Zedric Myers

Installing Google Custom Search

Est. Reading Time: 2 minutes

Google provides a simple way to install Google Custom Search on your website. It has a flexible layout to include one website, multiple websites or specific webpages. You can customize the colors and branding to match your existing webpages. Other features include auto-complete, thumbnails and ads.

To get started, you will need the following:

  1. A Google account
  2. Administration access to the website that you will be adding the Google Custom Search.

Once you have that information setup, you can start by logging into Google’s Custom Search Engine.

  1. Once logged in click “New search engine”.
  2. Add the website domain in the “Sites to search” field. You can add any of these into that field, individual pages (www.example.com/page.html), entire site (www.mysite.com/*), parts of a site (www.example.com/docs/* or www.example.com/docs/), or entire domain (*.example.com).
  3. Select the desired language.
  4. Click “Create”.

From here you can add it to your site by clicking “Get code”, and place it where you want the search box and search results to appear, following Google’s guidelines.

If you prefer to tailor the look and feel you can do that by clicking on “Look and feel” in the left navigation. The “Layout” tab includes overlay, two page, full width, two column, compact, results only or Google hosted. The “Themes” tab is where you customize the look of the results. The “Customize” tab allows you to edit the search box, search button, results and more. The “Thumbnails” tab allows you to turn on and off from viewing in search results.

After that, click “Save & Get Code”. Place in the code to your HTML where the search box and results should appear, again following Google’s guidelines. These guidelines will be shown above the box where you copy the Google code to place into your website.

Other features that can be changed in your Google account without changing the code that is to be placed into your site include “Search features” to enable and disable promotions with multiple options, “Statistics and Logs” to get stats, Google Analytics and Audit log. The “Business” tab allows you to show or hide ads. To disable the ads you have to be an eligible organization according to Google’s guidelines or pay a fee to have them removed.

All the above information can be found at www.google.com/cse.