Searching is probably the one activity that every Internet user does on a daily basis. It does not really matter if it is a student doing research for the next essay, a housewife looking for new recipes, youngsters looking for the latest music videos on Youtube or a couple looking for a new health insurance or weekend vacation.
Most Internet users search for information regularly and Firefox users are in a great position as the browser ships with the means to add search engines and extensions to it that improve and extend the process significantly.
Too much choice on the other hand puts some pressure back on the user who now has to test extensions to find suitable ones.
That's where this article comes into play. It lists the Firefox Search Extensions that you need to search the Internet professionally. They help you find the information you are looking for faster and efficiently.
With that said, it should be clear that you should not install all 24 of them in the browser.
The following list contains useful search plugins that can speed up the information finding process tremendously. No toolbar plugins have been included in the list.
Update: Links pointing to extensions that are not compatible with recent versions of Firefox have been removed.
General Search Plugins:
Add to Search Bar - Lots of websites provide search forms which can be used to search the contents of those sites. The Add To Search Bar plugin makes it possible to add those to the list of Firefox search engines so that the search can be conducted from the search function in Firefox.
Advanced URL Builder - Add custom searches to the Firefox right-click menu.
CacheIt! 1.0 - It happens sometimes that a website is not responding. It could be down or moving to another server. CacheIt provides access to cached versions of the page so that the information can be retrieved even if the original website is not responding.
Context Search - Only Google Search is available by default when highlighting a term in Firefox. This plugin adds additional search engine options to the menu so that the user can perform searches on Yahoo, Amazon or eBay.
Cooliris - Formerly Piclens. Provides 3D browsing for Image and Videos searches. Creates stunning effects.
CyberSearch - Supercharges the Firefox 3 Location Bar with search results that appear instantly. Perform searches in the location bar without having to open a search engine.
Dict - Look up Word definitions of highlighted words by right-clicking them and selecting the appropriate action.
Find In Tabs - Perform searches among multiple tabs. This works pretty well in conjuction with the MultiSearch plugin.
HighlightAll - Pressing Control F in Firefox opens a search form that allows the user to search on the active page. Highlight All highlights all occurrences of the search term on the page making it easier to find them.
Interclue - Find out what's behind a search result before clicking the link.
MultiSearch - Ever wanted to search for multiple search terms at once? MultiSearch steps in and makes that possible. Just enter search terms and a comma delimiter to open search results for each of the terms in individual tabs. The terms Firefox, Mozilla, Thunderbird would open three tabs each displaying search results for one of the terms.
Search Keys 0.8.1 - Search Keys adds keyboard navigation to search results pages of Google, Yahoo and Delicious. Instead of clicking on a search term the user can press the assigned number on his keyboard to open the website. This makes it possible to perform a search and open results without using the mouse at all.
Searchbar Autosizer - Automatically resizes and clears the searchbar. Can also revert back to the default search engine. Useful add-on for minimalistic Firefox themes.
Surf Canyon - Search Engine Assistant - A search assistant that automatically recommends and ranks search results based on the users choice. It can pull data from search results pages that are currently not shown to the user.
Who Is This Person? - Highlight a name on a webpage and search for information about that person on sites like Wikipedia, Facebook and Google News.
Site Specific Search Plugins:
Bug.gd Error Search - Bug.gd is a user driven website that contains a huge database of errors and solutions. This search plugin adds the error search to Firefox.
Coogle - Highlights the search phrase on websites that have been discovered by searching on Google.com.
Customize Google - Removes unwanted information like ads from Google search results and adds additional useful information like search options on other search engines to it.
Delicious Bookmarks - Keeps the Bookmarks of Delicious and Firefox in sync.
GooglePreview - Adds thumbnail previews of the websites in the search results.
Locator - Locates highlighted addresses on Google Maps.
Webmaster Specific Search Plugins:
SearchStatus - Displays a wealth of information about the current website in the statusbar. This includes the Google Pagerank and Alexarank. Provides Link Reports, whois search, keyword density and nofollow link options among others.
SEOQuake - A useful extensions for webmasters who want to optimize their pages for various search engines.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.