Saturday, August 15, 2009

Tip: Add Google’s Beta Search to browsers

If you didn’t catch it, Google “debuted” a beta version of Google Search this past week.

It seems to include some new search algorithms and monkeys at terminals.

Dwight Silverman at the Houston Chronicle’s TechBlog has just about all the information you need to know in his post.

That’s all nice and it does seem to bring a certain “freshness” to the search results.

I typically do my web-searching from a browser, and 99% of the time use the little search-bar integrated in the browser like Chrome, Firefox, and IE all have.

Could I add another entry to each of them for the “sandbox” version of Google’s search?

Yep!  Easy-Peasy!


Firefox fans who are used to to the search-bar in the top right corner can load different search engines into it to pick from.

Out of curiosity I wondered if I could find one for this Google "sandbox"version.

Sure enough: Mycroft Project - Google test search engine

Simply find the link and click to add.


For Chrome/Chromium users, it's a bit more complicated (but not much more) - Google Chrome saves your search engines Google Chrome Help page.

Add, edit, or remove search engines
  1. Click the wrench menu.
  2. Select Options.
  3. Click the Basics tab.
  4. Click Manage in the 'Default search' section.

Use the buttons on the right to manage the search engines in the list. You'll need to provide the following information for each search engine:

  • Name: Nickname for the search engine.
  • Keyword (optional): Fill out this field if you want to create a text shortcut for the search engine. Learn more about keyword searches below.
  • URL: Type the web address for the search engine into this field. See instructions on finding this URL
    1. Go to the search engine you want to add as a search engine option and do a search.
    2. Copy and paste the URL of the search results page into the URL field. Keep in mind that the URL for the search results page is slightly different from the website URL. For example, while you'd go to to access Google, the URL you'll add here is from the search results page, (assuming you did a search for cucumbers).
    3. Replace the search term in the URL with %s. When you type a search in the address bar, your search term will automatically be inserted in place of %s.
How to access site search engines in the address bar
  • Tab to search
    Start typing the web address of the site you want to search in the address bar. If Google Chrome has a record of the site's search engine, it automatically offers you the option to search that site. Press Tab to choose the search engine, type your search term, then press Enter to see search results from the site.

  • Keyword search
    For search engines with defined keywords, type the keyword in the address bar. Select the search engine from the drop-down menu, type your search term, then press Enter.

  • New Tab page search boxes
    The Searches module on the New Tab page conveniently displays the search engines that you frequently use.

Internet Explorer 8

Finally there is IE8: Add search engines in Internet Explorer 8 – CNet

However the money way is to open the following link in IE8, then follow the very simple steps on that page.

The address you want to use is

Now Google's beta search is at your browser fingertips!

Pretty handy.

--Claus V.

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