No matter how you search Google, you always get to the same place. And if the standard search results page isn’t doing it for you, you’re out of luck.
Unless you’re using these extensions designed for improving your search.
The following Chrome extensions make Google’s search capabilities more powerful in a variety of ways. Some give you better results. Others let you navigate more quickly to what you’re looking for.
1. Fast Advanced Google Search
Google’s advanced search capabilities make it easy to narrow down the results that you get from a search. But getting to those options takes a few clicks—and if you use it regularly, that time adds up.
Fast Advanced Google Search lets you run a search with the advanced parameters with a single hotkey. Just hit Alt + G and the extension pops up a search bar for you. You can run an advanced search without ever leaving your keyboard.
You can also rearrange the fields so the ones you use most are closer to the top of the panel, saving you even more time.
Download: Fast Advanced Google Search
2. Google Search Filter
Everyone has preferred sites that they like to see results from—and probably a few they don’t, too. With this extension, you can highlight the former and hide the latter.
For example, if you add MakeUseOf.com to the “highlight” section, you’ll see search results like those above. And if you add another site to the “hide” list, you won’t see search results from that site at all.
This can save you a lot of time if you know which sites you trust and which you don’t.
Download: Google Search Filter
3. View Image
Google recently annoyed many people by removing the View Image button from its image search results. The easiest way to get around this problem is to use this extension, which simply reinserts the button back into the search results. Simple enough.
Download: View Image
4. Search by Image (by Google)
Google’s reverse image search is a great tool. Just tell the search engine which image you want to search for, and it returns similar results. It’s great for seeing if anyone has ripped off your photos, figuring out where a picture was taken, or just for finding similar items.
The Search by Image extension makes it easy to access this type of search. Just right-click any image, and select Search Google with this image.
You’ll be brought right to the results page.
Download: Search by Image (by Google)
5. Context Menu Search
If you often find yourself searching for a phrase that you read on a page, Context Menu Search can help you save a bit of time. Just highlight a piece of text, right-click, and select the search engine you’d like to search with.
You can add your own search engines too—so you could search Wolfram Alpha, DuckDuckGo, or any other search engine that you prefer.
It might not seem like this will save you much time, but if you come across a longer phrase that you don’t want to retype, it’s very convenient.
Download: Context Menu Search
6. Google Scholar Button
Scholar is one of Google’s most useful tools, especially for students. And with this extension, you can search for the full text of an article with a click. Just highlight the name of the article, then click the Google Scholar button.
If the article is available online or at your university library, you’ll be able to download it.
You can even use the app to generate citations in your preferred format so they can be copied and pasted directly into your document.
Download: Google Scholar Button
7. Google Similar Pages
If you find something you really like, it can be hard to figure out how to search for similar pages. There are services that can help you, but it’s nice if you can just click a button to get recommendations. That’s what this extension does.
When you’re on a page that you like, just click the Google Similar Pages button and you’ll see a list of the pages Google thinks are similar. Click one to head there.
Download: Google Similar Pages
Google’s instant preview was a cool feature that let you get a quick peek at a page before you opened it from the search results page. That functionality is gone, but a few extensions have taken its place.
SearchPreview is one of the more popular ones because of its simplicity: you’ll see thumbnails next to entries in the search results. There’s no icon in the menu bar, which is great if you have a lot of extensions that you need to manage already.
9. Search the Current Site
While the name of this extension isn’t very exciting, it’s extremely useful if you have a tendency to run single-site searches on Google using the “site:” operator.
Instead of doing that, just click the icon and enter your search term. Google will search every page on that site for your term.
Download: Search the Current Site
10. Faster Google Search
When you click a Google search result, you’re not immediately taken to the page. Instead, you go to a page hosted by Google, which immediately redirects you back to the page you’re trying to get to.
Why? So Google can update their tracking and popularity information.
Faster Google Search skips this process and brings you directly to the page you’re trying to go to. How much time will it save you? Depending on your connection speed, possibly a couple seconds per click. That adds up.
Download: Faster Google Search [No Longer Available]
11. Infinite Scroll for Google
If you tend to go through several pages of search results, this extension can help you save time on every search. Instead of paginated results, you’ll see each result on a single page that scrolls forever.
And because the extension doesn’t load the next set of results until you scroll to the bottom of the page, it won’t significantly increase the load time of your first search.
Download: Infinite Scroll for Google
Many people like to avoid using the mouse, instead favoring keyboard shortcuts wherever possible. This extension is for those people.
Google used to allow you to select and open results using the arrow keys and Enter, but this functionality was removed. Resulter brings back keyboard shortcuts for Google search, along with a few other convenient shortcuts that will let you move through results more quickly.
One of the coolest features is the ability to bring up a popup pane with the search results even after you’ve clicked on one of them. This lets you move between results without going back to the results page.
Get Better Results From Google
Google is the dominant search engine in the marketplace. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be improved.
With these extensions, you can get better results from every Google search you run. Whether it’s more accurate results, faster load times, or more convenient navigation, you can get it with a few clicks.