Google Chrome’s Omnibox (or the address bar) is not something new to you and me. Now as you probably know it allows you to navigate to a webpage or search the web from the address bar. And yeah, it even acts as a search engine to browse your own search and Chrome browsing history.
But did you know that it’s much more than just an address bar? Because it can easily boost your productivity by helping you create and add your own custom search engines.
If you’re a Web 2.0 fanatic then I’m pretty sure that you use the search engines offered by the popular web 2.0 sites like Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia, YouTube, etc.
Hence every time you want to use them for search, you have to visit these websites and then go to their search boxes.
Obviously, Google Chrome automatically adds all the search engines when you visit those websites. That is, when you visit YouTube.com and uses its search engine, Chrome automatically adds YouTube search to its list of search engines.
But the problem arises when we need tailored search results and a custom shortcut key (or known as keyword in Chrome).
For example, my default search engine is Google and the default search engine in Chrome is Google itself. But since I live in India Chrome automatically installs the Google India (Google.co.in) search engine even though I may want Google.com as my primary search engine.
Again, they show personalized search results by default which I don’t want. So the solution is… to add our own custom search engines to Google Chrome.
You can add, edit, remove, and manage your Google Chrome search engines from Settings > Search or directly from Chrome’s address bar (right-click in the address bar and click “Edit search engines…”.
There you’ll see default search engines, Other search engines, and Search engines added by extensions installed by you.
Now you can add your own custom search engines from “Other search engines” option.
Add a new search engine: Enter a label for the search engine.
Keyword: Enter the text shortcut you want to use for the search engine. You can use the keyword to quickly access the search engine via the address bar.
URL with %s in place of query: Enter the web address for the search engine. To find the web address:
It may sound very simple but you can really do a lot more things than what you have imagined because you can virtually add any website to it. Since you can define your own shortcuts to activate the above search engines it’s super cool and boosts your productivity.
For example, I have created custom search engines for Wikipedia Search by Google, Google Cache, Google’s I’m Feeling Lucky, Google Images, Google Translate (to use as a Proxy Server), Who.is, Gmail Search, Outlook.com Search, Google Dictionary, Google Site Search, iTunes Store Search, Yahoo! Finance, etc.
You can find the correct URL by doing a sample search and then you have to replace the search query with "%s".
18 Google Chrome Custom Search Engine Ideas
Here are some of top custom Chrome search engines that you can consider. You can give any label and keyword for each search engine but don’t change the URL unless you know what you’re doing.
1. Google Site Search
You can add and use this custom search engine to search the website that you’re currently browsing. I was using the Chrome extension Omnibox Site Search for this purpose but replaced with a custom search engine. Thanks to a Lifehacker tip.
https://www.google.com/search?q=%s&pws=0 (Non-personalized results)
https://www.google.com/search?q=%s (Personalized results)
5. Wikipedia (by Google)
6. Google News
7. Google Images
9. Google Cache
10. I’m Feeling Lucky! (by Google)
14. Google Dictionary
15. Gmail Contacts
16. Google Translate (To Use Google As A Proxy Server)
http://who.is/whois/%s [Domain Name Who.is]
http://who.is/whois-ip/ip-address/%s [IP Address Who.is]
19. Google India (Or your preferred local version)
20. Google Blog Search