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How To Search All Craigslist Sites At Once Using Firefox Keywords…

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Craigslist, with its bbs-inspired aesthetic, is a great site for finding things locally; we use it all the time. However there are times when it would be great to be able to search all the individual Craigslist sites at once. This is particularly true when trying to find rare, antique or otherwise obscure items (for example a Ferrrai 246, or just the right wheels for our vintage BMW 6 Series).

Since Craigslist is based on a local model, manually searching the globe via Craigslist would entail searching thousands of sites individually. We present a double shortcut today: a Firefox keyword search that lets you search every Craigslist site by entering just two letters in your address bar plus the item you’re searching for.

For those unfamiliar with Firefox’s excellent keyword feature, it allows you to assign shortcuts for your address bar that populate a web site’s input fields. Here’s a quick example of how it works which you can try right now:

1) Open a new tab or browser window.

2) Go to http://www.imdb.com/

That’s the Internet Movie Database site.

3) Right click in the web site’s search bar and select “Add a Keyword for this Search…”

Right click in the search box and select "Add a Keyword for this Search..."

Right click in the search box and select "Add a Keyword for this Search..."

4) In the box that appears, type “imdb” (without the quotation marks) in both fields. The first field is the name you’ll be saving this keyword as; the second field is the actual shortcut. Click the “Add” button.

Type "imdb" in both fields.

Type "imdb" in both fields.

5) Now go to your address bar and type “imdb dark knight” (again, without the quotation marks) and hit enter. You’ll be taken to the Internet Movie Database’s results page for a Dark Knight search.

Try typing "imdb dark knight" into the address bar.

Try typing "imdb dark knight" into the address bar.

imdb.com's search results.

Keyword result: imdb.com's search results.

Now, anytime you want to search for a movie, you need only enter “imdb” into your address bar, followed by a space and the name of the movie – you’ll get the same result as if you’d visited imdb.com and entered the name of the movie in imdb.com’s search bar. This works with any site and is a great time saver.

OK, time for part II: a global Craigslist search with a keyword.

1) Go to http://www.google.com.

2) In the search field, right click and select “Add Keyword for this Search…”.

3) In the Name field, enter “Craigslist” (no quotations).

4) In the Keyword field, enter “cl” (again, no quotation marks). Click the “Add” button.

Adding keyword information.

Adding keyword information.

5) Open your bookmarks and right click on your “Craigslist” bookmark. Select “Properties”.

Right click your Craigslist bookmark and select "Properties".

Right click your Craigslist bookmark and select "Properties".

6) In the Location field, enter “http://www.google.com.my/search?hl=en&q=site:craigslist.org%20%22%s%22&meta=”

Not to be ridiculously repetitive, but no quotation marks please!

Click the “Add” button.

Adding our global Craigslist search parameters.

Adding our global Craigslist search parameters.

That’s it.

From now on, whenever you want to search all the Craigslist sites in existence for an item, simply enter “cl” followed by a space, followed by the name of the item you’re looking for.

Searching all Craigslist sites for a Ferrari 246.

Searching all Craigslist sites for a Ferrari 246.

Ferrari 246s everywhere!

Ferrari 246s everywhere!

NOTE: the above keyword searches for exact matches (ie the equivalent of enclosing a phrase in quotation marks in Google). If you prefer to search results with the included words but not the exact phrase, substitute the following for the Location field in your “Craigslist” Properties dialogue:

http://www.google.com.my/search?hl=en&q=site:craigslist.org%20%s&meta=

The perfect wheels for our 6 Series - thanks, Craigslist Nashville!

The perfect wheels for our vintage 6 Series - thanks, Craigslist Nashville!

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Written by westcoastsuccess

July 22, 2008 at 11:04 pm