ETIP #71

9 Reasons to use Google Site Search

9 Reasons to use Google Site Search
There are many ways to add that little search box onto your site, most CMSs have that function built in. But there can be some advantages of using the Google search box over what you have built in. Before you begin, be aware that there are two different options for the Google search box, one is called Google Custom Search, and the other is Google Site Search. Google Custom Search is not really for businesses, it’s more for bloggers and hobby sites. It’s not customizable, and ads appear in the search results. Google Site Search is what you want to choose for your business. It starts at $100/year, but let’s review some of the benefits of it.
  1. Familiarity breeds usage. People are very famliar with the Google Search Results screen and how it works. Adding that to your site means users see results they are instantly familiar with and can use.
  2. The Google Site Search allows you to choose the content you want searchable. You can eliminate certain sections of your site.
  3. You can brand your search results with your logo and color scheme.
  4. You can provide your search results as an XML feed, affording you complete control over the presentation of the results.
  5. When you update content on your site, you can submit to update the search index, meaning within 24 hours your new content will be in Google’s search results. NOTE: this will not influence your page’s rank within Google.
  6. Google has a great search tool, and you can utilize those technological advantages. For instance, a synonym dictionary that they provide for you, or you can customize (for instance you can make SMS = TXT and the like.)
  7. Date Biasing, meaning, you can utilize the date of the post to influence more recent pages to be more relevant in the results.
  8. Results Biasing allows you to choose a section of your site to provide more important results (for instance your product catalog).
  9. If you have a large site or organization, there are enterprise solutions like the Google Search Appliance that you can upgrade to.