Here’s an important question: Should you use Google Custom Search (GCS) on your site? Or would it be better to directly search your database.
It depends on your point of view. Some bloggers use GCS, while others use their blog software’s built-in search tool (which acceses the database and searches it). Which should you use? Let’s take a closer look at each option.
Google Custom Search
- Uses Google’s searching algorithms.
- Allows you to make money off the AdSense block to the right of the results.
- Customizable results pages.
Unfortunately, the GCS search boxes all say “Google Custom Search” on them prominently. Then you have the biggest problem: Google must index a page before it appears in the results.
Your Blog Software’s Search Tool
Most blogging software (and CMS systems) operate off a database. Using SQL commands, it’s possible to search through the database. Your software will probably have documentation that includes code to paste-in for a search box. With WordPress, you just add a form with a single text field to your template (named “s”). The form’s action should be your domain, and the method “GET”. Advantages:
- Absolute customization, provided you know how to edit your templates.
- Posts don’t require indexing…they’re in the results immediately.
- You can put some AdSense code in in you want.
In most cases, it’s better to just use your blogging software’s built-in search tools. If you need to search multiple sites at once, go with GCS.