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12 16 2010

A neat little trick I discovered tonight made me ponder the web’s addressing system—why worry about actual domain names when your Google rank can create a mass of usable terms to find your site? This may be old news to some, but making this modification to Google Chrome may change the way you think about browsing the web.

By changing the way Chrome treats your search queries in the address bar, you can type something such as ‘little snapper’—which you may expect to be at, but it’s not, it’s actually located at —and Google will magically find the correct url and take you directly to that page, no search result screen required.

The biggest implication of which is that I can stop thinking in domains and start thinking in descriptive terms. Google is the home page of a great many people, but removing this layer of searching and burrowing through results creates a much more fluid experience. You can still type a domain if you know it, but when you don’t, the internet does its magic.

Granted, Google probably doesn’t like this, as they lose out on the ad revenue of your page view of their search results. Such is the price of progress.

My edited version of the steps for modifying Google Chrome (on a Mac, others are probably similar):

  1. Right click your address bar
  2. Click ‘Edit Search Engines’
  3. Click the ‘Add’ button
  4. Name your search and give it a keyword. I used ‘Awesome’ and ‘lucky’
  5. In the URL field paste the following string:
  6. Click the ‘OK’ button
  7. Select the newly made search from the window
  8. Click the ‘Make Default’ button
  9. Close the options window and restart Chrome

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