I usually use Google as my search engine. Over the years, I’ve become accustomed to its interface and what I can expect from it. There are certainly other good search engines available, Bing and Yahoo being the two most prominent, but I’ve stuck with Google. It just suits me. Still, there are other times I want to search using something other than the standard Google search engine. Sometimes I want to search for Twitter posts, or Wikipedia articles or look for a picture. Doing those searches isn’t difficult by any means, but with a new extension for Google Chrome, called Quickrr Research, it’s a lot faster.
The idea behind Quickrr Research is that you might not want to always use the same search engine for every job. Yes, Google has the ability to search only specific websites. For instance, if you want to search Wikipedia for an article about the Boston Tea Party, you could do the following Google search:
site:en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ “boston tea party”
This would produce a list of results (currently about 1770 of them), which contains only search results from pages that originate from the English Wikipedia website. It’s a handy tool, but is obviously a bit more complex than simply typing “boston tea party” into a search engine. That’s where Quickrr Research comes in.
Once installed, you’ll see a new blue magnifying glass icon in your Google Chrome toolbar. Click this and a pop-up window appears with a text entry field and a few different search engines. By default, only Google is checked off. But you have seven more to choose from:
Using Quickrr Research to search any (or all) of those sites couldn’t be simpler. Type in your search query as you normally would, then check the boxes for each search engine you want to use. Then hit the “Go” button and new tabs will open for each search engine, showing your search results as if you’d manually searched on that page. It’s pretty slick.
I’ve used similar extensions before for Firefox, and Quickrr Research works pretty much as I expected. At the moment, my one disappointment is that what you see with Quickrr Research is what you get. Those eight search engines (the seven listed above, plus a standard Google search), are all you get. There aren’t more search engines hidden away in the preferences (there aren’t any configuration options), and you can’t add additional search engines. That’s the biggest failing of Quickrr Research in my view. Firefox users have the ability to add practically any search engine available, and adding a customized engine isn’t difficult. If Quickrr Research had the ability to do that, it would be absolutely perfect. As it is, it’s still good, but only if you want to use a few of those engines on a regular basis. If you want to use Yahoo and Bing, for instance, you’re out of luck. So… it needs to show a little bit of improvement, but it’s a good start.