Over the holiday weekend I decided to spend some time cleaning up a few of my websites and while doing this, I ended up installing Google’s Custom Search Engine on a couple of my WordPress blogs (as of this post I haven’t done this on WP Hacks yet, but will probably end up doing so here as well).
For people wondering how to easily install Google’s Custom Search Engine (GCSE) on their WordPress blog, here are two resources I recommend:
- Build Your Google Custom Search Engine – The first step is to actually create your Google Custom Search Engine. The post by Maki over at Dosh Dosh does a GREAT job of explaining how to do this. Towards the end Maki explains how to actually integrate it into your WordPress blog, but rather than go through all those steps, you’ll want to instead check out the second step.
- Integrate your Google Custom Search Engine into WordPress – Once you’ve built your custom search engine, head over to this post and figure out a quick and easy way to integrate it into your WordPress blog. This method ONLY requires you to alter the searchform.php and search.php files (which most themes come with), so it is really easy.
Why Use Google’s Custom Search Engine?
With the current setup of the WordPress search engine, posts are displayed with the most recent post first based upon the search term. Using Google’s Custom Search Engine, it will use Google’s search algorithm to display your posts with the most relevant post on top and you can actually integrate it into your WordPress blog, so it looks natural. Using this also allows you to display Google AdSense ads, which can earn you money on some blogs.
The main downside with this method is that Google has to actually index the post before it will appear in your blog’s search results, but that won’t be a problem for most blogs. It will just add a small delay before posts appear in your search results.