Simple Search is a browser extension that strips Google Search of all its bloat

Simple Search is a browser extension that strips Google Search of all its bloat

Google Search has become much more sophisticated over the last several years, and is relied upon by millions of people around the world. But as great as Search is, it’s become rather bloated, often returning results that are filled with ads or that highlight Google’s other products. That’s where a new browser extension called Simple Search comes in.

Simple Search is a Chrome and Firefox extension made by The Markup (via The Verge). Here’s how they explain it:

Simple Search is an extension that highlights the “traditional” or “ten blue link” search results provided by the search engine, laying them over the info boxes and other content. Close the window to view the full results page. Compatible with Bing and Google search engines.

Simple Search browser extension for Google Search

Essentially, the extension brings users back to a time when Google Search was seemingly less focused on directly selling products and more focused on returning relevant results. To get an idea of what Search is like today, The Markup analyzed 15,000 popular search results and found that the search engine gave 41 percent of the first page and 63 percent of the first screen on mobile devices to Google properties.


In some instances, Google apparently gave 75 percent of the search page to itself, while other searches were taken over by “direct answers,” which are widgets that highlight information copied from other sources. Google allegedly favors its own results so much that politicians have started to take notice. Following The Markup’s analysis of those 15,000 popular search results, U.S. House Representative David N. Cicilline (D-RI) accused Google of building a walled garden that negatively impacted companies online.

In response to Cicilline’s accusations, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said Search is designed to give users what they want, nothing more. “We conduct ourselves to the highest standard,” Pichai said.

If you long for a bygone era when all Google did was return ten blue links, The Markup’s Simple Search extension is worth checking out.

Download for Firefox ||| Download for Google Chrome

About author

Brandon Russell
Brandon Russell

Brandon's love of technology can be traced back to his childhood, when he would obsessively watch Back to the Future. Since then he's followed the industry and its many innovations, from handheld consoles to powerful smartphones. He's still waiting on a hoverboard.

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