Amazing Firefox Search Engines Selection

A friend expressed his annoyance at not being able to search for YouTube videos in Firefox via the search box in the upper right. One can click “Manage Search Engines” at the bottom of the search box dropdown to add search engines that may be missing from the default list. To my friend’s chagrin, YouTube was not among them. I dug around a bit to try to help him.

I quickly found the Mycroft Project at Mozdev lists a bunch of custom search engines you can add to Firefox (including Firefox 3) to fill your needs, with one click.

I’m assuming people are hunting these down historically as they’re missing from the defaults. The latest Mycroft stats page from the end of March shows the popularity of Search Engine plugins as thus:

  • YouTube
  • isoHunt
  • The Pirate Bay
  • Mininova
  • IMDb
  • Google Images
  • Youtube + Google Video

Lo and behold, my friend’s need for YouTube search happens to match the top downloaded Search plugin. One click and he was happily searching YouTube from Firefox.

Didn’t find what you were looking for in the top 25? There’s a search interface to find a huge selection of search engine plugins.

It’s also interesting that those I listed conform to A9′s OpenSearch plugins specification, which is purported to work in both Firefox 2+ and Internet Explorer 7+ (going by the legend at the bottom of the stats page.)

If any particular plugin is missing from the search plugins dropdown in Firefox 3 and is a candidate for inclusion in the default, it’s probably at or near the top of the Mycroft downloads list.

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5 Responses to Amazing Firefox Search Engines Selection

  1. Yeah these work great, I wrote a PHP script to auto generate these open search plugins for Google, passing on the parameters in the query string. Based on that I made quite a few plugins that you can download here, among which are plugins to search with gl=us, pws=0, etc.

  2. Brian says:

    Nice selection, Joost! I added the unpersonalized + last 24 hrs plugin :)

  3. Good to hear that, let me know if you need any others :)

  4. Mark Vozzo says:

    Another great Search Toolbar that is very extensible is the Groowe Search Toolbar – . It has heaps of search engines that are available via a drop down and you can easily create your own custom search bar for other sites.

    I am not associated to Groowe, just a huge fan. It’s an awesome toolbar that combines many of the feature of other popular toolbars (E.g. Keyword Highlight, Trends, News, Backlinks … and much more all-in-one. A great toolbar for a Search Marketer’s toolkit.

  5. Ian says: used to be directly accessible in FF 2.x – you used to click on “get more search engines” and you would go there directly. Now, one is taken to a long cumbersome page with misc extensions and a bunch of different crap stuff. Fortunately the add-on to search Mycroft ended up on that page, probably after people complained enough. Not sure if it’s a question of retraining myself to follow a different path than one I was familiar with, or if it’s genuinely bad usability, or if Mozilla doesn’t care about satisfying the searcher’s intent.

    Yeah I know I’m overreacting – I wouldn’t have ranted here except this is the only post I’ve noticed that even talks about this issue. It made me hopping mad until I finally went ahead and installed the Mycroft search add-on – problem totally solved.

    I think that Mycroft is one of the coolest things about FIrefox, which is why I think the developers might want to give folks easier access to it. Maybe I just have issues adapting to change. Either way, cool post, it’s nice to see Mycroft get some love.

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