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.
How to create a Google custom site search?
- Go to cse.google.com
- Under sites to search, add your website URL.
- If you want to prevent some URLs from getting searched, you can use the exclude URLs feature to exclude certain URL patterns.
- You can use the schema and graph entities to restrict searches to a particular schema type.
- Also, you can choose to monetize your search engine by going to Ads-> Search engine monetization to “on”.
- 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:
The parameters are –
- q– query string
- cx– Custom search engine ID.
- fileType– BMP, gif, jpg, png, pdf etc
- num-number of search results to display
- searchType- search type.
- sort-Sort by functionality to use.
- 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
- Access to Google’s search technology.
- API access.
- Schema and graph entities support.
- UI editor.
- SEO advantages (site links search box).
Disadvantages of Google custom site search
- Ads- You can lose some of your customers to competitors.
- No control over what is crawled.
- Zero support. (only documentation support).
- Same boring Google UI.
- 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 here.