January 20, 2015
Getting started with Google Custom Search is actually incredibly easy, but it’s something that many marketers are still missing. The tool is a great way to help make the Internet a little bit smaller, so if you’re hoping to simply search for something on a particular domain, specific page, or on a particular topic, a Google custom search makes that happen.
For those who are unfamiliar, it’s essentially a search bar that you can add to your website to help ensure that your visitors are searching within your website. It’s also a great way to find competitor links easier or use when you’re surfing the web for something specific (discussed in the next section). In other words, you’re essentially creating your own custom search engine full of only a certain type of results. For marketers looking for a new quick fix for the start of the New Year, custom search is a great place to start.
It’s important to understand if a custom search engine (CSE) is right for you by looking at some of the pros and cons described below:
As you can see, there are typically more pros to a CSE than cons, but it all depends upon your company. For some companies with a huge website or customer base, a limited number of results isn’t going to cut it. It’s up to you to give it a try and decide what’s best.
Creating a CSE is incredibly easy. All you need to do is visit this link and then follow the directions that will pop up on your screen. You add in what types of results you want Google to pull up in your custom search and then you click “create.” Below is a screenshot of how it works:
Once you follow these directions, you will be taken to a page where you can get the code to put the search bar on your website, get the public URL, or visit your control panel to make edits. Below is a screenshot of this image:
If you ever want to log back in and take a look at your custom engines and make edits, you can do that. Below is a screenshot of my dashboard full of my custom search engines. If you were to click on any of your search engines, you’re taken to an edit page to make changes:
It’s as simple as that! Are you familiar with Google custom search? What have been your experiences and what do you recommend? Let us know your thoughts and your story in the comments below.
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