Google Chrome’s address bar is called omnibox and it is used not only for address typing, but also searches and search suggestions. In order to search for something simply type it into the omnibox and the search will be performed by the default search engine you have set up. But what’s great about Chrome is that you can customize your searches and use various search engines all from one box!

By default you’ve got Google set up as your search engine. To change that simply right click on the omnibox and select “Edit Search Engines…” from the menu, then select the search engine you need and click “Make Default”. Alternatively you can enter the settings menu, select Options and then select default search engine from there.

Adding Search Engine to Chrome

Adding Search Engine to Chrome

Now, in order to search the omnibox and perform searches on search engines other then your default you’ll need to type the keyword for the engine you selected previously (it is set up automatically to the web-address like: yahoo.com) and the search term. Example: "yahoo.com chromable" will search for “chromable” on Yahoo!

To add a new search engine get to the search engines settings (same as described above) and click on “Add” button to add a new search engine, you’ll need to enter the name, keyword and the search URL the engine use. The keyword will be used when performing the search through ominbox, so you’ll probably want to make it short. The URL is the the exact form used by search engine to perform searches only the search term is replaced by "%s". Example of URL for Digg: http://digg.com/search?s=%s.

But the amazing thing about Chrome is that you don’t have to set the URL path for each search engine and replace the search term with “%s” by yourself – it can be done automatically! Just perform a search once on the site you want to ad, open the search engines options panel in Chrome and it will be there already. You might want to change the keyword though, let’s say you added wikipedia search engine and instead of conducting searches by typing each time "wikipedia.org [search term]" you want to use "wiki [search term]" form. In that case simply replace the keyword which is set by default to “wikipedia.org” with “wiki”.

Here’s a list of search URL’s for some search engines, in case you want to set them manually:

  • Yahoo!: http://www.yahoo.com/r/sx/*-http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=%s&fr=yfp-t-501&toggle=1&cop=mss&ei=UTF-8
  • Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special:Search&search=%s
  • YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_type=search_videos&search_query= %s&search_sort=relevance&search_category =0&page={startPage?}
  • Digg: http://digg.com/search?s=%s
  • Chromable: http://chromable.com/?s=%s
  • Last.FM: http://www.last.fm/music?m=all&q=%s
  • DMOZ: http://search.dmoz.org/cgi-bin/search?search=%s
  • Baidu: http://www.baidu.com/s?wd=%s
  • Facebook: http://www.new.facebook.com/s.php?ref=search&init=q&q=%s