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Tech Tips, Tricks & Trivia

by 'Anil' Radhakrishna
An architect's notes, experiments, discoveries and annotated bookmarks.

A simpler way to configure a custom search engine within Chrome

If you use Chrome, you can configure a custom search engine so that you can get results by directly typing your search keyword in the address bar or "omnibox". If that search engine isn't marked as the default, you will need to identify that search provider with a keyword.

The steps below explain the simplest way to configure YouTube as a search engine that can be accessed from the Chrome address bar but the process can be extended to other websites as well.

So lets say, you dislike using the ad & clutter riddled YouTube to search for a video. You can skip a step & jump directly to the search results page after typing your keywords in the Chrome address bar or "omnibox".

Go to the YouTube site, right-click within the search box and select Add As Search Engine... from the context menu.

In the dialog box that appears, the text boxes will be pre-filled. You can choose to change the value for the Keyword box to YT instead of youtube.com

Now your custom search engine is ready. When you wish to search for a video on YouTube, type YT in the Chrome address bar and then press space or tab followed by the keywords you want to search by.

If you had to implement this manually, it would take a few more steps:

  1. Click the Chrome menu on the browser toolbar.
  2. Select Settings and find the "Search" section.
  3. Click Manage search engines.
  4. To add a search engine, scroll to the bottom of the dialog and fill out the fields to set up the search engine.
  5. In the first text box of the row, type YouTube
  6. In the second  text box specify a keyword by which you want to refer to the custom search engine, lets say YT
  7. In the third box, paste this - http://www.google.com/custom?q=site%3Ayoutube.com+%s&btnG=Search (in the URL site%3Ayoutube.com represents the site: operator which restricts the search scope to just YouTube.com)

click on images to enlarge

To search YouTube via a bookmarklet, you can use this code snippet:

javascript:var k=prompt('Keywords');

or just drag this link to your bookmarks bar - YouTube Search


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