Sunday, March 02, 2008

Easy Way to Manage Google Search: Enhance Search Productively

Of all of us who use Internet, almost everyone would visit Google every once in a while. In fact, if we count the number of queries on Google by us, it would out-number the "O's" in Google :)

Anyway, with every passing day & with the amount of information being indexed by Google, the search process is bound to get complicated. More so, finding the most relevant, would now become a Herculean task in itself.

Some of us do employ tricks to narrow down are searches, these include file-type searches, site specific searches and so on. Many such tips & tricks can be found on Nitin Pai's Web-log Techtracer, here & here. Some of them were news for me. For e.g.: A file type search query would be like

(search terms) filetype:pdf / doc / ppt and so on or

(search terms) / .edu / .net and so on

Still, such a process is lengthy for me. Why not shorten our search process even further! We can, if we use Firefox.

Firefox Custom Search Plugins We all know about the search bar in the top-right corner of the Firefox window. Mozilla provides us with some custom search plugins.

We will just design a few custom search plugins for us. These plugins would save us from typing extra parameters in Google search query. Every search plugin would take care of specific Google search patterns.

In the end, we only have to select the right Google Search Plugin and type in the query, leaving the rest to Google.

I am including a few of these Google search plugins, which I use. You may also like to use them, feel free to download the Google Search Plugin. All you have to do is to save these plugins in Program Files --> Mozilla Firefox --> searchplugins. After you do this, restart Firefox & we are ready to use these custom Google Search Plugins.

Save any plugin you like!

For Scholars: Google provides 2 very good services, viz, and So, instead of opening the respective sites first, we just need to select the relevant search plugin and type in the query. Below are some plugins:

For Movie Aficionados: In order to know about show-times of movies or read reviews, we have to log on to The following Google search plugins for Firefox, let us know about the same in a jiffy.

Google Movie by Show-times in Your City Plugin (for e.g.: Movies in New Delhi)

Google Movie Review Search Plugin (for e.g.: Review of The Matrix)

For Frequent Travelers or For Arranging Business Meetings: Several times in our workings we have to call overseas, ignorance about the time gap between the two countries may lead to embarrassing situations. Further, when traveling such info is of great use. Google again has come to rescue

Google - Country Time Search Plugin [ for e.g.: New Delhi Time ]

Google Weather Search Plugin  [ for e.g.: New Delhi Weather ]

Miscellany Google Goodies: No further need to log in to Just use the plugin here. And further, get the definitions on anything by using the Google Define plugin.

Google Images Plugin

Google Define Plugin

Google Experimental - Straight from the Google Labs: A few experiments that Google is dabbling with right now is the Timeline search, which basically deals with the available history over anything. (for e.g.: This is a time-line search on humans). Or may be just like we use labels on our blogs, get results in the similar fashion from Google. (for e.g.: This is a Left Hand Contextual Search on Humans)

Google Timeline Search Plugin

Google Left Hand Contextual Search Navigation Plugin

Hacks / IT Productivity Tips: If you are tech savvy, or look for hacks to improve your online experience, you might every once in a while log onto blogs like lifehacker, digital inspiration and so on. I use a Google Custom Search Engine, which sieves relevant information from some of my selected blogs. Helps me a lot and saves me much time. Below is the Firefox Search Plugin for my custom search engine. Save it, you may find it useful. I keep on adding sites to it, as and when I find a good one.

Productivity Tips Plugin

Once again, all you have to do is to save these plugins in Program Files --> Mozilla Firefox --> searchplugins. After you do this, restart Firefox & we are ready to use these Custom Search Plugins.

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