Oracle Scratchpad

June 10, 2008


Filed under: Non-technical — Jonathan Lewis @ 2:53 pm BST Jun 10,2008

Here’s an interesting URL that I found by following an incoming link a little while ago.

If you run Firefox as your web browser, this “Customizegoogle” add-in allows you to “filter spammy websites from search results”. (It’s got a lot of other features, but this one seems likely to be the most useful to Oracle users).

I’ve got Firefox on my Linux RAC stack – but I may have to download it for my Windows boxes too, especially the laptop which is the machine I use for most of my writing.

Update: And here’s a URL that should let you do the same thing with Internet Explorer, too.

Update 2: A link to the “Oak Table Safe Search” that limits Google to a few sites that tend to give good information. It will miss some good sites and will occasionally provide an indirect link to some less desirable pages – but generally it’s a good starting point.

Update 3: A couple of interesting developments relating to Google Chromeand “Content farms polute search engine results”.


  1. Here is what I have in Customizegoogles filter. Should be a good start for clean Oracle filtering:


    Comment by Jerry — June 10, 2008 @ 3:58 pm BST Jun 10,2008 | Reply

  2. Don’t install it, just use it as a portable application!

    I’ve been using it for years and it’s great! Just install whatever extensions you like and carry your profile along with the application without any need to ever install it.

    Thunderbird portable is also a must.

    Hope you’ll find it useful…


    Comment by Jocelyn Simard — June 10, 2008 @ 4:37 pm BST Jun 10,2008 | Reply

  3. Thanks for the links. I was getting tired of typing -Burleson every time I googled.

    Comment by Ajay — June 10, 2008 @ 4:39 pm BST Jun 10,2008 | Reply

  4. Guys,

    How can I add this filter to the search engine?

    Comment by thiagomz — June 10, 2008 @ 7:30 pm BST Jun 10,2008 | Reply

  5. Follow the first link and install Customizegoogle.

    Then go to Tools, Add-ons, select Customizegoogle, click options, “Filter” on the left side.

    Then just cut and paste or add your own.

    Comment by Jerry — June 10, 2008 @ 7:44 pm BST Jun 10,2008 | Reply

  6. Jonathan, I am amazed that FF does not seem to be your regular web browser. For me the most important plugin is “adblock plus”. This reliably gets rid of all the adverts and overlays.

    Comment by Robert Klemme — June 11, 2008 @ 7:13 am BST Jun 11,2008 | Reply

  7. Thanx Jonathan. This is quite helpful.

    Comment by Brian Tkatch — June 11, 2008 @ 1:00 pm BST Jun 11,2008 | Reply

  8. LOL @ “**” etc

    Getting these popping up in search results is one of the downsides of working with Oracle I suppose. I find that my search is much improved by adding PSOUG as a searchterm.

    Another site to block from google would be, since they hide the answers if you’ve not registered. Argghhh!

    Comment by Rexton — June 11, 2008 @ 9:26 pm BST Jun 11,2008 | Reply

  9. My filter addition, after setting the above filters, then Googling “oracle tips”:*

    Comment by Stew — June 11, 2008 @ 9:47 pm BST Jun 11,2008 | Reply

  10. If your answer is only available in a site that require a subscription, you can try Bug-Me-Not:

    you can find many shared-login.

    They are not stolen, they are shared by the owners.

    Comment by lascoltodelvenerdi — June 12, 2008 @ 5:57 am BST Jun 12,2008 | Reply

  11. As far as goes, there’s another firefox addin that will get you in there. How do you think the results from the show up in google if you need an account to read the answers? It allows the google spiders to crawl the site, but not IE, Mozilla etc. SO you can make your firefox tell the site it is a google spider.

    Anywho, ymmv

    mark brady

    Comment by Mark Brady — June 12, 2008 @ 4:15 pm BST Jun 12,2008 | Reply

  12. Re:
    Am I the only one who is just able to scroll down to the bottom of the page to see the answers? Sure, you have to scroll a ways, but it’s all there. (IE7, and I’m positive it’s the same in Opera)

    Comment by Milo — June 13, 2008 @ 4:11 am BST Jun 13,2008 | Reply

  13. @13: I believe the answers only appear if you have an account on experts-exchange and you’re logged in.

    Comment by Anurag — June 13, 2008 @ 4:50 pm BST Jun 13,2008 | Reply

  14. Another option is Google’s Custom Search Engine:

    not only you can filter out low-quality web sites, but you can also give more relevance to high-quality sites as well.

    And then you can use it in any browser from any location, and possibly even make your Custom Google Search available to others.

    Comment by Alberto Dell'Era — June 16, 2008 @ 6:03 pm BST Jun 16,2008 | Reply

  15. Alberto, there’s an issue with CSE. If you sign up for the *free* Custom Search Engine service, Google will show adWord based advertising with search results and this may still lead you to some crap sites. On the other hand if someone clicks on those links in your CSE, you make money.

    Few weeks ago I wrote a custom search engine called “Quality Oracle Search” for myself and noticed the advertising problem there. I’m not gonna spam Jonathan’s blog with a link to my engine, but I will post it on my site ;)

    Comment by tanelp — June 17, 2008 @ 11:11 am BST Jun 17,2008 | Reply

  16. […] Google has a thing called Custom Search Engine, which allows you define custom search engine rules, sites to include, exclude etc. Therefore you can demote or completely exclude some unwanted sites from your search results. Alberto Dell’Era just commented on this on Jonathan Lewis’es blog entry about Firefox. […]

    Pingback by Experiments with Google Custom Search engine « Tanel Poder’s blog: Core IT for geeks and pros — June 17, 2008 @ 11:27 am BST Jun 17,2008 | Reply

  17. I know this is a bit off-topic: but today is Firefox 3 download day!

    Check it out! ^_^

    Comment by lascoltodelvenerdi — June 17, 2008 @ 1:39 pm BST Jun 17,2008 | Reply

  18. Jonathan, thank you so much for the URL. I was getting tired of always getting some well-know websites in the top 10 hits whenever I searched for anything related to Oracle. That became a real nuisance. Ironically, this is what Burleson says in his blog (verbatim):

    Thursday, May 17, 2007

    Time to ban Wikipedia

    The web is one of the world’s best search tools, but the clutter from uncredible sources ruining the experience. They estimate that there will be over 500 million blogs in the next few years, most of them in Nigeria, and the search engines must develop a way to filter-out the crap.

    Comment by Till — November 16, 2008 @ 11:17 pm BST Nov 16,2008 | Reply

  19. Very good use of tools. I am glad to see that I’m not the only one who has to remember to add “-burleson” to all search criteria. That man has an unbelievable number of domains.

    Very ironic comment 19. – Till. You certainly made me chuckle.

    Comment by Grant — November 11, 2011 @ 5:29 pm BST Nov 11,2011 | Reply

  20. It seems that Google now allows you to do this directly in their serach engine if you have a Google account. Sign into Google, and go to search settings, you can block unwanted results by making a list of URLs to block. This is a way to block entire websites regardless of browser and you don’t need a addon. Also, if enough people block them, this will affect their Google ranking of search results for these sites.

    Comment by Turtleknee — September 12, 2012 @ 4:43 pm BST Sep 12,2012 | Reply

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