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Firefox 62: Google added to Top Sites

The next stable version of the web browser Firefox, Firefox 62, comes with a number of search related changes on the browser’s default New Tab page and Home page.

Users of the browser may notice that Google Search has been added to the list of Top Sites on these pages. I don’t know whether this will happen only for new Firefox installations or profiles, or whether the new Google icon will also be added to user modified Top Sites.

On Firefox Nightly, Google Search was added to the existing list of top sites. Google Search became the default Firefox search provider in 2017 for most regions after Mozilla decided to end the contract that it had with Yahoo.

The Google Search icon was placed at the very top of the listing as the first pinned item.

New search icons in Firefox 62

Firefox displays a search symbol on the icon to indicate that the particular icon is for search. Additionally, the Amazon icon was brought back from the dead and placed right next to the Google icon in Top Sites. Amazon is one of the default search engines that Firefox includes.

firefox 62 new search tab

Firefox users can unpin or dismiss the icons by moving the mouse cursor over them, selecting the menu icon that is displayed on hover, and selecting the unpin or dismiss option from the context menu.

What happens when you click on the icon? Is the search bar activated automatically so that searches can be run from it right away without additional clicks? No, that is not the case.

Mozilla added new keywords for each of the built-in search providers. Firefox displays @keyword in the address bar so that users can type the search term to run searches right away.

The keywords are available globally so that you may run searches typing  @google or  @amazon in the address bar followed by the desired search term. Existing keywords are untouched and work just like before.

firefox at search keywords

Firefox users can add other default search engines to the Top Sites listing as well. All that it takes is to hover the mouse over the Top Sites section on the New Tab page and select the menu that is displayed at the top right.

There you may select “add search engine” to do so. Firefox displays all default search engines and you may add any to the Top Sites listing by clicking on it. You can use the same menu to hide specific search engines from Top Sites.

add search engine firefox new tab

Note that you can use the new keywords automatically even if you don’t add the search engines to the Top Sites.

  • @google — Google search.
  • @bing — Bing search.
  • @amazon — Amazon search.
  • @duckduckgo — DuckDuckGo search.
  • @twitter — Twitter search.
  • @wikipedia — Wikipedia search.

The new feature is only available for default search engines and not for any other search engine that you have added manually to the browser.

Tip: You can add keywords to any search engine that you add to Firefox to run searches from Firefox’s address bar using those keywords.

Closing Words

The addition of search engine icons adds another search option to Firefox’s New Tab page. Firefox users can use the integrated search field on the New Tab page, the address bar, or the search bar if it is visible for searches already.

I don’t know why Mozilla felt the need to add yet another search option to the New Tab page of the Firefox browser. The focus on Google Search and Amazon provides a possible explanation: Google is the main revenue source for Mozilla; the more searches Firefox users make on Google Search the better for the next negotiations.

Amazon is simpler to explain as Mozilla is an Amazon affiliate partner; means, Mozilla is paid whenever Firefox users buy things on Amazon after having clicked on the Amazon link in Firefox.

Now You: Good addition or not? What is your opinion on the change? (via Sören Hentzschel)

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