If there’s something about this world that I absolutely love, it’s shortcuts. While this is a feature I can activate with the click of an easily accessible button, I’d still much prefer to do the finger-like division of splits to hit the right keys and get there without my hands ever leaving the keyboard.
The same goes for any other feature that keeps my mouse from collecting dust. Google Chrome‘s search engine management is one of them. If you are using this browser, you have probably noticed that the most popular search engine on the Internet is integrated directly into the address bar. Type in whatever you want to know, hit return, and you’ll see Google results pages.
Well, Google is not the only one. You can add more search engines, invoke each one whenever you want, and get results instantly. And I’m not just talking about Bing or DuckDuckGo. Most sites have internal search functions that help users find content in their field. Think about the search bar on Amazon, YouTube, or even that magnifying glass right next to “Newsletter Sign Up” at the very top of this page. I’m talking about typing W in Chrome’s address bar and focusing Google’s ubiquitous eye just on Wikipedia’s domain.
How to set up new search engines on Google Chrome
Ironically, configuring the features that will keep your hands off your keyboard requires the use of your mouse. Right click in the address bar and choose Manage search engines. If you prefer a more traditional route, you can always access the main menu by clicking on the button three points to the right of your avatar, go to Settings, by clicking Search engine in the sidebar, then find manage search engines.
There you will see two lists: Default search engines and Other search engines. First on the list of default engines is, unsurprisingly, Google. If you are satisfied with the big G’s internet search services, you can keep it or click To add at the bottom of the list. Here you can add your Bings, DuckDuckGos, and any general search engine you want to use. You can even dethrone Google and make Yahoo the way you search the web by default. Sky is the limit.
[Related: Google vs. DuckDuckGo vs. Bing—is it time to switch your search engine?]
When you hit To add, a popup window will ask you for three pieces of information: Search engine (the name of the site you want to add), Keyword (a combo of words or letters that will call the said search engine), and a Url.
You can literally type whatever you want in the first field. Once you enter the URL, the list will automatically populate with the site’s favicon, which is usually the site’s logo, so you won’t confuse it with something else.
The keyword may be the most important parameter because it will determine how easy it will be to invoke the search engine of your choice. If, for example, you add Popular science, having “popsci.com” as a keyword will not save you much time since it is a functional URL of the site. Choose something short and simple like “pop”, “ps” or even “p”. Next time you want to research, tell the best way to reheat pizza or how to make oat milk with science, all you have to do is type “ps”, hit the space bar and enter your request.
For the engine URL you will need to go to the site you are adding, type % s in the search bar and hit enter – you want the address of the resulting page. Be careful though: sometimes sites break down the search terms and separate them in the URL using numbers. For example, when looking for % s of the PopSci search bar, the resulting address is popsci.com/search/% 25s. The same is happening with YouTube (youtube.com/results?search_query=%25s) and even Amazon (amazon.com/s?k=%25s). If this is the case with the engine you want to add, copy and paste the URL into the pop-up window and make sure to remove it. 25 before clicking To safeguard.
Suggestions for getting the most out of your search engines
Having different search engines running from Chrome can save you a lot of clicks and keystrokes, especially if you visit the same websites over and over again. Below, we’ve included the correct URLs that will direct your search to several convenient locations. You just need to copy and paste them into your browser’s search engine list.
I’m too lazy to type drive.google.com, so I gravitate to my Gmail tab, click on the Google apps icon and open my Drive from there. It’s stupid and terribly time consuming. Especially when I can access all my documents from the address bar.
Google now has Knowledge Maps that preview Wikipedia articles right on the results page, but that doesn’t stop us from falling into a rabbit hole over what happened to this actor who was the guest of this episode of this 60s show.
Pro tip: Some Wikipedia pages only live in their native language. Therefore, if you are constantly searching for region-specific articles, you can add the online encyclopedia in a different language, with a different keyword. For example, I use “w” for English and “wiki” for Spanish.
Url: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%s (English), https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/%s (Spanish)
Google’s video platform has a home page because every platform must have one, but people rarely use it. You can easily bypass it by setting it up as a search engine.
If you work with words, you probably have a dictionary site that you still use. Merriam-Webster.com is always a great choice, and if you have styling questions you can check out AP.com.
Url: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/%s, https://www.apstylebook.com/search?query=%s