Customize Automatic Search for Internet Explorer using IEAK 11

Internet Explorer lets websites advertise any search provider that uses the open search standard described at the A9 website ( OpenSearch 1.1 Draft 5). When IE detects new search providers, the Search box becomes active and adds the new providers to the drop-down list of providers.

Using the Administrative Templates section of Group Policy, you can prevent the search box from appearing, you can add a list of acceptable search providers, or you can restrict your employee’s ability to add or remove search providers.

Automatic Search Configuration

You can customize Automatic Search so that your employees can type a single word into the Address box to search for frequently used pages. For example, you can let a commonly used webpage about invoices appear if an employee types invoice into the Address box, even if the URL doesn’t include the term. If a website can’t be associated with the term, or if there are multiple matches, a webpage appears showing the top search results.

To set up Automatic Search

  1. Create a script (.asp) file that conditionally looks for search terms, and post it to an intranet server here: http://ieautosearch/response.asp?MT=%1&srch=%2.

    For info about the acceptable values for the %1 and %2 parameters, see the Automatic Search parameters. For an example of the script file, see the Sample Automatic Search script.

    If you aren’t using IIS in your company, you’ll need to remap this URL to your script file’s location.

  2. On the Additional Settings page of the IEAK 11, click Internet Settings, and then click Advanced Settings.

  3. Go to the section labeled Searching and type intranet into the Search Provider Keyword box.

To redirect to a different site than the one provided by the search results

  • In the Advanced Settings section, go to the section labeled Searching and change the When searching from the address bar setting to Just go to the most likely site.

To disable Automatic Search

  • In the Advanced Settings section, go to the section labeled Searching and change the When searching from the address bar setting to Do not search from the address bar.

Automatic Search parameters

You must replace the Automatic Search script file parameters, %1 and %2 so they’re part of the actual URL.

Parameter Value
1% The text string typed by an employee into the Address bar.
2% The type of search chosen by an employee. This can include:
  • 3. Display the results and go to the most likely site.
  • 2. Go to the most likely site.
  • 1. Display the results in the main window.
  • 0. Don't search from the Address box.

Sample Automatic Search script

This is a VBScript-based sample of an .asp Automatic Search script.

<%@ Language=VBScript %>
' search holds the words typed in the Address bar
' by the user, without the "go" or
' "find" or any delimiters like
' "+" for spaces.
' If the user typed
' "Apple pie," search = "Apple pie."
' If the user typed
' "find Apple pie," search = "Apple pie."

search = Request.QueryString("MT")
search = UCase(search)
searchOption = Request.QueryString("srch")

' This is a simple if/then/else
' to redirect the browser to the site
' of your choice based on what the
' user typed.
' Example: expense report is an intranet page
' about filling out an expense report

if (search = "NEW HIRE") then
elseif (search = "LIBRARY CATALOG") then
elseif (search = "EXPENSE REPORT") then
elseif (search = "LUNCH MENU") then

' If there is not a match, use the
' default IE autosearch server
+ search + "&srch=" + searchOption + 
end if