I've recently noticed Chrome's "Destination Search" doesn't work for sites with unconventional search-form HTML. Not a big deal itself, but I think there's a broader lesson there about standards.
OK, what is Chrome "destination search"? Here's an example. If I start typing "cnn.com", Chrome suggests "Search cnn.com for <enter query>":
If I select that option, or if I finish typing out "cnn.com", Chrome presents what I'll call a destination-search box in the address bar or the browser:
See the light blue search button for the specific site in the address bar? If I enter a query there, Chrome searches CNN for "obama" (or whatever), using CNN's own site search.
Chrome can do this because it "understands" the site search box on the destination site.
I noticed Chrome Destination Search works for some retailers (Crutchfield, Zales) but not others (Overstock, PetCo), and wondered why.
After some poking around, I think that using non-conventional HTML forms (eg using Javacript submits) in your site search confuses Chrome. I'm not 100% certain, but this held for the sites I checked. If Chrome can't figure out your site search, Chrome doesn't give your site the desirable Destination-Search presentation.
Now, Chrome has under 5% browser share, so who cares about any of this? Valid point. Four thoughts:
I'd wager that Google drives Chrome marketshare during 2009, perhaps reaching 15% by 2010.
If better markup leads to better presentation in Google Chrome, might not the same hold for Google natural search results too?