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Google is the default search engine for most of the world. It just works, doesn’t it? But that doesn’t mean it couldn’t be better. The right site or extension can improve your Google search experience tremendously.
Of course, this is assuming you already know the best Google search tips and tricks. These web apps and extensions add missing functions and features to Google. Regardless, you should know tricks like how to search within a site with Google.
1. Resulter (Chrome): Preview Search Results Even After Visiting Pages
Resulter is a new extension that speeds up how you browse search results. For that, it adds two functions: keyboard shortcuts and a preview pane.
The keyboard shortcuts make it easy to be a keyboard warrior with Google. Press Alt to number all the results, and then press Alt + <Number> to open that result. Alt + S lets you edit the query, and Alt + A opens all results in different tabs.
When you visit any link, you can quickly look at all the other search results through the Resulter preview pane. It’s a handy way to compare what you’re browsing with what the other results promised.
Try it out. It’s an extension that promises to change how you use Google over time.
Download: Resulter for Google Chrome (Free)
2. Impersonal.me (Web): Search Google Anonymously
Google is constantly tracking how you use the internet. It gathers data about you and then uses it to serve ads. This data also affects what search results are offered to you. Want to search with a blank slate? Try Impersonal.me.
This web app is just like the Google search engine, but gives you a few advanced options. It searches without your identity, which means it’s anonymous and protects your privacy. Impersonal.me also lets you set the language, the country of origin, and the domain.
Remember, Google offers different results based on which country you search from. That makes sense, of course, since different countries have different cultures. But if you want the “default” Google results that everyone is likely to see, Impersonal.me will tell you that.
3. Ruin My Search History (Web): Troll Google Search!
Google is constantly snooping on you, and it has accumulated a lot of information about you. There is a way to find out what Google knows and manage it. But how about trolling Google instead?
Ruin My Search History is both a joke and a commentary on Google’s invasion of your privacy. Go to the site and click the button, and it will start performing automated Google searches right before your eyes. This is happening on your account, so Google is logging all these searches as your interests. And so Ruin My Search History comes up with weird, risque, and downright nasty searches.
The end result is that Google now has a garbled set of information about you, which isn’t the true you. And it’ll serve ads accordingly too. RMSH is a nice way to troll Google, but also to prank someone by running it on their computer once.
4. Result Preview (Chrome): Add Thumbnails to Search Results
Result Preview adds a thumbnail of the link next to the result. This is such a simple trick, it’s a wonder Google doesn’t offer it by default.
The results obviously take a little longer to load because of this, but you end up saving more time by not visiting unhelpful pages. The preview alone is enough to make up your mind, in most cases.
Result Preview is even better when you switch to searching for videos. Here, the thumbnail shows a series of screenshots from the video, much like how you see them when you hover over a clip on YouTube.
You might want to couple this addon with HoverZoom or other extensions to preview and read links without clicking them.
Download: Result Preview for Chrome (Free)
5. Google Similar Pages (Chrome): Search Without Searching
In the course of browsing the web, you’ll often come across an interesting page. And you want to see if there’s more like it. Google Search has an official extension to help you find similar pages.
Click the Similar Pages extension icon and it will quickly perform a search for pages like the one you’re on. You don’t get to see the search, you only see the results in the pane of Similar Pages. It saves you the hassle of searching for the right keywords or terms, or of even opening a new tab.
Be warned, it doesn’t always work perfectly. For a lot of sites, the results seem garbage (including for our own, MakeUseOf). But when it does work, it’s fantastic.
Download: Google Similar Pages for Chrome (Free)
What’s Your Favorite Google Search Trick?
My world changed ever since I found one amazing Google trick. Did you know you can open any result in a new tab by default? In your Google search settings page, go to “Where results open” and choose “Open each selected result in a new browser window.”
What’s your favorite Google search trick or extension? How do you save time with search results?