Configure Chrome’s search engines for faster, better results

As you browse the web you may have noticed that many websites have a search facility. Whenever Chrome detects a search box on a web page, it stores it in its search engines list. It isn’t obvious that it is doing this, or why it is doing it. It is actually a powerful feature that you can make use of, but it does require a tweak or two to make it perfect.

Go to YouTube and there is a search box at the top of the page, go to Wikipedia and there is a search page. Even this web page has a search button (the magnifying glass). Google remembers every site with a search facility and adds them to its list of search engines.

To see these search engines, go to Chrome’s menu button and select Settings. In the Search section, click the Manage search engines button. This displays a list of search engines Chrome has remembered. So what?

View the search engines in Chrome

Mouse over a search engine, such as YouTube’s to highlight it and click the middle column where it says youtube.com. This is the search engine’s name and it can be changed to anything you want. Let’s rename it y.

Rename search engines in Chrome

You could call it anything you want, but y is easy to remember and we only have to type one letter. Click outside of the list to set it. Click Done at the bottom and close the settings tab.

Search from the address box

To use this search engine, just type y followed by a space in the address box. Notice that the address box now says Search YouTube Video Search: Just enter a word or phrase to search YouTube for. He search results are straight from YouTube.

Searching in Chrome

You can rename other search engines and Wikipedia is probably in the search engine list. If you have never been there before, just go to wikipedia.org and Google will automatically add the search engine. Return to the search engine list, find Wikipedia and if it doesn’t already say so, rename it w. Return to Chrome and type w followed by a space – it says Search Wikipedia (en): and you can type the word or phrase to search for.

Search from the address box in Chrome

It is hard to remember more than a few single letter search engines, so you might have to give some of them proper names. You could call Yahoo! Search yahoo. Then instead of searching Google from the address box you can type yahoo followed by a space and the search term. The results come straight from Yahoo! Instead of Google.

There are dozens of search engines in the list and some you may never need, but giving your favourite websites easy to remember names makes it possible to search them without even going there. Rename imdb.com to imdb and so on, then search it without first going to the site, and there are many more.

Now you can search any website before you even go there!


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