Turn Back Google’s Clock With Retro Links Script

Back in the day, when some of us old-timer SEOs used to walk to work in the snow (uphill both ways), we’d get to our desks, fire up our 14.4 modems, pop in a floppy disk, listen to our favorite songs on a Sony Walkman cassette player and optimize that meta keywords tag like there was no tomorrow. And when we searched Google, if it didn’t produce the results we wanted (yes, there was a time that happened, kids), there were a bunch of other search engine suggestions at the bottom of the page to make life a little easier. You could click one of the links and run your exact search on another search engine! It looked like this:

old Google

Remember that? Good times.

Yep, you’ve been around a while if you remember when Google used to link to competing search engines at the bottom of the search results. It was a really cool feature, but one day … it just went away.

Now, thanks to Google engineer Tiffany Lane, you can have these “retro links” back at your disposal. She’s written a Greasemonkey script — completely unofficial and not sanctioned by Google itself, mind you — that brings back those old links and, even better, lets you customize which web sites and search engines will show at the bottom of Google’s search results.

Better times!

You’ll need to use Firefox and have Greasemonkey running, of course. Check out the announcement on Matt Cutts’ blog for full details and a link to download Retro Links. (While you do that, I’m gonna grab my iPhone and listen to Train … or maybe Dido … or some Blink 182.)

Related Topics: Channel: Search Marketing | Google: User Interface | Google: Web Search | SEM Tools | Top News

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About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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  • http://www.ericward.com Eric Ward

    14.4 rocked! It went nicely with my monochrome monitor. I’d start to download the latest version of Mosaic, then go to eat and to the movies, and when I’d get home, it’d be halfway done.

  • Matt McGee

    LOL! For me, it was the overnight download. Usually finished by morning, but not always. I remember it well. :-)

  • ethan

    Here’s how that looked on Google reader… short summaries hurt creative intros.

    “Back in the day, when some of us old-timer SEOs used to walk to work in the snow (uphill both ways), we’d get to our desks, fire up our 14.4 modems, pop in a floppy disk, listen to our favorite songs on a Sony Walkman cassette player and optimize that meta keywords tag like there [...]“

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