Browster’s Here To ‘Help’

Seems there’s a new free BHO (Browser Helper Object) on the market that will affect how our websites will be viewed.

Browster describes itself as:

What is Browster?
Browster is the quickest way to browse through search results and other lists of links. It is a free browser plugin that automatically prefetches links and provides a fast preview window to view a page quickly before committing to go there. Browster’s preloading and previewing capability can cut the time required to go through search results and other links by as much as 50%. This helps internet users achieve more effective searches in less time. Browster is available today for Internet Explorer™ and soon for Firefox™.

So I loaded up the beast and took it for a whirl. Here’s what I’ve found:

When making a search in Google, the results pages will show as normal, but with a small lightening bolt box added beside the results links.

Serps With Browster

By hovering your mouse over this box, you’ll get a popup preview pane for the website:

CNN Browster Preview

You’ll notice the contextual ads framed above the CNN page. You can move around CNN within this preview pane, I clicked on the ‘Have A Blog, Lose Your Job’ article and got this:

Inside Preview Window

If one wanted to, they could view your entire site within the Browster. All the while your website is being viewed with their contextual ads on top.

I did visit a few affiliate sites and watched the affiliate codes – it does seem to leave these intact. Someone may want to dig deeper on this though. However, if you have Google Adsense or other contextual ads displayed on the top of your website, get ready to uncross your eyes when viewing through the Browster. Several inches of text ads displayed and the columns are not aligned, very messy.

Also I did a full scan in both Spybot and Adaware before and after the installation – seems to be bug free and not dropping nasties.

Thanks to Threadwatch for the heads up.

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I've been trying to find my way online for more years than I care to admit.