Search Google Sites Directly From Your Browser – Fast Friday Fact

The Swine Flu-free version of Big Thinking For Small Business*

This Fast Friday Fact won’t win you any bar bets and isn’t as cool as some new Star Trek toy, but it is a time saver for touch-typists.    You can search any Google site, including that big search engine, directly from your browser’s address bar.

Google in 1998
This is Google 10 years ago.  Don’t think search will always look the same.     Image via Wikipedia

This is an incredibly fast, incredibly easy way to send a query to any major Google site and have your browser display the answer.  You need to add three things to the www.google.com address:

1.   The language.  If you can read this, your English is fine.  The code for this is #hl=en

2.  What you’re searching for.   The code for this is &q=abc123, where abc123 is your search query

3.  The service you are searching.   This command defaults to the search engine, but you can select Google News, Google Images, Google Maps and so on.  The code for this is /site right after the www.google.com followed by a question mark.

Using this method is a breeze and much easier than the step-by-step directions.    Put the few bits together and search for anything.

A search at Google’s search engine for the company producing this blog would be simply:

http://www.google.com/#hn-en&q=silver beacon marketing

If you want to search on the exact phrase, use the same command you would at the search engine and type this:

http://www.google.com/#hn-en&q=”silver beacon marketing”

Suppose you wanted to read the news about the big Washington Capitals – Penguins playoff series starting tomorrow and Caps superstar Alex Ovechkin?   Simply follow the same formula above and add a forward slash (/) and the word “news” right after the google.com section.  Then change the code for the language (which you can’t skip) from a number sign to a question mark.  The direct query is simply:

http://www.google.com/news?hl-en&q=ovechkin

Try it on all the sites:

http://www.google.com/maps?hl-en&q=1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Washington DC

This technique works with any major service that Google offers:   books, finance, blogs, etc.

Once you get the hang of typing direct queries especially for news, image and map information, you may never use a search box again!

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*Because we’re not mentioning the strain of influenza that has caused dozens of people to become sick, and sadly, 10 confirmed deaths, think about this diabetes fact I learned today from the ADA’s crack Communications team: An adult in the U.S. is diagnosed with diabetes every 20 seconds. Here’s one more: diabetes contributed to more than one death every 5 minutes in 2007. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

We’re co-chairing the official Northern Virginia StepOut for Diabetes walk. If you want to walk or donate to help stop these incredible death rates, visit my StepOut page now. In the time I needed to write this footnote, 5 more people were diagnosed with diabetes — a lifelong, degenerative disease.

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