There are lots of ways to improve the Google search. Most of them are already built-in, like adding a dash (-) to exclude all results for a certain word, tilde (~) to search including more synonyms, site: to search for information on a single website etc. I rarely use those, occasionally they come really handy. But now I’ll talk about extending Google’s possibilities with new features Google introduced recently, but also by installing new add-ons and extensions, that make search faster, better and more interesting.
1. Jump straight to the info you need
Mostly when you search for a phrase and you click on a search result, the thing you’ve been looking for isn’t there. I mean you have to scroll or use the find tool to find what you looked for. Google quick scroll for Chrome lets you do just that, it jumps straight to the relevant content.
It works by displaying a pop-up windows in the bottom right corner of your browser, that contains snippets of text from page that matches your query. Just click one of these snippets to read full section. And probably most important, quick scroll is very unobtrusive appearing only when you need it, and it’s really useful for pages with lots of text.
2. Get endless-scrolling search results
Is this a viable thing? I mean how often we go on 2nd or 3rd page of Google search? Rarely, at least me. Nevertheless if you are usually going down deeper making the search results go to infinity is a good idea. If you are using Chrome check for Fastest Chrome, or its sister add on if you use Firefox, FastestFox.
3. Remove redirects from search results
If you already haven’t noticed, Google redirects you after clicking on a link in search results to track your clicks in order to analyse your browser habits and later personalize your search results. Try copying a link from search results. It won’t be the link of the page you’ll get to after you click the link, it will be a long Google link. Anyway to remove this on Chrome, install Remove Google Redirects. It works for nearly all Google’s services, like Google Play, Google Plus, Google Maps etc. If you’re using Firefox, use Remove google search redirects.
Basically this speeds up your searches and protects your privacy, because you’re always taken straight to the desired page.
4. Add favicons to your search results
Probably the best way to make results from trusted websites stand out from dodgy blogs and content farms is to display a favicons. Favicons are tiny logos that are displayed in your and bookmarks menu – next to them (usually on the left).
Faviconize Google let’s you do just that, making your Google search safer and faster. The sites you visit often are easier to spot.
If you are using Firefox and have Greasemonkey add on, install this to get similar Favicons,
5. Stop spam clogging up your results
Even though Google is working hard to remove all irrelevant and spam pages from search results, containing no useful information for you and have been set up only to earn money through page views and advertising. You can easily stop these worthless sites appearing in your results by installing the Chrome add on Personal Blocklist.
And no need to block mattcutts.com ,as it’s a blog of a really cool person!
Personal Blocklist automatically detects worthless pages and content farms, removing them from your search results. Also you can block sites manually by clicking on Block (shown on the image above) below the site’s address. If you want to unblock a domain, just click the Personal Blocklist toolbar icon and remove it from the blocked list.
6. Combine Google with Bing
Are two heads always better than one? I wouldn’t be so sure, but at least in this case it should be true. You can boost your searches by running Google alongside it’s main rival, Bing. Lots of websites provide this, inluding Qrobe which combines results from Google and Bing in a single, endless-scrolling page.
Then there’s Askboth which displays results side by side and also finds matches for your query on Twitter. If you are not satisfied with Google and Bing “only”, Specra uses both of these and Yahoo to get the best possible results. You can use Specra’s slider bars to decide which search engine is given greatest and least priority in combined results.
7. Add DuckDuckGo to Google
Is Google itself the best search engine possible? Well depends, for most of the internet users I’d say yes. But you can always make it better, cooler. If you still haven’t give DuckDuckGo a try, you definitely should. Install DuckDuckGo extension on Chrome, or add on for Firefox and when you run a Google search, you’ll see a zero-click info from DuckDuckGo at the top of the page.
This provides instant answers to search queries, such as definitions of words; images; and top results from different categories your search term is related to – for example people, places and products. Click on “See DuckDuckGo results” to switch from Google to Duck.
8. Search Google by highlighting text
Most of the browsers now let you look up for words and phrases on websites just by highlighting them. All you have to do is highlight the word or phrase, right click it and choose “Search Google for [highlighted word or phrase]“. But this can be done much faster, by installing the Chrome extension Highlight to Search, on Firefox install Search Highlight add-on.
Just highlight a word, click on the search button and choose on of the options from the drop-down menu. The options are the same as auto-complete suggestions that appear when you start typing into Google’s main search box. Don’t worry, search results open in a new tab so you don’t lose your place.