Firefox Logo It looks like Mozilla has decided to change the “I’m Feeling Lucky” search in the address bar of Firefox 2 to a “Browse By Name” search. If you are like me your first thought was probably “what the heck is browse by name?” One thing it definitely didn’t sound like was a type of search.

Initially you may not realize a difference between the two because I didn’t. If I typed “Microsoft” into the address bar it would pop-up with Microsoft’s Homepage right away. The key to “Browse By Name” is that it will only take you to the Website immediately if Google is sure that the first result will be what you are looking for. If it doesn’t think the first result is correct it will take you to the Google Search page. That may sound even better than the “I’m Feeling Lucky” but I don’t think it is.

Sure it worked fine when I searched for Microsoft, but if I search for something obvious like “Stanford” it doesn’t take me to the Stanford Homepage…instead I am sent to the Google Search page for “Stanford.” I search Google so often that I know what the first result should be…and in that case I will search for it in the address bar. If I know that the result will not be the first on the list I will use the Google Search box in the upper-right corner of Firefox.

I posted the search box above with the two different buttons so that you can compare which option you like better. Just like most of the features in Firefox you can change the way this works in just a few steps. This even works in previous versions of Firefox, such as Firefox 1.5, which is nice if you really like the Browse By Name feature. Play with both to see which one you like better:

  1. Start Firefox.
  2. Just right-click on one of the following links and copy the URL to the clipboard:
  3. In the Address Bar type about:config and press Enter.
  4. Find the option that is named keyword.URL and double-click on it.
  5. Paste the link into the box that you copied from Step 2 and press OK.
  6. That’s all!

I am interested to hear which type of search people prefer so post your thoughts below!