Custom Search Engines in Google Chrome: Essential Tips and Tricks

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Custom Search Engines in Google Chrome: Essential Tips and Tricks

Chrome’s Omnibox combines an address bar with a search box. If you enter a search query rather than a website URL into the box, you’ll receive relevant search results in Google since that is Chrome’s default search engine.

But what if you wish to use a different search engine, such as DuckDuckGo, which focuses on privacy? What about searching MakeUseOf for articles or your Google Drive for files? You don’t have to visit each website individually to use its search functions.

Instead, you may use custom search engines to directly search these websites from the Chrome URL bar. Let’s see what you can come up with!

How to Switch to a Different Search Engine in Chrome

If you don’t want to use Google Chrome, there are alternatives such as Bing, Yahoo, and DuckDuckGo. To access one of them, click the More toolbar button (three dots placed vertically).Scroll down to the Search engine section on Chrome’s settings page that appears and choose a search engine of your choosing from theSearch engine used in theaddress bar dropdown menu.

When you type a search query in the address bar and press Enter, Chrome displays the results from the search engine you choose.

Managing Search Engines in Chrome

Let’s build a custom search engine that will allow us to search makeuseof.com right from Chrome’s address bar.

Return to Chrome’s settings page and, this time, choose theManage search engines option under theSearch engine section. Alternatively, from the context menu, right-click in the address bar and choose Edit Search Engines. In both circumstances, you’ll wind up on the same screen; the second option, of course, is faster.

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On the screen in question, you’ll find a list of the search engines that are pre-installed in Chrome, as well as the ability to add a new search engine to Chrome.

Are you surprised to find search engines that you haven’t included? Chrome is at work. When you search from a website, Chrome automatically adds search engines to the list. If you’ve already searched MakeUseOf, you should find a listing for it there. If you don’t see it, click theAdd button to manually add it.

How to Add a Custom Search Engine

All you have to do in the dialog box that appears when you click the Add button is fill in the following fields:

  • Search engine: For your convenience, a name for the search engine. Let’s use MakeUseOf as an example.
  • Because you’ll have to prefix your search queries with this term, choose something brief and simple to remember. Let’s make muo our keyword. You may use yt to refer to YouTube, fb to refer to Facebook, insta to refer to Instagram, and so on.
  • URL with query replaced by %s: You’re instructing Chrome where to put the search string using this URL.

To locate the right URL for the third field, do a search on the site—-in this example, makeuseof.com. Now, in Chrome, replace your search query in the address bar with%s and copy-paste the URL into the appropriate area. Even better, search the site for %s and then copy and paste the complete URL exactly as it appears. (If using %s as your search query creates additional characters in the URL, you may have to resort to the first option.)

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For the search engines that Chrome has automatically included, the site’s domain name and extension, such as makeuseof.com, doubles as the keyword.

As previously said, it is advisable to alter the default keyword with something brief and memorable. To do so, click on the Editmenu item hidden beneath the More button next to the search engine’s name in the list, and then type a new keyword into the relevant box.

You’ll also discover a Make default option in this hidden menu, which allows you to make the current search engine the default for Chrome searches. Have you changed your default and now want Google back? When you wish to make Google your default search engine in Chrome again, use the same configuration.

Your New Search Engine in Action

When you’ve installed the custom search engine, your search queries should look like this when you wish to search a site straight from the Chrome address bar:

The specified language : markup does not exist'
Code generation failed!!
'

In our example, that will look something like:

The specified language : markup does not exist'
Code generation failed!!
'

Here are a few more examples:

  • YouTube:yt gangnam style
  • Definition:dict floccinaucinihilipilification
  • Imgur: img grumpy cat
  • Gmail: gm invoice
  • Ben Stegner, Google Contacts

Custom Search Engine Ideas

Aside from the search engine thoughts that are presumably racing through your mind right now, the following web-based tips will also come in helpful. You may build your own search engine to:

  • Search your tweets.
  • Check if a website is down.
  • Jump to specific websites.
  • Launch Google’s regional versions.
  • Wallpapers may be found on Unsplash.
  • Search for applications in the Google Play or Apple App Stores.
  • View a cached version of a website.
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A Quick Way to Faster Browsing

As you would expect, utilizing custom search engines in Chrome may greatly enhance your surfing experience. Of course, it merely scratches the surface of what Chrome is capable of. Our Chrome power tips will show you how much more is possible! If you’re new to Chrome, our quick tutorial to Google Chrome might help you get started.

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