Google is testing an upgrade to its toolbar for Mozilla's Firefox browser, including enhancements to the search box and an antiphishing feature, the Californian company announced yesterday.

With its enhanced search functionality, Google Toolbar 2.0 for Firefox is able to offer suggestions on the fly for narrowing queries and correcting spelling. The search box also retains the user's previous query terms, as well as bookmarks, and offers them up as query suggestions. A drop-down menu lets users choose to run a query on different Google search sites.

The Firefox toolbar also now comes integrated with what Google calls its Safe Browsing extension, which previously was offered as an optional add-on. This feature alerts users when it determines a web page they are visiting could be a phishing trap. These are legitimate-looking websites that look to be from institutions such as banks that fraudsters set up to attempt to trick users into disclosing sensitive information, such as account numbers and passwords.

All major search engine operators offer toolbars that, when downloaded, become part of browsers such as Firefox and Microsoft's Internet Explorer. Through their toolbars, companies such as Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo promote use of their respective search engines, because users can enter queries into the toolbar's search box without having to visit a search engine's website. Because of the competitive edge a toolbar gives search engines, Google and its rivals are constantly trying to improve their toolbars and outdo each other in this space.

You can download Google Toolbar 2.0 for Firefox here.