Become Search Independent with These FireFox Addons

by Ann Smarty February 7th, 2011 

As search geeks, the first thing we tend to do when landing on any website is looking for the search field. However, while the search option is considered to be one of the most important elements of any website design (as most people search first, then give the site the second chance), plenty of websites don't make it easy for their users to find one.

This post will make you search independent. For you not to lose a lot of precious time again and again, here are a couple of free tools for you to never have to care about any website built-in search option:

Search independent

1. Search Any Site Using Google

Google has almost all websites around the globe in its index (except for those that blocked it from crawling their content). Besides, Google has the smartest (as of today) search algorithm you can find elsewhere: the algorithm refined millions of times and tested on millions of users all over the world. It's quite natural that you may want to rely everywhere on its powerful search capabilities.

And luckily, there are quite a few tools that can give you the freedom of search anything and anywhere with Google:

And there's yet another great tool that I find awesome:

Goog All Sites adds the search field right to the FireFox status bar - so whenever you need to search the current site using Google just type your search term in it and hit ENTER. As someone who have played with plenty of the addons giving access to Google's SITE: operator, I can say that this one seems the most efficient one:

Goog All Sites

2. Search Any Site Using Its Own Internal Search

(while using your own browser-based search field)

Google is great but using the built-in search platforms may have advantages as well:

  • They let you access and search private sections of the site (those blocked from Google);
  • They let you enjoy possible advanced search features of various separate independent internal search platforms (like different advanced sorting and filtering options, tag-based search, etc)

SearchThisSite determines the search field and the search URL for the current page and takes you right to the search results generated by the current site search algorithm.

It is really quick and easy to use and saves plenty of time: whenever you want to search the current website, use the keyboard shortcut: ALT+Q (this activates the addon search bar), type your search term and hit ENTER.


Site search

To demonstrate how this addon can make a great alternative or additional search tool, let's test it on some site with the unique search option.

CouponSherpa's search works through the advanced Search Suggest algorithm that shows you relevant results in the drop down for you to choose the subcategory. The SearchThisSite addon does not interfere with that behavior: it generates the search suggestions for you to enjoy the site inherent functionality:


Do you search a lot? Do you think these addons are able to save you some time?

cc licensed flickr photo shared by Scarleth White

Ann Smarty

Ann Smarty is a blogger and SEO consultant and professional blogger. Check out Ann's personal project My Blog Guest - the forum meant to connect guest bloggers to blog owner for plenty of mutual benefits. Ann also provides guest blogging services.

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5 Responses to “Become Search Independent with These FireFox Addons”

  1. Hi Ann, nice to see your post here!

    You bring up an interesting subject. I wonder if it's just me, but I rarely if ever use any of the search boxes on any site. That's the reason I moved a search box under the cut on my own blog, in favor of other things.

    Maybe I should recall the mantra, "You are not your customer," and look for some research on how popular this feature actually is for the average blog.

  2. "As search geeks, the first thing we tend to do when landing on any website is looking for the search field."

    As a search geek thats something I never ever do? Seriously am I the only one as I assumed no one ever did?

    Wait just read the comment above mine glad im not the only one. But yes your right smarty I do search Amazon 😛

  3. Aimee says:

    Thank goodness, both of these addons are available in FireFox 4!

    • Ruud Hein says:

      Yes, having to lose (some) functionality because of an upgrade can be frustrating otherwise. Although there is a setting/tweak/hack that can force Firefox to accept addons that aren't for a certain version. Doesn't always mean it will work but at least you get to try it!