Creating a Google Custom Search Engine

** 6/28/18 - Google has discontinued the custom search engine feature and your search engine may not continue to function normally. There is currently no direct replacement available. **  

The SiteMaker is integrated with Google Custom Search.  If you create a search engine, you can then enter the ID of the search engine into the Google Plugin screen of the SiteMaker which will unlock the Google Search Section Types.  There are two basic settings for the Google Search Section Type ~  Search field, and Results.  This allows you to add a search field to any page of your site, and have the results display on that same page or on a specific page, such as "Search Results".  

To enable this feature, you will first need to create your custom search engine.  Follow these instructions:

1)  Login to your google account.

2) Visit the url

3) Click on the "New Search Engine" button

4) In the "Sites to Search" field enter your domain with and asterisk, like this:  *

5) Click the "Create" button at the bottom of the page.

Now that you have created a search engine, you need to make some modification in order for things to work properly.  

6) Click on the button labeled "Control Panel"

On this screen you will be presented with many options to customize your search engine.  There are a few required steps we will walk through first:

7)  On the menu to the left, you will see a link called "Look and Feel", Click that link.

8)  Click on the thumbnail icon for "Results Only" and click the "Save" button at the bottom of the page.

9)  Choose the "Themes" Tab at the top of the page and select the color scheme that most closely matches the colors on your site, click the "Save" button.

10)  Back on the menu on the left click the link labeled "Setup"

11)  In the middle of the page, there will be a section labeled "Details" with a button for "Search Engine ID", Click that button.

12)  Highlight just the alpha-numeric ID and hit CTRL-C or Command-C to copy the Search Engine ID to your clipboard.

13)  Now go back to the SiteMaker, login, select the Plugins Tab, then click on the Google Integration Page.

14)  Paste your Search Engine ID into the appropriate field on this page using CTRL-V or Command-V

15) Save the page, and make sure to check the box at the top of the screen to enable the plugin.

At this point the search engine section type is now available to use on your site.  If your site is already indexed by Google, you should see results immediately.  If not, It may take some time to index your site and start getting results. 


NOTE:  The default Search Engine is Free from Google, but does include Advertisements.  If you would like to remove the advertisements from your site,  On the CSE Control Panel Page for your website, use the "Upgrade to Site Search" button.  This will allow you to remove the ads from the site, but does require an annual payment to Google for that convenience.  Once you are upgraded, there are no additional changes required on your site, The ads will be removed from your search results.


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