How do you create custom Search Boxes that have built-in keywords, limits to particular sites or a particular
look and feel? Even without using Google’s custom search feature, you can compose a custom text-link search
with the search keywords built-in so the person only has to click like this: Google Easter search which looks in HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) like this:
<a href=http://www.google.com/search?q=rabbits+eggs>Google Easter search</a>
You can make up a link to any search you want just by typing it on in the Google
command line, then pasting the URL (Uniform Resource Locator) Google converts it into as the href, converting every & to & (possibly by using Amper).
You can also set up a search box form where the user types the search keys, where it
searches only your site. See these examples.
You want Custom Search not SiteSearch.
SiteSearch is quite expensive and entails installing search engine software on your server. SiteSearch gives up
to the second relevancy since you don’t have to wait for google to spider. It is intended for
Google has a scheme to make it easy to set up custom searches just by asking questions on their website. The features include:
- with ads or paid, but ad-free
- narrow the search to a particular website or websites.
- narrow the search to particular web pages or directories.
- salting the search with generic keywords.
- The links you now insert are much shorter and simpler and pass validation, with the exception of a pair of
nugatory <div> tags and a dangling & that
should have been encoded as &.
- You can choose to have the result appear on your own web pages, or on a google page as is
- You can have the search button hosted on google if you are don’t know how to insert HTML into your
own web page, e.g. if you are a blogger.
- When you create your site search they don’t give you the HTML to paste into your site,
leaving you to wonder if search pages must be hosted at google. There is no mention where to look under
help. It turns out they later email you a link to it, but they don’t tell you that or mention it
anywhere in the FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions). Look for the email in your SPAM bucket. Later you can find it under code on the
- General big brotherness. Google maintains control and in theory could make the links you put on your
website do anything it pleased.
less popular browsers.
- You can’t let the client choose with a radio button whether for example to search the web,
Sun’s site or your site.
- You can’t set up searches to Google images or Google groups.
- There is nothing in the generated HTML that gives any hint as to what search engine does. It is up to you
to add your own comments to help keep track.
- If you put two different searches on the same page, you must manually modify the id of each search to make
WireShark hacking I could figure out how to do it.
- I use a markup style two or three versions out-of-date because:
- It is much faster.
- It lets me label the submit button.
- It lets me control the size of the search box.
- The text you type in aligns properly. Some ditzy artist at Google thought it would look kewel to have the search text
hanging out the bottom of the box.
At some point Google will drop support for my style and I will have to improve my markup.
New Style Custom Search
In the new style custom search, you have many more options, but you don’t specify them in the HTML. Your
selections remain on file with Google. This leads to simpler HTML to invoke, but it also gives Google more
control over what you do.
The CMP (Canadian Mind Products) search box above is generated with the following HTML :
Here is a typical example that searches just http://mindprod.com/kjv where the text
of the King James bible is located.
Search King James Bible
To search The King James bible for an
exact phrase, enter it in quotes, e.g. "hand of the poor
To search for words used together in a chapter, enter the words without quotes e.g.
wrestled angel Jacob
Here is the HTML for the search box:
Note there is no reference to kjv or mindprod.com in it
anywhere. The 005260666645288681202:f8um2hwp-ho is a reference to the information about
the search stored on Google. That snippet would thus work on any website.
You can safely modify the line:
<input type="text" name="q" size="55">
to increase or decrease the size of the box you fill in.
You can safely modify the line:
<input type="submit" name="sa" value="Search Oracle">
To change the text on the search button.