Google “I’m Feeling Lucky” and Firefox Quicksearch

May 23, 2008

UPDATE: The below only works when you use one search term as the %s. Otherwise, your going to need to use + between terms. So use “lucky” or “i’m+feeling+lucky” when you type in the location bar, but not “i’m feeling lucky.”

The short answer:  add &btnI.

The long answer:

I use Firefox quick searches constantly, especially for site-specific lookups, and I can never remember the Google-ese for “I’m Feeling Lucky,” which I often use to avoid the intermediate (and usually unnecessary) step of going through the Google search results page.

So the steps are, search Google with a site-specific modifier, such as “a077 site:wordpress.com”. Bookmark the resulting Google results page in Firefox. Go to the Bookmarks menu, then right click on the bookmark you’ve just made (which will have an ugly name like “site:wordpress.com a077 – Google Search.”

Select Properties.

Now take a look at the web-address associated with the bookmark. Find the terms you searched with hidden within the url. So in our example above, the url might look something like this:

http://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Awordpress.com+a077&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

Now replace the search term you used with the wildcard character that Firefox uses: %s. So “a077” gets replaced with “%s”.

http://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Awordpress.com+%s&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

Not that the important parts of the above url come before the first & symbol. As far as I can tell, the url will work fine without those items, which are browser identification and so on. In fact, you should just go ahead and delete everything after the first &.


http://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Awordpress.com+%s&

Next, select a quicksearch term in the Keyword box. This is where the magic begins to happen, and it is well documented by other sites like Lifehacker. In the example above, if you select the keyword “word”, you can quickly search all of wordpress.com (or another site) by typing “word searchterm in the location bar of Firefox. So ctrl+L, type word and your search, and garner the Googley fruits of your labor so far.

This is all common knowledge. But this is the important part for me:

Add “btnI” at the end of the bookmarked web address. Case matters, so make sure the “I” is capital.

http://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Awordpress.com+%s&btnI

Now when you search from your location bar, Google will take you directly to the first website as if you had searched with the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button.

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2 Responses to “Google “I’m Feeling Lucky” and Firefox Quicksearch”

  1. artbyemily Says:

    You hadnt had any comments and I know how you feel I didnt get any comment either but I think that is really cool — did you figure that out yourself!!! If you did cool experiment

  2. artbyemily Says:

    thx for commenting on mine!


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