Setting or customizing default search engine in Avant 2013
Posted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 9:43 am
The method for specifying the default search engine is somewhat different in Avant 2013 from what it was in earlier versions. In Avant 2013, the Search Engine options in Avant Browser Options look like this:
To use one of the engines that are pre-configured in the Web Search tab, (Google, AvantFind, and Yahoo), just put a check in the box for the search engine you prefer, click Apply, and your chosen engine becomes the default search engine for the Search Bar. However, there are some factors regarding the search engines in Avant 2013 which are not apparent in Avant Browser Options and that you should be aware of.
AvantFind is “powered by Yahoo! search,” so the search results are a subset of what you’d get by searching with Yahoo. However, Yahoo now gets all of its search results from Bing, so both AvantFind and Yahoo return similar results to what you’d get if you used Bing. Therefore, you’re probably better off setting up a user-defined search engine for Bing, since that’s what you’re really using anyway when you choose either AvantFind or Yahoo.
If you check the box for Google, you’ll be using the Google search engine, but you won’t get the same search results you’d get if you searched from google.com or google.com/advanced_search. You can easily see this for yourself by searching for something using the Google search preconfigured in Avant and then searching for exactly the same thing using the regular Google search from google.com. Compare the results and observe the differences in the URLs in the address bar. If you were to search for 'cow' with the box for Google checked in Avant Browser Options > Search Engine, you'd observe that the URL would look something like this:
http://google.avantbrowser.com/Search.a ... TF-8&q=cow
When you search for ‘cow’ from google.com, the URL looks like this:
http://www.google.com/#bav=on.2,or.r_qf ... 1750&q=cow
(The second URL may vary slightly depending on whether or not you have changed any of the Google search settings and whether or not you are logged into your Google account.)
Note that the first URL starts out with google.avantbrowser.com, not http://www.google.com, as it does when you search from the Google home page or as it did when you provided Google search URLs in earlier versions of Avant (such as http://www.google.com/search?as_q=%s for the standard Google search in Avant Browser Options > Search Engine). google.avantbrowser.com links to Google Custom Search (check out the logo on the search-results page, which says "Google Custom Search," not just "Google”), while http://www.google.com links to the standard Google search.
There are some undesirable effects of checking the box for the pre-configured Google search in Avant Browser Options (thus assigning Google Custom Search as the default search engine for the Search Bar) in addition to the customized search results. Google Custom Search prevents any Google search settings you have altered at https://www.google.com/preferences (*) from being applied, because you cannot log in to your Google account when using Google Custom Search (there is no login link on Google Custom Search pages). Also, if you use any Greasemonkey scripts with Google (like Schmoogle), they will not function with Google Custom Search.
* (https://www.google.com/preferences is the page you see when you click the gear symbol near the top-right corner of any regular Google search-results page and then click Search settings.)
Here is how to avoid using custom search engines and ensure that you are using the regular Google search engine (or any other search engine of your choice):
1. Go to Tools > Avant Browser Options, and click Search Engine in the list on the left.
2. Click the Add button near the bottom.
3. In the Search Engine dialog box, enter a name for the search engine in the Name field.
4. Enter the search URL for the search engine in the URL field (for Google, enter http://www.google.com/search?as_q=%s).
5. To use a shortcut for this search engine, enter the character(s) for the shortcut in the Shortcut field.
6. Click OK in the Search Engine dialog box, and then click OK in Avant Browser Options.
Regarding step 4, to determine the exact URL string to enter, go to the engine's home page http://www.google.com, http://www.bing.com, etc.) enter a search term, and when you initiate the search, copy the portion of the URL (in the Address Bar) to the left of the search term. For example, if you searched for 'cow' on the Bing home page, the URL that appears in the Address Bar when you start the search would be:
http://www.bing.com/search?q=cow&qs=n&f ... &sp=-1&sk=
Since you searched for 'cow', you'd copy the portion of the URL to the left of the c in 'cow', which is: