I'm a big fan of the 'omnibox' in Google Chrome (the combination search / address bar) - in particular I love the 'custom search engine' feature which essentially lets you define keyword shortcuts. (I've blogged before about using the feature to remove personalized results from Google.)
I'm a very heavy user of Open Site Explorer - the link analysis tool built by SEOmoz - and have set up my own omnibox shortcuts to give me quicker access to it.
How to Set it Up
Step 1 - Click the Wrench symbol and select 'Options'
Step 2 - Click 'Manage Search Engines'
Step 3 - Enter the details
Chrome will ask you for a name, keyword and URL. The 'kewyword' is the term that you can type at the front of the omnibox to fire off one of these special queries. The URL is the page that Chrome will take you to; everything after the keyword will be inserted into the URL wherever you mention '%s'. I recommend setting up the following keywords - just enter the information into the three boxes and hit Enter to save the shortcut:
For quick access to Open Site Explorer:
- Name: OpenSiteExplorer
- Keyword: ose
- URL: http://www.opensiteexplorer.org/links?site=%s
To find the links to a page:
- Name: OSE Page Links
- Keyword: links
- URL: http://www.opensiteexplorer.org/links?filter=follow&source=external&target=page&group=1&site=%s
To see a site's top pages:
- Name: OSE Top Pages
- Keyword: top
- URL: http://www.opensiteexplorer.org/pages?site=%s
How to Use
With one or more of those shortcuts set up, you can now test them out. If we were using these as 'traditional' search engine shortcuts, you would type your keyword followed by a search term in the omnibox. However, these will be most useful when you're already on a page, and its URL is in the bar. Place your cursor at the beginning of the URL (I usually click on the URL and then press home) and type one of your shortcuts followed by a space.
When you type the space, the keyword becomes an explicit 'Search...' message. Press enter, and you'll be taken straight to the Open Site Explorer page or report that you were looking for.
The shortcuts I set out above were just the ones that I find most useful. If you have other Omnibox shortcuts that you use - for OSE or other SEO related tasks - or if you have a favourite site that you'd like to know how to hook into in this way, leave a comment below.