Google, the de facto standard for search on the internet, has made our lives a lot simpler by putting information at our fingertips. The ease with which we can find almost anything on the world wide web is quite astounding, even for those who’ve seen the search giant grow from a simple webpage to a multi-billion dollar giant. That said, Google is not perfect, that is, there are a few areas where a tweaker would love to get his or her hands dirty. Thankfully, though, there are some great Chrome extensions that fulfill that need without you having to learn any coding or scripting. So, without much ado, here are some of the best Chrome extensions for enhancing Google Search.
Search by image: A picture is worth a thousand words. But sometimes, just looking at the picture isn’t enough; you need more information about it, such as where it was taken, who took the picture and so on. This is especially true for the photos you randomly come across on the web, for which there isn’t much information available. Thankfully though, Search by Image, an innovative extension by Google allows you initiate a Google Search using any image on the web.
Once you install the extension, simply right-click on an image and select the option that says “Search Google With This Image”. Using reverse image search you’ll be able to find more information about the image like its dimensions, the location where it was taken, etc.
Google SSL Search: If you’re a bit too concerned about your security, then Google’s SSL search is the right tool for you. Though SSL search is not enabled by default in Google, a simple Chrome extension that goes by the same name enables the secure search by default on your browser.
AutoPager Chrome: When you’ve drowned yourself in hours of Googling, it does get annoying when you have to wait for the next results page to load. To remedy this problem, there’s a nifty little extension called AutoPager, which, once installed, automatically loads the next page of the site inline.
Not only does this work on Google, it also works on sites like LifeHacker, NY Times, Digg, eBay, Amazon, YouTube and more. Worth an install if you’re an avid Googler.
SearchPreview: Want to add a more visual touch to your search results? Then, you must try out SearchPreview. SearchPreview is a simple Chrome extension, which, when installed, adds preview images (thumbnails) to your Google search results. The images show up on the left side of results giving you a quick preview of what the site has to offer.
Google Quick Scroll: Let’s say you searched for “Cheetah speed” on Google. The first result you see is the Wikipedia page for Cheetah. Now, once you’re on that page, your eyes have to scan through half the page just to find the speed of the ferocious feline. To make sure you don’t end up wasting time like that, there’s an extension called Google Quick Scroll, which, as its name suggests, allows you to quickly scroll to that relevant bit of your search query.
So, on the Cheetah page, Google Quick Scroll will show up as a translucent black box on the right hand corner on the page. Clicking on the page will take you to the part where it explains the speed of the animal.
Highlight Keywords For Google Search: This extension works in a similar manner to the aforementioned Quick Scroll. However, instead of letting you scroll to the relevant bit, Highlight Keywords highlights the exact term you searched for. So, if you’d searched for ‘cheetah speed’ and arrived on the Wikipedia page for Cheetah, the extension will highlight all the occurrences of the term ‘cheetah speed’. Though not as facile as Google Quick Scroll, this add-on could come in handy for people who need more accurate results.
Sidebar: Sidebar is an extension which, once installed, adds a sidebar to the Google search results page. This sidebar contains additional results from Wiktionary ( synonyms ), Wikipedia, Twitter, Flickr, and YouTube. Even though the results look a bit cluttered, Sidebar does save a lot of time for people who usually end up searching for the same term on multiple sites. Furthermore, the extension also lets you control which search results are shown and how big or small the sidebar should look.
Image Credits: Jeffrey Beall