Try This Search On

By Vaughan Chandler Last update Jan 14, 2009 — Installed 49,342 times.

Script Summary: Provides useful links to search engines based on the page that you're viewing or the search that you're performing.



NEW BETA VERSION: In preparation for the next release I have released a beta version of Try This Search On for testing. Please read the notes on that page before installing the beta. Feedback is appreciated.

SCREENSHOTS


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Try This Search OnTry This Search On

OVERVIEW


This script provides links to search engines based on the page that you're viewing. For example, doing a regular search on Yahoo will give you links to do the same search on Google, Live, Wikipedia etc, while viewing an IMDb page for a view will give you links to search Amazon, Flixster, Rotten Tomatoes etc.

Links are currently provided as follows:
  • General Searches: Amazon, Ask, Google, Live, Yahoo, Youtube, Wikipedia
  • Bit Torrent: btjunkie, Demonoid, isoHunt, Mininova, Seedpeer, The Pirate Bay, Torrentbox, TorrentReactor, Torrentz
  • Images: Amazon, Ask Images, Devil Finder, Flickr, Google Images, Live Images, Photo Bucket, Yahoo Images
  • Movies: Amazon, Fandango, Flixster, IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, Yahoo Movies
  • Music: Amazon, AOL Music, Last.fm, Real Music, Yahoo Music
  • News: Ask News, BBC, CBC, CNN, Fox News, Google News, Live News, MSNBC, Slashdot, Yahoo News
  • Shopping: Amazon, eBay, Google Products, Yahoo Shopping
  • Tech Shopping: Amazon, Newegg, ThinkGeek, TigerDirect
  • Videos: Amazon, Break, DailyMotion, Google Videos, Justin.tv (new),Live Videos, Megavideo, Metacafe, Yahoo Videos, Youtube
When a search-type is detected you always have the option of clicking "swap" to see the general search links instead.

PLEASE NOTE: Upgrading this script will revert all settings to their default values. If you customized your search engines you should copy and paste the settings to a text editor before upgrading so you can reapply them. If you have not done any customization you have no need to worry. Hopefully the next release will make this step unnecessary.

FEATURES


The script will show a search bar based on the search you're performing or the content on the page you're looking at. In addition to those above, sites on which the script creates a search bar include: a9, allmusic, allmovie, allgame, Answers.com, DevilFinder, Digg, Download.com, eBay, Facebook, Flixster, Sourceforge, Stumble Upon, Userscripts.org (plus many, many more).

Context Searches: There are two types of searches: General and Context. Context searches are those that the script detects as being within a certain category such as searching for images, music or movies. Searches that do not fall into a known category are considered to be general searches. For general searches you will get a search bar with a variety of mainstream search engines. For context searches you will get a search bar with links to similar search engines/websites. Context searches also make a 'swap' link appear on the right side of the search bar. Clicking on that link will toggle between the context search links and the general search links. Alternatively, holding CTRL when moving the mouse onto the search bar will make the general search links show, and holding ALT will make the context search links show.

Keyword Stripping: The script now has a feature called keyword stripping. This feature removes certain words from your search queries so that the resulting links will hopefully be more useful. For example, searching Google for "Music by Green Day" or "Green Day Songs" will give you links to search music sites for "Green Day" instead of the original query. (See the customization section if you want to disable this).

Referrer Checking: If you've already clicked on a search result and moved away from the results page, the script can still show you a search bar based on the URL of the previous page. However, this feature is disabled by default since it can make the search bar appear when you might not want it to. To enable this feature see the customization section below.

Requests, bug reports and general feedback are welcome. Go over to the discussions page

CUSTOMIZATION

Clicking on the question mark on the right side of the search bar will make a customization popup appear. This popup allows you to change which search engines appear for each type of search and in what order. It also lets you define your own custom search engines and decide whether the bar should appear at the top or the bottom of the page.

Since this is the first version to have customization there are no issues with upgrading. However, when future versions are released upgrading this script will overwrite any customizations you make. This is currently a required method of operation in order to ensure that all changes in the new version are applied properly. Therefore, you may wish to copy and paste your customizations to a text editor before doing an upgrade so you can apply them again after upgrading.


How do I Remove a Search Engine?

To remove a search engine simply delete its ID from the text box. For example, to prevent Yahoo Movies from showing when you do a movie search delete "_yahoomovies_" from the text box labeled "Movies Search". You can always add it back later by re-entering that ID.


How do I Re-order the Search Engines?

To change the order search engines appear in, just change the order of the IDs in the relevant text boxes. Be sure to keep the underscores on the sides and to keep a space between each ID.


How do I Add a Built-In Search Engine?

