Things you want to know about websites


Set up Google Custom Search on your website

Having a search engine on your website is really beneficial. It provides a fast and easy way to find information. One thing i like about searching is that one can find all the pages that have information related to the keyword searched at once.

You can see the search engine on my site is google's custom search engine. The good thing about this search engine is that you can customize it to blend with the design or color scheme of your website.

The not so good thing is that this search engine only searches the cached pages of your website. Which means that if you make a change in a page or update it, it will only appear in results after google caches the page again. You can check the current cached pages of your site by typing in google search.

Integrating Google's search custom search feature on your website is easy. Infact if you have an adsense account you can even earn comission if some one clicks the ads that accompany the search results.

I have split this guide in 2 parts. In the 1st part, i will tell you how can you setup and customize the search engine initially. In the 2nd part, i will tel you how to further customize the search engine to achive better results.

To start, go to Google custom search and click 'create a custom search engine', this will take you to the next page. If you don't have a google account already, open one now.

google custom search


The next page ask you to fill in some basic information like name, description and sites to search.

For example, let's make a search engine for,

google custom search

click to see a better resolution image

Fill in the information and click next. The next page offers customization from 6 different styles.

google custom search

For demonstration, i am picking up the Bubblegum style. Choose any style you like and click customize. You can change the font style, font color, background color, results page color etc. Type a search query in the search box and click search, the results for that keyword from your site will be show below the search box. You can see the effects of your customiztion this way.

google searh customization

After you are done with the customization, click next. The next page will give you the code that you can copy and paste in the html document at the place where you want the search box to appear.

google custom search code

The search engine we have set up now will show the results below the search box on the same page. This theme is not desirable always as some times we want to apply the search box to a multi column layout or for optimal results, we may want the search results to appear on a new page. These issues are addressed in the 2nd part of the guide. Read on part 2, Customize Google's custom search for solutions to these problems.

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Customize Google custom search


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