You are likely aware that searches can be executed directly from Firefox 3′s Awesome Bar - the address bar whose functionality was greatly enhanced in the latest release of the browser. You probably wouldn’t have a reason to be reading this post if you didn’t. To me, it is a curious feature because Firefox already has a Google Search box prominently displayed in it’s interface – and has for quite awhile. Redundancy aside, this feature likely helps with usability of the browser itself. How?
When a word or phrase is typed into the Awesome Bar, either a Google search is run or if the keyword has any sort of understood relevance Firefox will navigate directly to an authoritative site for that keyword. Let me explain, the keyword firefox will redirect to Mozilla’s Firefox website. Microsoft or intel keywords forward to their respective corporate websites. It’s a little more intelligent than just apply .com to the keyword – you can almost think of it like returning the first result in a Google Search or I’m feeling lucky. It can be a handy feature if you get into a habit of using it. But what if Google is not your preferred search engine? It’s possible to change this and it involves about:config and a bit of research.
- In a new Firefox window/tab, type about:config in the address bar.
- From the Filter box, type keyword.URL
- Double click on the result and change the value from http://www.google.com/search?ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&sourceid=navclient&gfns=1&q= to
- http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=for Yahoo
- http://search.live.com/results.aspx?q= for Live
- I’ve provided two examples for competing search engines but in actuality, just about any engine could be plugged in. This is where it takes a bit of research to come up with the correct search URL. Just run a search from your engine of choice and look at the returning URL. More or less, it should be clear on what to use for the keyword.URL value.