Enhance Your Web Surfing with the Right Toolbar
by Merle

Have you ever wanted to do research on a topic and didn't feel 
like going to a specific search engine to do it? Well, you don't 
have to. If you download a "search toolbar," you can actually 
perform research from wherever you are online and do some other 
pretty cool things depending on which one you may be using.

Most of the major search engines offer "free search toolbars" 
for download, to enhance your surfing experience and make 
tracking down information a snap. You need to keep in mind 
that most toolbars will only work in Internet Explorer 5.0 and 

Let's review some of the most popular bars available for 

1) Google: http://toolbar.google.com

The king of search engines, Google offers up a superb toolbar 
and my personal favorite. The latest version contains a pop up 
blocker, a mechanism to fill out online forms with one click, 
a way to check the page rank of any site you may be visiting 
and more. Since Google also bought Blogger.com, members of that 
free service can also post to their personal Blogs with a click 
on the toolbar.

2) Yahoo: http://companion.yahoo.com

With this you can bookmark your favorite websites, search the 
web, peruse yellow pages and get notified of new Yahoo email you 
may have. If you'd like to refine your searches to just images 
or news, you can do that or check on your favorite stock quotes. 
Click the included yellow marker and instantly highlight the 
search words on any web page you're presently visiting.

3) Hotbot: http://www.hotbot.com/tools/

Hotbot allows you to search over 200 search sites, including 
Hotbot itself. This toolbar installs itself into your windows 
task bar (unlike the others, which attach themselves to your 

4) Alexa: http://www.alexatoolbar.com

Rated by CNET Editors as a top pick download, it contains a 
popup stopper and combines Google search results with Alexa 
information. Search Amazon for products, check news and stocks, 
find out a site's traffic ranking, find similar sites and use 
their handy "tell a friend" to inform your pals of great 
websites -- all with just a click. This is a great one for 
online marketers to research your competition. Use the 
"wayback machine" to view archived versions of any website 
you're visiting.

5)Altavista: http://www.altavista.com/toolbar

This toolbar allows you to search within Altavista or within a 
particular site you're visiting. In addition to its built-in 
popup blocker news & image search and weather & zip code finder, 
this one will translate text or web pages into 10 different 

6) Teoma http://sp.ask.com/docs/teoma/toolbar/

Search Teoma from any web page. Includes a built-in highlighter 
that highlights your search terms as they appear on the page. 
Dictionary and page email functions are built right in. This 
toolbar is dynamically upgradeable as new versions become 

7) Ask Jeeves: http://sp.ask.com/docs/toolbar/

Search Ask Jeeves from anywhere on the web. Use the built-in 
"kid friendly" search function to find sites suitable for 
children. Get financial info, weather, news, search for local 
events or get a map of any location in the U.S. Also includes
email this web page to a friend function.

As you can see, your options for a toolbar are pretty impressive. 
But which one should you use? That depends on which search 
engine is your favorite. Most of them offer similar features and 
with the inclusion of popup blocking, that's one less piece of 
software you need to have on your machine.

There are also toolbars served up by "Meta Search Engines." Meta 
engines do not maintain their own database, they actually query 
other major search engines for their displayed results. So if 
you use one of these toolbars you'll actually be doing a search 
across several different search engines at one time.

Let's look at a few:

1) Trellian: http://www.trellian.com/tooblar/index.html

Search across all major search engines such as: AltaVista, Fast, 
Google, Inktomi, Overture, Teoma and more. Includes a popup 
killer, spellchecker, and is a handy tool for anyone doing 
search engine optimization.

2) Dogpile: http://www.dogpile.com/info.dogpl/tbar/

Queries 13 major search engines including Google, AllTheWeb, 
Inktomi, Ask Jeeves, Overture and more. Includes image search, 
stock quotes, weather, news and much more.

3) Groowe: http://www.Groowe.com

Search across Yahoo, Google, Teoma, AllTheWeb, MSN and others. 
Perform specialized searches, such as news or images.

4) Ultrabar: http://www.UltraBar.com

Search across multiple search engines. Ability to highlight 
search terms within the page you are visiting. You can build
a customizable version of this toolbar that you can give away 
from your own site. Add your own menu items, icon and additional 
search engines. This could be used as a great promo item for 
your site and pricing starts at only $89.00.

As you can see, you have many choices when it comes to browser 
toolbars. By choosing wisely, you'll have a desktop tool that 
will help you be more efficient and perform smarter web searches 
-- and with a price tag of free, that's a terrific bargain!

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