Google’s customised search engine service is really cool, useful and dead easy to use. It’s what I used to create LGSearch, which is one of the most successful bits of online work I have done. What Google CSE does is allow you to create a ‘whitelist’ of sites you want to limit your search to, so it’s a way of guaranteeing relevance in search results.
Another use of it is to replace your default blog search functionality. For example, it’s better than the WordPress standard search because it searches pages as well as posts; and it allows you to run contextual ads next to the results – taking people away from your blog but providing you with a little income, which is always nice.
The functionality is improved even more by using the new AJAX results overlay, which means there is no need to create a results page. Try it out on DavePress using the search box on the top right.
To get this on your WordPress blog, all you need to do is head over to Google CSE, create your search engine, remembering to only add your blog’s URL to the whitelist, and then copy the search box code into a text widget. Easy!