Google Chrome’s Omnibox Blank Search Result: Simple Fix

I didn’t realize how much I use Google search on its Chrome browser until it didn’t work today. Searching for an article I would like to use as reference to my blog, I felt something wasn’t right when blank search result appeared every time I use Chrome’s omnibox — otherwise known as the browser’s URL address bar.

Was my machine infected? Is my Chrome version outdated? Did Google encounter technical issues that it had to stop issuing results through this medium?

A quick scan on Twitter’s real-time update turns out that I am not alone, as confirmed by The Next Web’s Jon Russell. A discussion from YCombinator reveals a solution.

A quick fix should be to reconfigure Google as default search engine result.

  1. Go to wrench settings symbol at the browser’s upper right section, just below the close (X) button.
  2. Click Settings > Manage Search Engines (under Search)
  3. Scroll down to the bottom of the list and you’ll see ‘Add a new search engine’
  4. Add the following information into the blanks provided for Add new search engine, keyword and URL with %s in place of query, respectively: Google 2 (or anything you like); Google 2 (or anything you wish) and; http://www.google.com/search?q=%s. The URL is a cleaner version of the Google search URL and should prevent the cryptic blank.html from showing up on results.
  5. Once you submitted this new entry, mouseover the URL and you should see “Make Default” button. Click this button so Chrome will use our new search engine instead of the buggy default engine.

The issue isn’t new but may only have affected more users recently, hence the increased volume of discussion. But hopefully, you’re able to use Google via Chrome browsers again. I tried to switch to Bing earlier but it just didn’t work out for me (results with Chinese characters even when I set preference to English language, lower quality results, etc).