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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Short Search URLs

Short Search URLs

I just had a neat idea for advancing a step in the short URL rage. I myself find short URLs very useful. I use snurl.com (sn.im) and often find my custom abbreviation of choice :)

My idea also spawned from the fact that I use search shortcuts in Chrome, to search directly in custom websites.

For example if I type "glotnl" into the Chrome omnibar followed by a Dutch word, it will lookup the Dutch word instantly, directing the browser straight to the page: http://interglot.nl/woordenboek?word=probleem&SrcLang=1&DstLang=2
(see below for how to set up a custom Chrome search URL)

It would be ideal if I could do this on any browser anywhere in the world at any time (lol) and this should be achievable by combining the short URL concept with the pre-programmed search concept.

So to cut to the chase, I want to be able to create a short URL, like for example sn.im/glotnl that I can place a search term after, e.g. sn.im/glotnl/probleem that will translate to:

Maybe an idea for Google to put through their labs.



To set up a custom Chrome search URL:

Go to the spanner icon in the Chrome toolbar (on the far right usually) then choose Options and click the Manage button next to where it says "default Search". Here you can add your own custom search URLs and give them each a keyword. Then you just need to type that keyword in the Chrome omnibar (the place where you type www.blahblah...) followed by your search term and boom.

A search URL is defined by using the URL of the search results page and inserting %s at the position where the search term should be. So for example my search URL for interglot.nl is
http://interglot.nl/woordenboek?word=%s&SrcLang=1&DstLang=2. I then have "glotnl" as my keyword. So Chrome knows that when I type the following in the omnibar:
glotnl probleem 

Chrome automatically fills my search term "probleem" into the URL I defined and takes me straight to: http://interglot.nl/woordenboek?word=probleem&SrcLang=1&DstLang=2 - voila!

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