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fast browser searchLast week’s introduction of Google’s Instant search has been a huge boom. Basically, the new fast browser search feature lets you see the results while you type a search term.

The new feature is sure to result in a new search behavior but in reality, instant search had been there long before the introduction.

This post looks at three ways to see instant (Google) search results without ever having to load search results page or even going to Google itself.

1. Fast Browser Search Results in the Address Bar

CyberSearch adds advanced search capabilities to the Firefox 3 address bar. The addons supercharges the “Awesome Bar” with instant search results that appear as you type!

Supported search engines: Google (and all Google’s search services including Google blog search, Google news, etc) and Bing web search.

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How is that faster than Google Instant? You don’t need to even visit Google. Just use your browser URL bar and see the results right there!

To search, just use one of the smart keywords listed below. Start typing your search term in the address bar and the extension will load Google results on the fly.

  • gweb (Google web)
  • gblog (Google blog search)
  • gbook (Google books)
  • gimage (Google Images)
  • gloc (Google local)
  • gnews (Google news)
  • gpatent (Google patent)
  • gvid (Google video)
  • bcalc (Bing Instant answer)
  • bweb (Bing web)

fast browser search

Note: these are smart keywords installed by default, you can change them or set your own using the tool’s handy options interface (accessed from Tools menu).

faster search

Cybersearch also provides users with a preview snapshot of a site (when hovered over with the mouse), can be set up to display multiple pages of results (based on user preference) and is even capable of performing strict site-specific searches when you want to look for something from a particular site.

  • See detailed search descriptions: As you highlight address bar results with your keyboard you should see details appear in the background that pertain to that particular result. A web search will show you a description of the result; a video search will show a thumbnail of the video along with the duration; a local search will give you the location information (including a thumbnail of a map) along with the phone number, and so on.
  • Retrieve multiple pages of Google results: A customizable “keyword” is available so that you can even retrieve multiple pages of your Google search results. Checkout the video here for more information on how this works.
  • Restrict search to a current site: Just type > in the address bar and start typing your search term. You will se the list of pages generated for your term and all the results belong to the current domain.

2. Search Results in the Preview Pop-up

Ubiquity is an awesome addon that allows to speed up plenty of various tasks, including search.

Supported search engines: Almost any (you can teach the tool new commands in case it doesn’t know the search engine you are using).

How is that faster than Google Instant? The search is launched with one quick keyboard shortcut. Google search is already built-in for you.

To search Google you will need to do the following:

  1. Install the extension and restart the browser;
  2. Use CTRL+space (Windows) / ALT+space (Linux) / Option+space (Mac) to see a command input box in the upper-left of your browser.
  3. Type G and the tool will “guess” you want to search Google, so you can click “Enter” to open Google in a new tab OR you can keep typing and the search results preview will be displayed in the preview window:

    faster search

Note: You can go to any result in the preview by pressing CTRL+ALT+{Result#}. Currently, the development of this add-on is on hold, although the community has been updating it to ensure it keeps working with newer versions of Firefox. As it has proven to be an incredibly popular search tool, the developers have stated they will return to expand on the concept at some future point in time. More information about Ubiquity is available in the Mozilla Labs Wiki

3. Search Results in the FireFox Search Bar

Peers is an add-on which upgrades the power of the search bar by replacing its ability to predict what people are trying to search for (whilst typing) with the ability to present results (in real time) based on what they have currently typed in.

Supported search engines: Yahoo, Google, eBay, Amazon, Wikipedia, etc.

How is that faster than Google Instant? Unlike Google Instant, it works from within FireFox’s search box.

The tool is installed like a regular search plugin (no FireFox restart needed) and works rather fast.

fast browser search

Do you think it can be faster than Google Instant search?

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