Google custom site search helps you add a search box to your website. The search box lets people search for content within your site. Google custom site search is a free offering from Google. It has ads and many people use it to monetize their site.

google custom site search

How to create a Google custom site search?

  1. Go to cse.google.com
  2. Under sites to search, add your website URL.
  3. If you want to prevent some URLs from getting searched, you can use the exclude URLs feature to exclude certain URL patterns.
  4. You can use the schema and graph entities to restrict searches to a particular schema type.
  5. Also, you can choose to monetize your search engine by going to Ads-> Search engine monetization to “on”.
  6. Go to Setup-> Edition-> Get code and add it to your website to take live your google custom site search.

Is there a Google custom site search API?

Yes there is a Google custom site search API. The format is as below:

https://www.googleapis.com/customsearch/v1?key={YOUR_API_KEY}&cx={CUSTOM_SEARCH_ENGINE_ID}&q={KEYWORD}

The parameters are –

  1. q– query string
  2. cx– Custom search engine ID.
  3. fileType– bmp, gif, jpg, png, pdf etc
  4. num-number of search results to display
  5. searchType- search type.
  6. sort-Sort by functionality to use.
  7. Key– API key

You can get your API key from https://developers.google.com/custom-search/json-api/v1/overview

Advantages of Google custom site search

  1. Free.
  2. Access to Google’s search technology.
  3. API access.
  4. Schema and graph entities support.
  5. UI editor.
  6. SEO advantages (site links search box).

Disadvantages of Google custom site search

  1. Ads- You can lose some of your customers to competitors.
  2. No control over what is crawled.
  3. Zero support. (only documentation support).
  4. Same boring Google UI.
  5. Can be Shut down at any time (Google is known for killing products).

Alternatives to Google custom site search

Expertrec is a good alternative to Google custom site search. It has no ads and gives more control over search features.  Expertrec also has a voice search feature. You can create a free demo heregoogle custom site search

muthali ganesh

Muthali loves writing about emerging technologies and easy solutions for complex tech issues. You can reach out to him through chat or by raising a support ticket on the left hand side of the page.

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