Four Easy Steps To Integrate Google Custom Search Into Your WordPress
It is clear that WordPress search functionality has the following known weaknesses:
- Does not properly match keywords
- Sorts results by date instead of relevance to search keywords
- Is Limited to just your site
Integrating Google Custom Search Engine into your website can give you several advantages:
- Better quality and relevance of search results
- Search scope can be extended to more than one site (not only your site)
- Look and feel of search results can be customized to match the design of your site
- Better monetization with Google Adsense (please check out the article: 8 Critical Techniques For Optimizing Google Adsense)
- Autocompletion of typing, result sorting, and thumbnail previewing
In order to grasp these advantages, please follow the simple four-step tutorial below.
1. Create a Google Account. First you need to have a Google Account in order to use Google Custom Search Engine.
2. Create Your Google Custom Search Engine.
- Navigate to Google Custom Search Engine site and login with your Google account.
- From Google Custom Search Engine home page, click the link “New search engine…” to the left of the page. You should see the screenshot below.
- For “Sites to search”, type the URL of the sites to be included in your Google Custom search. This can be changed later.
- For “Language”, select the preferred language. This can be changed later.
- For “Name”, type the name of your search engine. This can be changed later.
- Click Create. You should see the screenshot below which confirms successful creation.
3. Edit Your Google Custom Search Engine.
- Click “Edit” link to open control panel and customize your search engine settings.
- From control panel screen, click “Basics” link. In “Basics” page, you can adjust basic settings about your search engine like name, description, language, and search preferences. Note that in Basic Information section shown below, a unique ID is generated for the search engine. Please note this for your reference later in the tutorial.
- Click “Sites” link. You can adjust the scope of your search to include/exclude sites in your search.
- Click “Indexing” link. You can specify URLs and sitemaps that would help Google in easily crawling and discovering your site.
- Click “Refinements” link. You can add a refinement label that categorizes search results. This helps users in prioritizing/filtering search results within their selected category that they are interested in in order to find contents they are looking for faster and easier.
- Click “Promotions” link. You can promote an important URL that you would like to always show at the top of search results.
- Click “Synonyms” link. You can define synonyms for specific search terms that you would like Google to use as well in the search index.
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