I’ve long used a shortcut in firefox to do google searches. Rather than relying on the tiny built in search box, I just type “goo blah blah blah” in the URL box and it uses a special bookmark I created to search “blah blah blah” on Google. I’ve also set up a few others as well.
What’s really easy is that they make it extremely easy to set up new search shortcuts. Just right-click on the search box on almost any web page, and you should see an option in the popup menu to add a keyword for this search.