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Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Google Chrome Address Bar Search Generates Internal Site Search Queries

I stumbled across a feature in Google Chrome today that I wasn't aware of.  First off you can use the address bar for search, everyone knows this, type something in and it displays a Google search results.  Today I was doing some SEO testing and typed in - Lawn Tractor - to see where we ranked.  To my surprise the result was the search results page not the Google Search results.  It seems that when you type in a URL and a keyword after it Google then executes a search query on that site.  A great user experience but I wonder how, if and when Google will monetize this.  It takes queries away from the auction and, for us retailers, it dives the customer into a deep relevant landing page - the internal search results for the query.  Maybe in the long run it will be treated like a brand term but for now this is a very interesting advancement for Chrome and the overall browser experience.

Here is an example:

Starting a search in the address bar on Google Chrome - notice that the second option is an internal search query.

When I add the keyword, in this case lawn tractor, the keyword turns into a "Search" icon:

I complete the search and instead of the expected Google search results page I am delivered the internal search results for the lawn tractor query just if I had done it on the site:

So far it seems to work on most of the major sites but not all are included.  In Canada, from an eCommerce perspective, it seems to only work on a few sites - Sears, Amazon & eBay.  Not sure what triggers it to work and I haven't found any info about this online, yet, so we will have to keep our eyes open.  All in, it is an interesting browser addition, improves the user experience and helps drive relevant results to the consumer.


John Hossack said...

Very interesting discovery. When I try and replicate what you have done from Vancouver, Chrome isn't behaving in the same way. What it is doing however is suggesting that I might want to search linkedin for jobs at "" (instead of suggesting an internal site search.

John Hossack said...

Just realized that it was searching linkedin because linkedin was set as my default search engine in Chrome (I wasn't aware of that). Once the default search engine was changed to Google, I still can't replicate your results (,, I'll keep trying...

Anonymous said...

You can basically do the similar thing (make your address bar double as a search bar) in Mozilla-based browsers (Firefox, Galeon, Camino, etc) using the %s variable and Keywords in Bookmarks. That feature is not unique to Google Chrome at all.