Here’s a test: if you want to visit a specific website, and know the exact address (for example, www.anamosalibrary.org), where would enter it in the web page shown below? Box Number One or Box Number Two?
You will save yourself an extra mouse click or two if you chose Box Number One.
It’s called the “address bar” for a reason – it will instantly transport you to the web address you’ve typed in. Just click once anywhere in the address bar – any existing text should turn blue. Then, just start typing. Old text will be replaced by your typing. When done, hit the Enter key on your keyboard and away you go.
Too often people use Box Number 2. However, this box is intended for general internet searching, when don’t have a specific page you want to visit. If I type www.anamosalibrary.org in Box Number Two, instead of going directly to that page, I’ll see a page full of listings where that search term appeared, most of them not of any interest to me (see below).
In this case, the link I’m interested in happens to be the #1 choice but next time you might not be so lucky, leading to further searching and potential frustration.
Here’s an analogy – if you know the street address of your Uncle Bill, you would simply drive straight to it. You wouldn’t waste time looking it up again!
Bottom Line: use Box Number One if you have an exact web address. Everything else, Box Number Two.
P.S. – the address bar in modern browsers like Internet Explorer, Chrome, and Firefox now pull double duty. You can do specific and general searches on the same line, thus making any search boxes lower in the page obsolete.