slightly reduced header size and slight design changes. So, given that using a Firefox 3.5 user agent does not remove the message, I would assume that it has something to do with styling or an unrelated factor.
While certainly not conclusive, it does appear that Google has significantly ramped up their Marketing Machine these past few months.
Removing “A Faster Way to Browse the Web” in Firefox
If you want to hide the Google Chrome advert that shows up in Firefox when you visit Google, you can add an element filter in Adblock. You, of course, need the Adblock extension installed and then goto Filter Preferences -> Custom Filters -> Element Hiding Rules.
Add the following custom filter to hide the “A Faster Way to Browse the Web” popup in Google: “google.com##DIV#pmocntr2”
I will post back if this is changes or seems to have any other undesired effects.