How can I add an Amazon search box to my web page?
You have shown how to add eBay, Google, and Technorati searches to your own web page. Is it possible to add an Amazon search to your page, and how would you do it?
Of course it's possible! Everything is possible on the Web. :-)
My first step is to go to Amazon.com and do a search, just to see the resultant URL. In this case, a search for Harry Potter reveals this scary URL:
Way more than I ever want to explore, but I can't help be curious what happens if I clean up everything except the actual search pattern, producing the following shorter URL:
Ulp. Cut out too much and it doesn't work. Instead, let's work on getting rid of that ugly ref value. This URL does work:
a tiny bit more experimentation and we learn that a slightly shorter URL will work too:
Now we can reverse engineer the URL and turn it into a form. Everything before the "?" is the action of the form, and everything after is in name=value form, with those pairs separated by an "&" symbol. Tiny additional nuance: the "%3D" in the URL is an encoded "=" symbol, so we'll want to change that back as part of the code writing process. This means that the following should work:
<form method="get" action="http://www.amazon.com/s/">
<input type="hidden" name="url" value="search-alias=aps" />
Search Amazon: <input type="text" name="field-keywords" />
<input type="submit" name="Go" value="Go" />
Sure enough, it does. Try it here:
I admit, it's not the prettiest form we could create, but functionality-wise, I hope you can see how as with the other search boxes I've duplicated here, this is more a detective job than an HTML coding job.
Tip: Want to have the search results open in a new window? Add the attribute target="new" to the FORM line.
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