Search Everywhere: Search The Content Linked From The Current Web Page

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It is always fun to discover new great tools people can use to search. We have shared quite a few of them already, including tools that let you quickly jump to other search engines after you search Google, plugins that support search suggestions and Firefox addons that let you search faster than Google Instant.

Today’s one is pretty much unique: I for one have never seen anything similar.

Search Everywhere is a great FireFox addon that allows you to search over the content linked from your web browser’s current page. In essence, it works as follows.

  1. Imagine you land on a page that links to a number of related resources – and you want to search within these linked resources;
  2. Click the tool icon in the status bar, type your search term and hit “Search”
  3. The tool will extract the linked domains (or URLs depending on your settings);
  4. Then the tool will create a custom Google search engine that will search for your keyword within the extracted domains / URLs.

Here’s a simple example from the developer to explain how it can turn really useful:

…suppose you are hanging out at the Dapper Rat website, and become interested in cages for pet rats. The Dapper Rat has a terrific page of nearly 300 links pointing to reliable pet rat information. You need a search engine that searches over this reliable information. That is exactly what the Search Everywhere toolbar does, using a Linked CSE.

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That being said, the tool seems to be a great help when you want to find most relevant results from the websites listed on a links page or in a web directory.

Now that we are clear with how the tool works, let’s look over its options.

Search Everywhere Options

As I have already said, to trigger the search field, you need to click the icon in the status bar (sadly, there’s no keyboard shortcut for that):

Within the toolbar there are a few handy options:

  • SiteSearch: Run a simple SITE: search to narrow results to the current domain (instead of searching within linked content). To learn more about Google’s SITE: search operator, check out this post by Saikat Basu: 5 Ways To Do A Site-Specific Search Using Search Engines
  • New Tab: When checked, this prompts to display the search results in a new tab.
  • URL Extraction:
    • Exact: Use extracted URLs without modification, to create a very “narrow” search engine (this will restrict search results to exact URLs you see on the current page).
    • Paths: Use the host and path from an extracted URL, but omit any filenames (like the above one but allowing a bit broader search). For MUO, for example, it would mean searching within (which is our directory).
    • Hosts: Use only the domains from extracted URLs to create a “broad” search engine.
  • Extraction modifiers:
    • Filter: When checked, this option is supposed to filter out certain overly-dominant URL patterns (I am not sure I got this one to work; I wish we could set the filters manually)
    • Boost exact: This allows combination of host or path URL extraction, with an extra layer of exact URL extraction. Exact urls will be preferred in the search results.

Do you see where this tool may turn particularly useful? Please share your thoughts in the comments!

Image by TheAlieness GiselaGiardino²³

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