I just switched from Ubuntu to Mint and I'd like to remove the Mint-branded Google custom search "feature" which does some strange things to the styling of the results page.
I went into Synaptic and removed
mint-search-addon but it didn't help.
Deleting The Custom Search
The XML files for Firefox search engines are located here:
Inside this directory you should find a google.xml file which contains the Mint custom search fields. Back this file up and remove it.
sudo rm /usr/lib/firefox-addons/searchplugins/google.xml
or from here
2) Scroll or search down to "28. Major Engines" (now it's 29)
3) Go to the first one, Google, click on it and install it. Check the box to start using it right away
4) Click the search drop down list
5) Click Manage search engines...
6) Delete the original Google.
The latest Firefox update (43.0 for Linux Mint) disables the mint-search-addon automatically. As I understand it, the add on identifies the browser as part of a Linux Mint installation but doesn't do much else. Google pays LM for the search requests. Not sure how this is going to play out but it looks like Firefox have taken against LM. Suspect LM will upgrade it to meet Firefox' requirements, but interesting that the LM update manager includes the new Firefox as a recommended update.
From what I can make out, the mint-search-addon is linked to other bits of mint. Attempting to remove it:
sudo apt-get remove mint-search-addon
Produces the the following as part of the output:
The following packages will be REMOVED mint-meta-core mint-meta-xfce mint-search-addon
Don't think it would be a good idea to remove it.
I don't know about Mint at all, but often the custom Google search on Firefox is a different url altogether for the home page - so if you replace it with the standard www.google.com should get the vanilla Google site.