Taming the Google Search and IE search provider

I really hate Google search service on one issue, the main search page by default chooses the language of the country of request origin. If Google had to proactively guess the language of my choice, they would have better used the “Language Preference” that I have set in the browser, but instead they blindly stuff everybody up with the language of the country of the requests origin.

For this reason I have set my home page to http://www.google.com/ncr which opts-out the ultra smart Google logic of throwing you onto the local countries locale search page. I believe NCR stands for No Country Redirect, but that expansion was not from an official channel.

This is more painful when you are searching the web using browsers inbuilt “Search Providers”. The user is simply thrown into the result page that is based on the foreign language, and clicking on the Google logo takes you to the main page with all your search result discarded into the void.

For Firefox, Opera and Chrome it was easy for me to customize the “Search Provider” through the built-in interface of the browsers, but on IE 8 there is no option to edit the exiting “Search Providers” (you can add, remove, enable, disable, move up, move down, but no Sir you cannot edit it!).

Fed-up with this restriction I went around the net to find the location where IE stored its Search Providers list and came across this blog post which described how to add default search providers by directly making entries in the registry.

It turns out the repository for all search providers for IE is located at

[HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftInternet ExplorerSearchScopes]

so, I edited my existing entry for Google’s provider from

http://www.google.com/search?q={searchTerms}&sourceid=ie7&rls=com.microsoft:{language}:{referrer:source}&ie={inputEncoding?}&oe={outputEncoding?}

to

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&num=50&q={searchTerms}&sourceid=ie7&rls=com.microsoft:{language}:{referrer:source}&ie={inputEncoding?}&oe={outputEncoding?}&safeSearch=false&safe=images&newwindow=1&gl=us

Now it stills returns me the results from the local data centre, but at least the interface is in English and I get to have 50 results in one go and results are set to open in new window and that’s neat!

References:

Steve Novoselac for providing with the registry location details of IE’s search providers

Google Search Protocol Reference

Peter “TCSM” Wailes for Google search parameter debunking

Cheers!

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