Why Does the URL in the Address Bar Go to Google Search?


The three most popular web browsers as of early 2011 are Firefox by Mozilla, Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Google Chrome. All three browsers offer the ability to search from the address bar in addition to entering the address for a website. If a URL is entered in the address bar, it ought to take you directly to the webpage instead of a search page. If it doesn't, there is either something amiss with the address bar or the URL.

Internet Explorer

  • Microsoft's web browser is Internet Explorer. The search feature is available as either a toolbar add on or from the address bar. You can change the search provider and search options by clicking "Tools," then clicking "Internet Options." Click the "Customize" button next to "Search Options." Click on your preferred search provider, then click the "Set as Default" button in the bottom part of the window. If you want to remove a search option, click on it then click the "Remove" button. Put a check in the box if you want to prevent other programs from suggesting a change in your default search provider. Click "Close," then click "OK."


  • Google's web browser doesn't have a separate search bar or toolbar; it uses the same space for both the address bar and search bar. Enter any search terms in the same spot to open a Google search, or whatever your preferred search provider is. Click the wrench icon to the right of the address bar, then click "Options." Choose the search provider you want from the drop-down list. Click the button to "Manage Search Providers" if you want to add or remove search engines.


  • In Firefox the address bar has the name "Awesome Bar." Since it does double duty as the address bar and search bar, it is "awesome." The default search engine is displayed with a box to the right of the address bar, but anything typed into the address bar that doesn't look like a URL will open the default search engine. Click the arrow next to the icon for the search engine to see a list of search options. Click the option you want to change the default search engine.


  • The address bars of all three top web browsers look for the three parts of a Universal Resource Link: the type of connection, address and domain. The type of connection is typically Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP), but it might be secure (HTTPS) or a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) address. Next the address bar looks for the address that would be the middle part of a URL between "http://" and ".com" that identifies your specific web page. The final piece is the domain which is typically ".com" but can be ".net" ".edu" or just about anything else--individual countries each have their own domain. Most of the time, you don't need to enter the type of connection; you can just type "google.com" rather than "http://www.google.com" and still get to the website. However, if the website is not working then the web browser will return a search result since there is no web page by that name. Also, there is an error in the address or domain that would keep the URL from being recognizable, the web browser will return a search result. For example, if you were to type "google. com" (with a space between the address and domain) then a search page will be returned instead of going directly to the website.

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  • Photo Credit Simone Joyner/Getty Images News/Getty Images
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