Firefox is the SEO’s browser of choice. Okay, we don’t actually know that for sure, but with all the SEO related plugins, shortcuts, Greasemonkey, Firebug, etc. how could it not be? One thing I love about Firefox is the ability to create customized shortcuts. A customized shortcut allows you to perform many search-related tasks quickly, without even going to the site you want to search on. Confused? Let me give you an example:
By typing “gg laser hair removal” into Firefox’s location bar, I can perform a google search for the term “laser hair removal.” In fact, if you have Firefox, this is already programmed in but with the shortcut “google” instead of “gg.” Try it now - type “google locksmith” into your location bar and watch the magic happen.
This is a simple example, but the possibilities are endless. I have shortcuts set up to do reverse phone number lookups by simply entering the area code and number “801 555-5555,” for example. The number “801″ is actually my shortcut and whatever is entered after it becomes my search query.
This is particularly useful for SEO because of the large number of queries you are running on a regular basis. Here are some examples of good search shortcuts that many SEOs might find useful:
- ld + URL (Yahoo site explorer for the URL specified)
- gl + URL (Link search on Google)
- gs + URL (Google site search)
- ait + searchterm (Google allintitle search)
- su + searchterm (Google term search + “submit url”)
You get the idea. These shortcuts do not come pre-programmed into Firefox (a few do, but not these ones). So if you would like to create your own, like the ones I just mentioned, here is how to do it. We’ll use the first example (ld + URL) as an example.
1. Perform the search you want to make a shortcut for
Go to yahoo.com and type in “linkdomain:google.com” - you can type in any URL, it doesn’t matter. You will be forwarded to site explorer.
Now the important piece of information you want to grab here is the URL. It should look something like this:
Go ahead and highlight the entire URL and copy it (CTRL+C or CMD+C).
2. Add the bookmark
While still in Firefox, click on the Bookmarks menu and select “organize bookmarks.” Older versions of Firefox might say “manage bookmarks.” A window will pop up with all your bookmarks. Click on “new bookmark…”
You’ll see a little window that looks like this:
So let’s go ahead and fill out the information to create our “ld + URL” shortcut. The name can be any arbitrary name, we’ll put “Yahoo Linkdomain Search.” For the location, paste in the URL you copied earlier. The keyword is the shortcut you are going to use to call up this bookmark, in our case we’ll enter “ld” for “linkdomain.” In the description write a short usage example. Here’s what it should look like when you’re all done:
Don’t hit “OK” just yet, we’re not quite done.
3. Customize Shortcut
Right now, if we typed “ld” into the location bar and hit enter, it would take us to our linkdomain yahoo search for google.com. We want to customize it so we can enter our own query each time. So go back up to the entry for location and find the part that shows the URL we searched for (http://www.boostengine.com/spacer.gif).
We’re going to erase everything after “p=” and before the “&” at the end of the URL and replace it with Firefox’s shortcut operator “%s”.
Wherever you put “%s” in the URL will be replace by whatever you type into the location bar after the shortcut. In this case, we would type in “ld somesite.com” and %s would be replace with “somesite.com” and we would be taken to a site explorer results page for that query.
You’re all done!
More shortcut ideas:
- dic + word (Dictionary word lookup)
- cddb + artist/album/song (Gracenote search)
- di + name (go directly to a dodgeit.com inbox)
- wi + IP address (whois lookup)
Pleas leave any other good ideas in the comments!