Excursions

by Amit Gawande

Google and Firefox drowns me in a mystery !!!

On my way while crawling the web, I noticed something which may be I was inadvertent to. I saw a time stamp next to the link which I opened. The screenshot below displays what i mean by that. I remember reading something along the same lines. But as i tried searching for a reference for the behavior, the efforts didn't throw success.

However, the story doesn't end at this stage. When I tried to playback the same in Internet Explorer, I was stunned to see no such behavior. So thinking that this has to do something with Firefox, I tried scanning other search engines for the display of time stamp, nothing really happen. So bulged a question. Is this behavior related with Google searches in Firefox? If so, whats so different in Firefox than IE? Moreover I am using the latest updated versions of both. I even tested it on a fresh version of Firefox. So i assumed it has least to do with mozilla extensions.

As if these questions weren't enough, something more happened that assisted the assumptions. As i deleted the cookies, I wasn't that hoo-haa seeing no stamp. But what baffled me was I was unable to redraw the same behavior.

So another question popped up in my mind. Does Google have some playing hours on internet, when they just put in some behavior into there search and pop it out as soon as they test it? Mozilla couldn't do that because thats something that resides on my system. And if it does put something without my consent, I see some good time ahead of me. Anyways currently I have employed myself to demystify this abruptness.

Update: One thought each one gets first is about add-ons in mozilla. But as i mentioned, I tested it out with a fresh version of firefox without any extensions too. So addons have zilch part to play. Moreover the abrupt display and hiding of the time stamp continues now too.

Update2: After a lot of trial and errors and with the help of a very useful comment by whoblah, i was able to understand the behavior. Rather i shouldn't call it a mystery as it really wasn't. It was just an ignorance on my part. Thought let me reveal the solution because there is possibility that there would be many others ignorant enough. In nutshell, the issue has to do with Google's web history, where in for the above behavior to work, one needs to be logged into his Google account. If you are, you can see the complete history about when and how many times have you opened a particular link from Google search. So don't panic if you ever see a time stamp next to the search. Thats Google history at work!!!