How To Hack Bookmarks Like A Pro

So the other day I came across a post from non other than the amazing Rhea Drysdale. Rhea is a real web tools guru she knows all sorts of tools and services that can put your productivity through the roof. One of the tricks that Rhea mentioned is Rae Hoffman’s approach to hacking bookmarks.

In short, Rae uses Firefox’s Bookmarks in conjunction with custom URLs to turn your address bar into a souped up search machine! Here’s a quick example of how Rae works her magic.

Rae finds a service that uses dynamic URLs such as She then runs a query through the service. As a result we get a URL that looks something like this:

Next Rae will replace the query in the URL with %s to act as a place holder. So the URL now looks like:

In Firefox Rae will go to Bookmarks>Organize Bookmarks, then right click on Bookmarks Menu>New Bookmark


So now when Rae goes to her address bar and types “who sugarrae”, she will get a fresh set of results from

Rae takes things a step further by using this hack to run analysis on pages and sites by using the URL in place of a query. For example if she wants to run a Whois check her setup might look like this:


Now when Rae types whois into her search bar a Whois report from appears.

Are you starting to see the magic here? If not here are a few of my favorite examples to get you started. Just copy and paste them into the method above.

Bookmarks with URLs:

Shorten URL’s

Social Bookmarking





View a Site as Text at

On Page Keyword Analysis

Translate any web page into English:

Bookmarks with Search Queries:

Google News Search (sorted by date)

Google Blog Search (sorted by date)

Google Maps

Get Yahoo results as a RSS feed:

Update Twitter

Have fun playing with these bookmarks and feel free to leave some of your favorites in the comments! Stay tuned for my next post where I kick things up a notch with this bookmark hack and JavaScript!


  1. Very useful information Joe.
    I remember watching Rae type queries into the address bar on her Mac and thinking to myself, “Don’t ask her what going on there, it’s probably just a stupid ‘I’m a PC’ thing and I don’t want to be stupid right now.” Glad to know I was seeing something that was fairly custom. Rae’s post on the subject was published a few months before I started reading her regularly, so thanks for this and the link back to that one!

  2. This is the stuff that Gekks are made of, you gotta love it.

    Simply fantastic and easy to implement.

  3. Good deal my friend, im test this, and i tell you

  4. hallo, i´m from france so my english knowledge is not that awesome. Please dont blame me. I try to read online journals to make my english better and say that your blog was perfect readable for me, because the english is really clear-thinking and all the article are perfect readable. I will keep on reading it, to improve my english even more. Thanks a lot 🙂

  5. Awesome Job once again. I really love visiting your website for the reason that you always give us informative pieces of information. Fabulous blog post…I plan to add this blog to my faves. I think I will subscribe to your feed also. I really like SEO and marketing!!

  6. I usually chat in elemele a lot of people hack me in that chat because they got hold of the hacking bookmark now I would like to have that bookmark on my phone because I only chat on my phone I don’t have a pc I have a blackberry 8520 curve and a nokia x3 slide please any one help me sending me the hacking bookmark my nr in SA is +27746825001


  1. […] reading Joe Hall’s tips on hacking bookmarks, I decided to set one up for, so I can quickly search for any of the 17 million US […]

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