I am looking for the verb or expression to use to describe when for instance you type quickly and nervously on your computer keyboard, perhaps to find something (on a search engine for instance).
So it has to describe
- typing on a keyboard
- nervously and quickly
- that you are trying to find something
These are such unrelated concepts (especially the third one in connection to the other two!) that the chances of a language having come up with an expression to coincidentally exactly describe those three concepts applying all together are very slim at best.
The only time that happens is if and when the need for such an expression arises because people encounter the need to express the combined concepts quite often. Which I doubt is the case for this example.
However, apart from set phrases, you could introduce the concepts contextually:
He was frantically googling.
- Would indicate his use of a well-know search engine.
- Which in turn tells us is is trying to find something.
- Since we know that using google means we type things, we know he is typing.
- The use of frantically tells us he is doing it in what may be described as fast and nervously.
(I assume you meant a search engine, not a research engine...)
I don't think I have ever heard anyone use "Fumbling at..." in this kind of context.
...frenetically searching for something on the computer
"Frenetically" implies speed and possibly not 100% accuracy, whereas "frantically" just implies speed and possibly frustration at not achieving results faster.
Scrabbling might be a good choice.
Although the OED defines it primarily as a writing action:
"To make marks at random; to write in rambling or scrawling characters; to scrawl, scribble."
It gives further definitions that describe animal behaviour as:
"To scratch about hurriedly with the claws or paws; hence, of a person, to scratch or scrape about with the hands or feet" which gives a sense of the frenetic action of quick nervous typing.
The OED further defines it as "To struggle or scramble for (something)" which can also work to describe the struggle to find the sought information.
Then scramble is defined as "To collect or gather up hastily or in disorder" which again would give the impression of hastily collecting information.
Also, scrabbling sounds seriously onomatopoeic when you imagine clacking away on a noisy keyboard.