By default, all built-in search engines are enabled for at least one search type. However, you can add the built-in search engines to any search type you wish. Just enter the ID for the search engine with an underscore on each side. A link showing all available search engine IDs can be found on the customization popup.


How do I Add a Custom Search Engine?

Custom search engines are added in the "Custom Engines" text area near the bottom of the customization popup. Each custom search engine requires 3 pieces of information:
  • ID - used in the text boxes in that same popup to determine which search engines appear for each kind of search.
  • Name - the text that will appear for the search engine in the search bar.
  • URL - the address to link to, with the characters %s where the search query should be.
A sample custom search engine is included in the script - it adds an engine to search Google and force it to show 100 results - the entry for it looks like: google100, Google 100, http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=%s&num=100 This engine can be used by putting _google100_ in one of the text boxes and it would result in a new search engine, "Google 100", appearing for that search type.

To figure out what URL to use for your custom engine, go the search engine you want to add and do a sample search. Look at the URL in the address bar - somewhere in it you should see the words you searched for. If you replace those words with %s you'll have the URL you should use.

All custom engines should have unique IDs. However, if you add a custom engine with an ID that already exists for a built-in search engine, the custom engine will override the built-in one.


I Tried to Customize the Script and Completely Messed it Up...

The simplist solution, which should work almost all the time, is to click on the question mark to bring up the customization popup and then click on the "Restore Defaults" button. This will, as the name implies, return all the settings to their default values and should fix any problems.

If that solution fails, or if the bar doesn't appear at all, you can uninstall the script from Greasemonkey with the "Also uninstall associated preferences" checkbox checked, and then reinstall the script.

Of course you can always ask for help on the discussions page too.


Why does Pirate Bay have Extra Underscores?

In the "General Search" text box the ID for Pirate Bay is written like __thepiratebay__ (with 2 underscores on each side). By default the script looks at your resolution and determines how much stuff the search bar can hold based on the width of your screen. If your resolution gives you over 1024 pixels in width then the script uses "widescreen" mode. In this mode it will show search engines with double underscores, otherwise it will not. Also, in widescreen mode the script will show more characters of a long search query.


Are There Any Other Options?

There are other options but they are not as easy to change since they require editing the script itself - if you make a mistake you might stop the script from working (which can be fixed by reinstalling it).
  • Referrers: The script can check the referrer (the page you came from) for search terms if none are found on the current page. However, this is disabled by default because the search bar may show up when its not wanted. To enable this feature set the value of "checkRef" to true (near the top of the script).
  • Amazon Links: By default links to amazon sites created by this script will contain an affiliate id that allow me to earn money if you purchase something from them after clicking on the link provided by this script. This has no effect on how much you pay. If you really don't like this, it can be disabled by changing the value of "affiliateLinks" in the script to false (near the top of the script). Note that links existing in web pages are never altered.
  • Widescreen: By default the script will switch to a widescreen mode if it thinks your monitor is big enough (or rather if your resolution is high enough). In this mode it shows a bit more stuff in the search bar, in certain situations. Changing the value of "highres" (near the top of the script) to 0 or 1 will force widescreen mode to either on or off, instead of being automatic.
  • Strip Keywords: By default the script will strip certain keywords from the query. For example if you search Google for "Music by Green Day" you will get links to search music sites for "Green Day". If you prefer to keep the search query unchanged, change the value of "stripKeywords" to false (near the top of the script).

RECENT UPDATES


Last Updated Jan 13 2009 (Thanks to VzjrZ for the suggestion):
  • Added option to position bar on either the top or bottom of the screen.

Previously Updated Dec 7 2008 (Thanks to blockx for several suggestions):
  • Added ability to add custom search engines.
  • Added ability to modify which search engines appear for each type of search and the order in which they appear.
  • Added ability to switch between general and context searches by holding CTRL or ALT when putting the mouse over the search bar.
  • Added auto-update feature.
  • Added/Improved support for several sites including:
    • Billboard.com, Last.fm, geizhals.at
  • Added Justin.tv to context searches for videos.
  • Added "keyword stripping" to provide more useful links.
  • Improvements in detecting search types.
  • The appearance of the search bar should not vary as much depending on the site it appears on.
  • Handles special characters in queries better.
  • General code clean-up plus a lot more comments.

Previously Updated Oct 12 2008:
  • Added links to last.fm and Real when doing audio searches.
  • Added links to Break, Daily Motion and Mega Video when doing video searches.
  • Added ability to detect searches on Bit Torrent sites and link to other torrent sites:
    • btjunkie, Demonoid, isoHunt, Mininova, Sendpeer, The Pirate Bay, Torrentbox, TorrentReactor, Torrentz
  • Improved/fixed detection of searches on CNN, IMDb and Wikipedia (and some others).


Other Scripts

If you like this script you might also like a couple of my other scripts: