The address bar in Internet Explorer 9 is used both to type the address of websites you want to browse and to search the web. By default, it uses Bing to search the web but you can install other providers such as Google. If you are looking for other search providers, search no more as we have a list with the most useful you can find in the Internet Explorer Gallery of add-ons.
Top Search Providers for Internet Explorer 9
Here are the best search providers you can find:
- Google Search - this looks like the "official" Google search provider for Internet Explorer. It works as you would expect, providing also dynamic search suggestions.
- Google.com with suggestions - this seems to be the most popular Google search provider for Internet Explorer. However, you should know that it is not provided by Google but by a website called Open-search.eu, owned by a German programmer named Stefan Jutzi. All of your searches will be handled through his website. According to the home page, "the search is done in private mode, which means there are no previous questions included in the results list."
- Youtube Search - many people use Youtube as their second most used search engine. Therefore, Internet Explorer could not miss providing a search provider for it. Trouble is, it doesn’t support search suggestions. I don’t know about you, but I find them useful.
- Wikipedia Visual Search - this is a great search provider. Not only does it helps search for content on Wikipedia but it offers both search suggestions and a small visual preview of the results. Really awesome! Wish other browsers had this.
- Amazon Search - if you use Amazon to buy things often, you must install this search provider. Just like the Wikipedia search provider, it offers both search suggestions and visual previews of the search results. Really useful!
- Wolfram Alpha - if you are a big fan of Wolfram Alpha and you want access to all kinds of math computations, interesting statistics or useful information, you should use this search provider. If you are not very familiarized with Wolfram Alpha and its power, check out this article: Ten Things You Can Do With Wolfram Alpha.
- Facebook Search - this is a useful search provider for all Facebook users. However, in order to use it, you need to first login to Facebook. Also, its icon in the list of search providers is a generic magnifier icon, not the Facebook logo.
- Qrobe.it Search - if you are like me, you sometimes want search results from more than just one search engine. Luckily, Qrobe combines Bing, Google and Ask results. This can be a better way to search.
The Big Misses - Image Search, Twitter, IMDB, Dictionary
While looking for the most useful search providers available for Internet Explorer, I’ve noticed some important misses:
- Image search - there are no useful options for searching images. There is a Bing Image Search provider but it doesn’t seem to be working. Your only choice is to use the default Bing search provider that comes with Internet Explorer. You should type image: before the search term you want to use for finding images. Also, there is no provider for Google Image Search.
- Other useful web services - Twitter is missing even though it is made available for other browsers. Movie rating services such IMDB or Rotten Tomatoes do not have search providers. Actually IMDB has one provided by some weird/unknown company and it doesn’t work. I often use online dictionaries such as Dictionary.com and Internet Explorer doesn’t have a search provider, even though there are some accelerators available for it.
As you can see from this article, Internet Explorer has quite a few good search providers available, some even cooler than those you can find on other browsers (see Wikipedia and Amazon visual search). However, there are some big misses as well, like the ones mentioned in the previous section.
If you know of any other good search providers for Internet Explorer, don’t hesitate to share them using the comments form below.