Inquisitor has been updated as of build 52 to identify affiliate links. See here.
Tonight, I found this post on TUAW that discusses the Inquisitor search plugin for Safari. The plugin gives you a Spotlight-esque result when you use the built-in Google search box, giving you easy access to the top links. It turns out that the program, written by Dave Watanabe, is designed to insert affiliate-linked URL as the “top result” when you search for certain terms. This was initially found by a bloke named Allan and posted on his blog.
As I commented here, there are a specific set of terms which are written into the application that put affiliate linked URLs as the first match. Without the source code, there’s no definate way to see what is going on here. However, using the UNIX command strings, we can look for the various bits of text intermixed into a binary application. The main program doing the work here for Inquisitor is InquisitorCore, buried deep in the bundle. Running strings against this, we find some of the following code… (after the jump)