Don't ask, and ye shall receive…

Ask.com must be on a media-spending binge at the moment; it seems as if every time I start Firefox, the search box and address bar search defaults have been changed. Ask has been mucking around with my Google Chrome, as well!

I had to de-Askify Firefox this morning. The steps are below. Directions for Internet explorer and Google Chrome will be posted soon, too.

Firefox has two search appliances built into it; one as a search bar and one incorporated into the address bar.

Changing search bar search default

This is very simple. The search bar usually resides in the upper right-hand corner of your browser and is decorated with the current engine’s logo next to a drop-down arrow. Simply click on this arrow to see a list of the available engines and select the one you’d like. I, dutifully, selected Google…

Changing address bar search default

With FireFox you can search simply by typing your search terms where you see your current URL. As an FYI, this location is called the “address bar”. When this method is used, a configuration item called “keyword URL” is used (the URL used when keywords are typed in the URL line). To change this, you need to do a whee-bit of homework….

Getting keyword URL configuration item

  1. Go to your favorite search engine and search for something
  2. Copy the result URL line
  3. Place the “query” query string parameter at the end and delete the search terms
  4. Use this as your keyword URL configuration item

How-to example of this process using Google.com:

  1. Go to Google and search on “IMPACT Creative Solutionists
  2. Copy the resulting URL from the address bar: https://www.google.com/search?q=impact+creative+solutionists&ie=utf-8&…
  3. Remove extra “junk” leaving the important parts such as: https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=impact+creative+solutionists
  4. Make sure the query (q=) is at the end of the string and delete the terms you search on leaving: https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=; this is what you want to use for your “keyword URL

Changing “keyword URL” in Firefox

Now, the the string formed for the search engine of choice, we need to change the configuration parameter within Firefox.

  1. In the address bar, type “about.config”; if doing this for the first time, you have to promise you won’t be naughty and break anything… go ahead and be a deviant… let’s stick our fingers into the engine’s goo… ;)
  2. Enter “keyword.url” in the search filter
  3. Double click entry, opening a dialog box where you can edit the current value
  4. Enter the search engine string constructed in the last step, in this case it was “https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=

There you go, you’ve sanitized your search experience in Firefox. Enjoy.

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