Over on WikiEN-L, our ol’ buddy Dave Gerard has brought our attention to a new Firefox search plugin that removes Wikipedia results from Google searches. It’s available here from Distilled, an SEO blog, and since it’s just one little XML file it takes only a few seconds to install. Simply put, all it does is add a new option to your search drop-down that says “Google Search excluding Wikipedia,” and it uses Google’s new Custom Search API to do just that. In the results page, the words “Google without Wikipedia” appear where the word “Web” would normally appear (screenshot).
Needless to say, some folks over at Wikipedia are poo-pooing this idea, depite the self-evident fact that it may be one of Mankind’s Greatest Inventions, or at the very least, the most essential Firefox add-on ever devised. Ostensibly, the plugin’s purpose is to give people an idea of the size of Wikipedia’s search-engine footprint by allowing for easy A-B comparisons between result sets. Nevertheless, for people like me who are simply tired of seeing Wikipedia at the top of every Google results page, this little 2K XML file (on Windows, it installs into your \Documents and Settings\ [username]\ Application Data\ Mozilla\ Firefox\ Profiles\ xxxxxx.default\ searchplugins folder) is a breath of fresh air that will continue to smell fresh for years to come!
(This is especially true now that Ask.com has changed its interface. It used to be fairly easy to exclude “Encyclopedia” results from Ask.com, but not anymore - if you want Mr. Jeeves to exclude Wikipedia now, you have to use their “Advanced Search” page and type in “-wikipedia.org” into the “Domain” setting. PITA!)
Once word gets out and every Firefox user on the planet installs this thing, let’s just hope the folks at Google are tracking the use of their API - like they apparently track everything else - and take notice. Who knows, maybe someday they’ll actually even do something to correct their Wikipedia-biased search algorithm.