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2016/10/26

A Good Alternative For Blogger Official Search Widget__Google Custom Search Engine

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google-custom-search-engine-A Good Alternative For Blogger Official Search Widget__Google Custom Search EngineMany Blogger owners might have same doubt: why I can't find my posts by using Blogger official search widget? Indeed, this widget was out of order for a long time.

As providing the function of search is very important, all blog owners might wonder what are the suggested alternatives. In this post I would compare 3 solutions for Blogger blog and guide how to install Google Custom Search Engine(CSE), which is the best among 3 choices.



I. Comparison of 3 Search Widgets


1. Search box of NavBar

If you don't choose to hide the official NavBar, then it will appear at the top of blog.

  • Pros: this is the real site search engine, which can guarantee to find the content of all posts.
  • Cons: It needs to refresh the web page for each search result, which costs more time.


2. Blogger official search widget

To install the Blogger official search widget, go to Dashboard → Layout → Add a Gadget → then you'll find this widget "Blog Search".

  • Pros: thanks to Ajax technology, this widget doesn't need to refresh the web page when executing the search, which would save much time.
  • Cons: this function is based on Google Blog Search API, however, google has deprecated it already.


3. CSE

After comparing with above 2 solutions, CSE has many advantages:

  • Same as official widget, it doesn't need to refresh the page for search result.
  • You can choose the display the search result with "lightbox" effect.
  • After connect CSE with Adsense account, you have the chance to increase Adsense revenue.
  • You could customize the CSS of this tool.



II. CSE Installation


1. Log in your Google account, then access CSE website:


google-custom-search-engine-1-A Good Alternative For Blogger Official Search Widget__Google Custom Search Engine

Click the button "Create a custom search engine".


2. Follow A~C steps below:

google-custom-search-engine-2-A Good Alternative For Blogger Official Search Widget__Google Custom Search Engine

  • A: input your blog url
  • B: choose language
  • C: click "Create" button

For A point, this is very important and remember, if you don't owns your domain name, be sure to end your blog url with "???.blogspot.com".

Because Blogger will "redirect your blog url to country-specific URL", such as "???.blogspot.in", based on your country or area(such as "in" for "india"). Keep in mind that don't input your blog url with "country-specific URL", or you might have no search result from your CSE tool.


google-custom-search-engine-3-A Good Alternative For Blogger Official Search Widget__Google Custom Search Engine

Then, click "Control Panel" for the rest settings.


3. Follow A~D steps below:

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Make sure your location is "Setup" → "Basics"

  • A: input your blog title
  • B: free edition might display ads for search results. If you're company, you could pay and choose not to display ads. If you don't want to display ads for free edition, please read my next post for further detail.
  • C: if your blog contains many photos, then you can turn on this option.
  • D: in this area, you could test the search result.


5. After selecting the tab "Make Money", if you don't have Adsense account yet, then please ignore this setting. We'll discuss more about this setting in my next post.

google-custom-search-engine-5-A Good Alternative For Blogger Official Search Widget__Google Custom Search Engine


6. Select "Look and feel" → "Layout" → "Overlay" → "Save & Get Code"

google-custom-search-engine-6-A Good Alternative For Blogger Official Search Widget__Google Custom Search Engine

When you select "Overlay", it will display the search result with fancy "lightbox" effect, which is the best one among all options.

If you prefer other options, click "Save & Get Code" and follow relative instruction.


7. After clicking "Save & Get Code", CSE will guide you how to install this widget:

google-custom-search-engine-7-A Good Alternative For Blogger Official Search Widget__Google Custom Search Engine

For Blogger blog, the easier way for installation is:

Go to Blogger Dashboard → Layout → Click on "Add a Gadget" → HTML/JavaScript → copy the codes in red rectangle frame in above image → then drag this widget to your preferred location.


8. If you would like to customize the style of CSE widget, select "Look and feel" → "Themes" :

google-custom-search-engine-8-A Good Alternative For Blogger Official Search Widget__Google Custom Search Engine

Just select one style, then you'll see the result instantly.

You could also click the tab "Customize" for more setting.

When everything is done, click the "Save" button. You don't have to click "Save & Get Code" again, as these settings are stored in the cloud, not in the installation codes.



III. Search Results Demo


Let's see some screenshots of search results. If you search with unpopular keywords, normally it will not display ads.

In WFU BLOG, when searching this text "comment", you might see the image below with "Overlay" effect :

google-custom-search-engine-9-A Good Alternative For Blogger Official Search Widget__Google Custom Search Engine

  • There is thumbnail image for each post, looks great!
  • "comment" is not popular keyword, so there is no ad. But sometimes it might display ads.


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This time I try the keyword "Blogger", as this word is very hot for searching, it will definitely show the ad. If you don't own the Adsense account, when visitors click this ad, Google earns revenue.

If you would like to know how to earn the revenue by your own, instead of Google, please wait my next post, also including the tip of hiding ads.


(pic from: stocksnap.io)
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