I am trying to switch my primary search engine for the fourth time now since 2010 and, like before, the search results are still not of the quality I'm used to (which are Google's).

Example: "pycharms add module", a problem I always have when programming Python is not on the first page at DuckDuckGo but the first answer on Google.

Instead of switching back to Google permanently, I'd like to try something different and I'm looking for a software that

  • adds a button to my toolbar or similar
  • when clicking the button, takes the search terms of my alternative search engine (which is DuckDuckGo at the moment, but might change) and opens Google with the same search terms
  • is gratis

Ideally, it would help me prepare a long term research and

  • record search terms on my alternative search engine
  • record whether or not I switched to Google with those search terms

2 Answers 2


For exactly this purpose I'm using Second Search. This addon extends the search box of Firefox:

Second Search Configuration
Second Search (click images for larger variant)

The screenshot shows this very nicely:

  • Type the word/phrase you want to search for
  • Hit Enter to search with your default search engine
  • Use Cursor-Down to pick one of the search suggestions
  • Use Cursor-Up to select an alternative search engine

The last 5 used search-engines (besides the default) are kept for quick-picking. The default search engine (used on "simple Enter") is indicated directly below the search box. Plus, as you can see, it's easy to add other site's search engines (if they are offering such via OpenSearch Meta tags).

How it matches your requirements:

  • adds a button to my toolbar or similar: Yes, indicator next to the search bar.
  • alternative search engine plus default search engine fired together: Unfortunately not. But the search term stays in the search bar for a few seconds (configurable, see second screenshot), so you could hit it twice.
  • gratis: Yes.
  • recording ("ideally"): I'm not aware of this.

I'm using Second Search for several years now and don't want to miss it, so I can really recommend it – though it's not a 100% hit of your wishes.


Install Classic Theme Restorer, Do 'CTR preferences > Searchbar > Old search', then populate search bar with your favorite engines via the Mycroft Project. (Note that Mycroft itself has a search plugin, used to search for other search plugins, of which there are thousands.)

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