Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the lights on at MakeUseOf. Read more.
Do you currently use a specific search engine and if so, have you simply set it as the default in your Safari settings? This is a tried and true method for sure; however, there are other options.
From search engines that donate revenue to search tools that allow you to find what you need faster, Safari has several great and useful extensions.
If you are interested in giving back, then Lilo is a good search engine option. The company supports environmental and social projects with 50 percent of the search engine’s advertising revenue. And, every time you perform a search with Lilo, you earn a drop of water that equals one point and corresponds to the money you are generating.
After you install the Lilo extension, you use it by just clicking the button in the Safari toolbar. Then select New Search and you will land on the Lilo engine to enter your search term. The extension also offers a few settings to customize. The company states that they do not collect information and are opposed to advertisement tracking.
Another search engine that donates advertisement revenue is Ecosia. So, if you like this concept and want to help plant trees, then this is one to check out. The company donates 80 percent of their monthly profits to plant trees in Burkina Faso, West Africa.
While it is more beneficial to click on an advertisement you see when searching with Ecosia, you are still helping if you do not. Spreading the word by being an active user assists the company in their mission.
To use Ecosia for your searches, you will need to adjust your settings. Navigate to your Safari Preferences > Extensions. Make sure that Ecosia is enabled and the Forward Searches to Ecosia box is also checked. Then to search, just type your keyword into the Safari URL field and watch Ecosia kick in.
Formerly named Google Toolbar, BB Toolbar for Google and Safari, provides the same types of Google services with plenty of features. First, as the name implies, a convenient toolbar will be displayed which is fully customizable and of course, includes a Google search box. You can then choose to add buttons for everything from YouTube to Facebook to Google Maps to Google Calendar.
The next cool feature of this extension is the pop-up accessible from the button in your Safari toolbar. This lets you open the same sites and services as the toolbar and includes a Google search box. But, it also includes tabs for your bookmarks, trending topics, and notifications (with a badge count). This pop-up feature, just like the toolbar, is customizable.
Omnikey is a unique search tool in that it allows you to enter search terms directly into your Safari URL field to search on specific sites. You can customize the list by removing or adding sites and picking a key for each. You can also choose a default site from the drop-down box if you like.
This is a useful extension if you search for items on a particular site often. For example, with Amazon as your default, you can enter a product into your URL field and you will then be directed to that item on the Amazon website.
If you choose not to set a default, the extension works by entering the indicated key and then the item. For instance, to look for a show on RottenTomatoes.com, just enter rt in front of the show name in the URL field. Again, you will be taken directly to the item page on that site.
For searching multiple sites without having to reenter your search terms over and over, OpenSearch is a terrific extension. Just click the button in your Safari toolbar and a pop-up window will open displaying a search box. Enter your keywords and then select the search engine from the list.
If you are not happy with the results on the site you searched, you can simply select another from the list. You do not have to reenter your search terms, which is really nice. Additionally, you can add and remove sites from the list. If you visit a site with a search plugin, the button will automatically display a badge alert letting you know along with a simple button to add that site to your list.
If you have used Firefox or Chrome in the past, they you may be familiar with Search Preview. This convenient extension displays a preview image one your search results page. What makes this a great search helper is that you can quickly scan the page for a glimpse at what the website looks like before selecting it.
So, if there is a page that you forgot to save to your bookmarks and would recognize it easily, these previews can be a big help. The extension currently works when searching with Google, Bing, Yahoo!, and DuckDuckGo.
If you are a fan of the Yahoo! search engine, then Search Helper is the perfect add-on for you. This handy tool will make your search terms more prominent on the results page. This allows you to see exactly what you are looking for at a glance.
With the extension, you can choose an emphasis from highlight, bold, or underline. You can also choose the color from nine options, which will apply to the whichever emphasis you pick. Then, when Yahoo! displays your search results, the specific term you used will pop out in the list for easier scanning.
SmartSearch and AnySearch
SmartSearch and AnySearch are very similar extensions that offer the same feature, which is the ability to choose your search engine from the list. Each of these makes picking the site you want to search with fast and easy.
SmartSearch provides six common sites from Amazon to Google. AnySearch, on the other hand, offers 17 options. With major sites like Bing and Yahoo! to specific ones like Facebook and YouTube, the variety is good. AnySearch also provides a custom search engine addition feature along with the option to set your default.
Do You Use Search Extensions in Safari?
From supporting environmental and social organizations to simply quicker ways to search various engines, Safari certainly has extensions to help. Do you use one of these tools and swear by it? Or, do you just set the default site in your Safari settings and go?
Feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comments!
Image Credit: Watchara via Shutterstock.com