Three Cool Search Gizmos

These three simple little search gadgets each do one thing, but do their tasks very, very well. Sometimes less is more.

Our idea of “search” tends to be an all-encompassing quest for information. But in reality, each time we search we’re engaging in a very specific behavior. Sometimes we’re looking for comprehensive information. Other times we’re looking for a single fact.

Today’s three gizmos each help you accomplish a narrowly defined task. They aren’t a replacement for any of your other search tools, by any means. Nonetheless, they’re so useful you might find yourself using them on a regular basis.

The jux2 Browser Button

In my search resolutions for 2005 I resolved to spend more time comparing search results from different engines, rather than defaulting to a favorite. I mentioned jux2 as a great tool for testing search queries in two or three engines simultaneously.

The jux2browser button is a bookmarklet that installs in either Internet Explorer or Firefox, providing one-click access whenever you want to launch a comparison search on jux2.

If you’re running Internet Explorer, the jux2 browser button also runs in “extra cool mode,” allowing you to get a quick second opinion on any search results. Click the button when your browser is on any search engine‘s results page, and the button will automatically run a “What Am I Missing?” search on jux2, showing you unique, unduplicated results from other search engines that your search engine is missing.

The extra cool mode doesn’t seem to work with Firefox, but no worries: When viewed with Firefox, the jux2 home page offers a plugin for the Firefox search bar.

The Whois Source Search Plugin

As I’ve written, Firefox is a searcher’s browser. The search bar is built into the browser next to the address bar, and you can add virtually any search engine you like through Firefox plugins.

This includes “non-traditional” search services like Whois Source, one of the best Whois services for discovering domain ownership, server details and other information about web sites. The plugin allows you to run a Whois search on any web site directly from the Firefox search bar.

Most Firefox search plugins are available via the Mycroft project at As terrific as this site is, it has a lame approach to site architecture that doesn’t allow direct linking to specific plugins.

To find and install the plugin, visit the page using your Firefox browser. Scroll down to the “Computer” category and click this link (which also displays as in your browser window). On the “search results” page, scroll to the bottom of the page and click the “Whois Source” link—a popup window will ask if you want to “add the following search engine to the Search Bar.” Click OK and you now have instant access to Whois Source via the drop down menu on the search bar.

While you’re there, check out all of the other search plugins available for Firefox. Go ahead and install any that look interesting—if you don’t like them, uninstalling Firefox plugins is a snap.

Printer Friendly

Printer Friendly is a simple little bookmarklet that scans a web page for a “printer friendly” link and automatically loads that version of the page in the browser, saving you the effort of scanning the page for the link. OK, so not technically a search gadget, but I use it whenever I want to permanently save a web page in my Furl collection which I do search a lot.

This bookmarklet is just one of dozens available at Jesse Ruderman’s bookmarklets site—have a look around while you’re there.

Do you have a favorite search gadget or gizmo you’d like to mention? Join the Cool Search Gadgets discussion in the Search Engine Watch forums and tell us about it.

Search Headlines

NOTE: Article links often change. In case of a bad link, use the publication’s search facility, which most have, and search for the headline.

Affiliate Marketers Confront Chillier Google Policy
Media Post Jan 12 2005 1:39PM GMT
RSS Subscription Central?
Internet News Jan 12 2005 12:45PM GMT
Click Fraud: Somebody Is Cheating You
ClickZ Today Jan 12 2005 12:31PM GMT
Yahoo Inserts ‘Sponsored Links’ Ads Inside Auction Listings Jan 12 2005 12:23PM GMT
Google’s Affiliate Auction Process, FAQs
Corante Jan 12 2005 6:10AM GMT
Google facing Microsoft-style security, image issues
IT Managers Journal Jan 12 2005 12:32AM GMT
No misstep here: SideStep gets cozy on the Web
USA Today Jan 11 2005 11:54PM GMT
Jobs centers Spotlight on desktop search Jan 11 2005 9:47PM GMT
RocketNews Adds Local Television News Content
Search Engine Watch Jan 11 2005 8:15PM GMT
Web Search Clustering from Microsoft (and other Clustering Tools)
Search Engine Watch Jan 11 2005 8:15PM GMT
The SEM CEO’s Predictions, Part 2
ClickZ Today Jan 11 2005 8:14PM GMT
Yahoo Pushes Verticals In New Trade Ad Effort
ClickZ Today Jan 11 2005 8:13PM GMT
Ingredients of a Search Engine Friendly Site
Search Engine Guide Jan 11 2005 8:06PM GMT
S Korea’s NHN to Halt Search Service in Japan Over Yahoo Rivalry
Yahoo Asia News Jan 11 2005 8:05PM GMT
Yahoo Desktop Search: The 15 minute test drive
Netimperative Jan 11 2005 7:08PM GMT

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