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Is the interface between browser and search engine not explicitly defined? Why can't I add an arbitrary web application as a search engine for chrome?

(I know ... for business reasons ... but isn't Chrome open source? How is this in practice prevented?)

You can. In fact, Chrome automatically creates search engines for any site you search on. I can search Amazon by typing "Am<tab><query><enter>" in the address bar for example, and Chrome learned how to do that automatically despite not having any knowledge of how Amazon's search system works when I first installed it.

I guess the only difference is that with this change, DDG is available as a search engine by default with a blank install, even before you've actually used it.

Chrome uses open search for the amazon search. It's not some chrome magic.


Well, the automatically picking it up thing arguably is some Chrome magic.

You can add an arbitrary web application as a search engine for Chrome, just like in any other modern web browser.

You go to Settings > Manage search engines > Add or pick one of the auto discovered ones. This also works in the mobile versions of Chrome.

You can find more instructions here: https://support.google.com/chrome/answer/95426

Fwiw: this has always been the case, since Chrome 1.0.

Today I learned something new. It is actually pretty cool.

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