Save Time: Search Any Site Directly from the Chrome Address Bar

Save Time: Search Any Site Directly from the Chrome Address Bar

Searching Google directly from the address bar of your browser is something most of us take for granted. Gone are the days of having to go to Google.com before entering your search. Chrome’s address bar, or “omnibox,” performs a Google search for terms entered; but you can also use it to search nearly any site directly. This can be a real time saver when you want to search a site like YouTube or Amazon directly. You can even use the address bar to search for files in Google Drive! Setting up this process is easy, and quite customizable.

Custom Search Engines in Chrome When you use the search feature within many sites, they are automatically added to Chrome as a search engine. For example, I use amazon.com regularly. Typing amazon.com in the address bar displays a message “Press tab to search amazon.com.” Pressing tab or the space bar allows me to use the search function of Amazon directly from the address bar.

Search Any Site Chrome Address Bar

Make a Better Search Shortcut

Searching with the full URL is convenient, but I’m looking for an even more efficient shortcut and creating one is easy.

  1. Right click in the address bar / omnibox and select “Edit Search Engines…”
    Sites that have been automatically added appear alphabetically under “Other search engines.”
  2. Scroll down to find amazon.com
  3. Click on the “more actions” icon (3 dots) and select “edit.”
  4. Change the keyword from “amazon.com” to something simpler. Many people only use 1-2 letters, but it’s a matter of personal preference. I changed my keyword to “am”.
  5. Click “Save” to finish.

Now when I type “am” followed by tab or space in the address box I’m able to search Amazon directly.

Make a Custom Search Shortcut

How to Add a Site That Hasn’t Been Automatically Added

  1. Perform a search directly on the site you wish to add. I suggest a search that consists of one word, like “test” in my example.
  2. Copy the search results URL from the address bar.
  3. Right click in the address bar / omnibox and select “Edit Search Engines…”
  4. Click “ADD” beside “Other search engines.”
  5. Name the search engine (the name of the site is fine).
  6. Type a brief keyword. This is what you will type in the omnibox to start your search.
  7. Paste the URL from step 2. Replace the keyword you searched with “%s”.
  8. Click “ADD.”

My Custom Search Engines

Below is a list of some sites to get you started. You can save time by copying and pasting the URLs. Feel free to modify the description/keyword to suit your own preferences.

Search Engine

Keyword

Query URL

Amazon

am http://www.amazon.com/s/?field-keywords=%s

Google Drive

drive https://drive.google.com/drive/search?q=%s

EdTechPicks

edtech http://edtechpicks.org/?s=%s

Pixabay

pix https://pixabay.com/photos/?q=%s

Twitter

tw https://twitter.com/search?q=%s

YouTube

yt https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=%s

What Are Your Favorite Custom Search Shortcuts?

Share them in the comments below or on Twitter.

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