There are situations, where we want to be able to directly trigger a search query on an external website. A common use case would be to redirect users to specific product pages in certain online shops. As long as our search terms are quite specific – as for example the ISBN numbers of books – it should be possible to directly access the shop’s product pages, eliminating the usual steps in between.
Using Chrome Developer Tools to find the query URL
An easy way to find out the URL, that contains the proper query parameters, is provided by many browsers‘ Developer Tools. If you were to use Google Chrome, it would take the following steps:
- On the site you’re interested in open Chrome Developer Tools.
- Go to the „Network“ tab.
- Use the site’s search form to do a search. Try to be as specific as possible, using the provided extended search options, e.g. a search for the ISBN.
- In the „Network“ tab scroll to the top and have a look at the first few lines. They should contain the URL, that triggered the search. And no, it’s not necessarily identical to the one showing in the browser’s address bar, since the request may have been directed to a static page.
- Copy the URL and adjust it for your needs. If it contains multiple query parameters, try to identify unnecessary ones by removing them and repeating the search through the browser’s address bar.
A short list of German language online book stores search URLs
Done. That’s all there is to it. And in case someone’s reading this, who – like me – is researching in the context of German/Austrian book stores, these are my results – leaving out the protocol part of the URL:
- Amazon.de: www.amazon.de/gp/search/?field-isbn=
- Brunner: www.brunnerbuch.at/list?isbn=
- buch.de: www.buch.de/shop/home/suche/?sq=
- bucher.de: www.buecher.de/search/query/
- Frick: www.buchhandlung-frick-webshop.at/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/SearchCmd?storeId=55233&langId=-3&searchTerm=
- Herder: www.herder.at/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/SearchCmd?storeId=48750&langId=-3&searchTerm=
- Hugendubel: www.hugendubel.de/de/quickSearch?searchString=
- Kuppitsch: www.kuppitsch.at/list?isbn=
- Mayersche: www.mayersche.de/index.php?cl=search&searchparam=
- Morawa: www.morawa-buch.at/detail/ISBN-
- myBookShop: mybookshop.shop-asp.de/?wk=
- Osiander: www.osiander.de/details.cfm?isbn=
- Thalia: www.thalia.de/shop/home/suche/?sq=
- Weltbild: www.weltbild.de/suche/
Tags: search, query parameters, query strings, search request url, book stores, buchhandlungen.