Marketing Tools, Technology,

Chrome: More Fun with Search Engines

Google Chrome

Now that Chrome is available for the Mac, I’ve been messing with it all day and absolutely love it. The ability to troubleshoot sites with it is incredible… whether it’s a CSS or a JavaScript issue.

One thing I always like messing with is the default search engine or list of engines – regardless of whether it’s Firefox or Safari. I search my own site often enough that I usually add that to the list. In addition, it’s always fun to do things like make Bing your default search engine on Chrome to keep the monsters battling (I really do like Bing!).

I even built my own Add Search Engine form for Firefox to make things easier. Chrome isn’t quite as simple, it doesn’t use the AddEngine component that Firefox does so you can’t simply build a link. As well, there’s no dropdown for selecting the search engine.

However, there is one fantastic feature with the omnibar… you can add the keyword of your choice to add a search engine. Here’s how to add a search engine:

  1. Either go to Chrome Preferences and click manage on the Search Engines or right click on the Omnibar and select Edit Search Engines.
  2. Add the name of the search engine or site you’d like to search, a keyword to easily distinguish it, and the search engine URL with %s as the search term. Here’s an example with ChaCha:

chacha.png

Now, I can simply type “ChaCha” and my query and Chrome will automatically encode the URL and send it off. This is actually much easier than hitting a dropdown and selecting the search engine. I have each of my Search Engines keyworded… Google, Bing, Yahoo, ChaCha, Blog… and just use the omnibar to quickly get results! Once you start typing, Chrome autocompletes and provides the search info:
chacha-search-chrome.png

You could even update your Twitter Status using the omnibar since Twitter has a querystring method of populating a Tweet. Or you could add a keyword shortcut to search twitter with http://search.twitter.com/search?q=%s.

For developers, you can do code searches on Google Codesearch with language specific queries like PHP http://www.google.com/codesearch?q=lang%3Aphp+%s and JavaScript http://www.google.com/codesearch?q=lang%3Ajavascript+%s. Or you could do a function lookup on PHP.net with something like: http://us2.php.net/manual-lookup.php?pattern=%s. Or jQuery http://docs.jquery.com/Special:Search?ns0=1&search=%s.

Disclosure: ChaCha is a client of mine. They’ve got some incredible results, though… especially when you’re seeking something simple like an address, phone number, trivia question, or even better… jokes. They do have some incredibly robust pages on celebrities and topics, too.

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