One thing that I’ve always enjoyed with Google’s test site, SearchMash, was the powerful sidebar that it included. It gives users quick access to videos, images, Wikipedia, blogs, and more. Determined to find a way to get similar features on the Google search page I decided to turn to Greasemonkey.
The script that I came across is called Google Extra, and it does everything that I wanted it to. It utilizes the extra space on the right side of the search results to display:
- Images – Six small thumbnails are shown, and hovering over a thumbnail will show you a larger version.
- Videos – Grabs four videos from YouTube, and if you hover over one of the thumbnails it will flip between three thumbnails from that video.
- Wikipedia – You’ll see a condensed excerpt from Wikipedia.
- Dictionary – A nice list of definitions for the word you’re searching for.
The thing that really makes this script nice, however, is the ability to reorder the four different sections so that they are organized with your most useful ones first. If you don’t use one of the sections very often, such as the videos, just minimize it. Your settings are remembered for every search you perform.
Heads up: Don’t be concerned if you perform a search and don’t see the four different sections pictured above. It’s designed to only display a section if it actually has matching results, so most of the time the Wikipedia and Dictionary results probably won’t show up.
You probably have some speed concerns, which is understandable given that several different sites have to be queried in order to display the extra data. After all, you don’t want to compromise Google’s split-second search results. Don’t worry, the script is well designed so that it will load after your search results. Basically you won’t notice any speed decrease in how long it takes to show the search results, but the overall page will obviously take an extra second or two to load.
Google Extra Script
Note: This script uses Greasemonkey-specific features, and for that reason it won’t work in Opera.