Back in 2007 Google rolled out a revolutionary feature – Universal Search – that blended listings in its search interface from general “plain” search and video, news, images, local and book search.
To explain it clearer, Google tries to guess what other type of information the surfer would also like see based on his or her search query. For example, for “Britney Spears” you’ll see images and videos blended within the search interface and for “downtown Los Angeles” you’ll get local search results (i.e. maps.google.com).
The idea of pulling more data by one-click searching can be expanded. You do not have to limit yourself to the Google search engine only. This time I am listing a few cool FireFox addons that show you more relevant information based on your search query and provides you with more opportunities to browse through.
Add Multiple Search Engines to Google Search Interface
WebMynd offers to search a wealth of search platforms simultaneously with your Google search, by default: Twitter Search, Amazon, YouTube; but you can also add numerous other search options (e.g. Flickr, Wikipedia, Digg, LinkedIn, CNN, etc). The search results will appear right on Google’s results page in the right sidebar:
Additional great features of the page:
- send Tweets directly from your search results asking your friends advice related to your search;
- user-friendly interface: add/hide engines with one click, drag-and-drop ordering of pages.
Integrate Amazon.com and eBay Search:
GoogAzon adds the first ten search results from Amazon and eBay in a collapsed orange bar to the top of your Google results page (works also for Yahoo or MSN / Live search). The results include the title, price, and a mouse-over thumbnail image.
You can also quickly share the results with friends and access the actual Amazon / eBay search results.
Add Reference Information
See Your Browsing History
Infoaxe is a browser addon (both FireFox and Internet Explorer versions available) that will show your browsing history results based on your Google search term.
Note: it requires registration and access to your private data, i.e. browsing history.
See What Your Facebook Friends Have to Say:
SideStripe offers a handy Google Gadget that integrates with the Google search results page and searches your friends list for your search query.
The tool offers some more functionality (e.g. it invites you to ask your friends’ opinion on what you are searching) but I didn’t invite my friends to use the application, so I can’t say if it works. The search functionality works pretty well though:
Would you like to add more searching functionality or do you think “plain” Google is all you need? Do you use any tools that make Google better? Share your thoughts!