Sticky Google Preferences
Feature added: May 21, 2007
Are you one of those users that always clear your cookies when you close Firefox? If yes, then you probably hate to set your Google preferences over and over again everytime you start Firefox. The new CustomizeGoogle option "Sticky Google Preferences" solves this problem, and more!
Cookies and Firefox
Many Firefox users choose to accept cookies until they close Firefox. These privacy options can be found in Firefox -> Options -> Privacy. "Always clear my private data when I close Firefox" with the "Cookies" setting checked, will remove your cookies when you close the browser. This privacy option is great, but will force you to set your Google preferences over and over again everytime you start Firefox. Another possibility is to check "Accept cookies from sites until I close Firefox" and add "google.com" as an exception. This will keep all your google.com cookies, including cookies that you don't need and that might violate your privacy.
Sticky Google preferences
Now you can clear all your Google cookies when you close Firefox. When Google sets your new preference cookie ("PREF"), CustomizeGoogle will automatically alter it the way you want it. If you want to, you can choose to make some or all of the preferences sticky. All non-sticky preferences will still be editable the oldfashioned way, by using google.com/preferences.
Example: Sticky SafeSearch
Many users prefer not to have adult sites included in search results (especially if their kids use the same computer). Google's SafeSearch screens for sites that contain explicit sexual content and deletes them from your search results. By using the new CustomizeGoogle feature you can make this and other preferences stick. Sticky preferences will not be editable by visiting google.com/preferences.
As you might be aware of, the SafeSearch preferences are only available to some Google users. In certain countries there are no SafeSearch options on the Google preferences page (try Czech Republic or Finland). But now, with Sticky Google Preferences, you can change the SafeSearch options for all countries, including countries without SafeSearch options. And yes, SafeSearch does work in all countries!
Preferences and domains
Have you noticed that when you set your Google preferences at google.com/preferences, they will only be available at the google.com domain? If you're using Google at another Google domain, like www.google.de, then you will have to set your Google preferences all over again. CustomizeGoogle to the rescue! Sticky Google Preferences will automatically work on all Google domains that you use!
You can edit your Sticky Google Preferences within CustomizeGoogle (Firefox -> Tools-> CustomizeGoogle options -> Preferences).
Frequently asked questions
Q: How do I set my preferences without cookies?
A: If you prefer using Google without cookies then the Sticky Google Preferences won't work. Try following these instructions to set Google Preferences without cookies.
Q: When I visit www.google.com I'm automatically redirected to www.google.<tld>. How can I prevent that?
A: You need to visit http://www.google.com/ncr.
Q: How sticky are Sticky Google Preferences?
A: Very. But it's still possible to bypass them by altering the Google URL. Example: You could add num=20 to get 20 results per page.
Anonymize your ID
Did you know that CustomizeGoogle has an option to automatically anonymize your Google User ID? This ID is used by Google to track what you're doing. By anonymizing this ID you can avoid the possibility of Google building up a cohesive profile about you. This option can be found in Firefox -> Tools -> CustomizeGoogle options -> Privacy.