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.

I checked the javascript code on Google’s page and do see a function that addresses a Firefox user agent, but it looked like it is checking for Firefox 3.5, the snippet is below:

function(a){return!(/AppleWebKit\/.+(?:Version\/[35]\.|Chrome\/[01]\.)/.test(a)||a.indexOf("Firefox/3.5.")!=-1)}

I don’t have the time or inclination to figure out Google’s wall of anonymous/semi-anonymous javascript functions, but the above appears to be the only place Firefox is mentioned in the javascript loaded with Google’s search page and 3.5 is a fairly old version.

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.

Advertisements

3 Responses to “Google Pushing Google Chrome over Firefox: Gloves are Off?”

  1. Singularity Utopia Says:

    This blocking filter google.com##DIV#pmocntr2 did not work fro “A “faster way to browse the web”

  2. junger95 Says:

    Hmm, works for me…here is a screenshot of what the filter looks like: https://whatisgon.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/filters1.png

    It might be different in windows, so you would probably want to inspect the element and check it’s html ID.

    There is a firefox plugin called “Element Hiding Helper” made by the same folks that do Adblock, so you can use that to help create the rule too.

  3. DavidI Says:

    Soon, the only browser to work with Google will be Chrome and Android. ^_^


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s