The wrong way to search Google in Firefox
by James Somers, August 23, 2009
The default Firefox toolbar looks like this:
Notice how the “quick search” box on the right uses Google. This seems convenient, because it’s giving you easy access (⌘+K) to the world’s most powerful search engine, until you realize that the address bar already does this. If you type words in there instead of a URL, it’ll automatically direct your query to Google.
But Firefox obfuscates that fact by putting the Google engine in the quick search box, with two pernicious effects:
- Users assume they have to use that for their googling, and so may never learn about all the cool things the address bar can do.
- Users lose the option of having another more targeted search engine—I use Wikipedia—because they think it’ll be at the expense of Google. But of course you can use both: Google in the address bar (⌘+L) and Wikipedia as the quick search (⌘+K).
This wouldn’t irritate me so much if it weren’t for the fact that every time someone else uses my computer, they remove my Wikipedia engine and re-select Google.