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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 4:47 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2011 3:00 pm
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Use the Google Toolbar with New Versions of Firefox

Difficulty: :star: :halfstar: :nostar: :nostar: :nostar:

The Google toolbar for Mozilla Firefox was a useful utility that allowed you to use many Google services right from your toolbar. There is a Google search field, buttons for sharing websites and articles with friends and social media, a translate button and many other features. For those of us who do any SEO work, it also had the added benefit of showing a websites PageRank right in the toolbar. The nonavailability of the toolbar for newer versions of Firefox was a bit annoying, as you would have to install several other toolbars to get the same functionality as the Google toolbar offered, but ultimately you can get any of the functions elsewhere. This all changed when Google made a slight change to their PageRank request script and effectively broke all 3rd party services that show pagerank. This set me on the search for a way to get PageRank back onto my toolbar. Luckily, after some digging, I found the solution to be an easy one.

  • Begin by tracking down an older version of Firefox, more specifically version 4 or lower. I used this link to download version 3.6. (I found it interesting that despite the fact that Firefox 7 is out, Firefox 3.6 is still being updated, with the most recent update being just a few weeks ago.)

  • Run the installation file. You will have to close any Firefox windows while you install. If you'd like to keep this tutorial open, use Internet Explorer. This might be one of the few times Internet Explorer comes in handy.

  • When set up completes, open Firefox (it will have downgraded to version 3.6). Navigate to the Google Toolbar add-on page. You should be able to install it with no trouble now.

  • Now we need to upgrade back to the new version of Firefox. The current version can be found here. Download it, and install it.

  • Once you have upgraded back to the current version of Firefox, the Google Toolbar will not be working, but it will still be installed. To override Firefox's block of this plugin, we will need to download another plugin, the add-on compatibility reporter. Go the the site and click "Add to Firefox" to allow it to be installed.

  • Once you have installed the compatibility reporter and Firefox has restarted, open the add-ons menu by going to "Tools> Add-ons" or by hitting the "Ctrl+Shift+A" buttons. Select the Extensions tab from the menu on the left, and you will see all your add-ons listed. Find the Google toolbar and look for the Compatability button. Click it and select "This add-on still works". If you see an option that says "enable" you will need to press that too.

  • You're all done, you have successfully tricked the Google Toolbar into running on Firefox 7!

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