Creating a Custom Search Engine

There are two ways of creating a Custom Search Engine (CSE):

The easiest way to get started with Google Custom Search is to create a basic search engine using the Control Panel. You can then download the engine's XML files and modify them to add futher customizations. Since you're experimenting and figuring out some basic concepts, spend only a couple of minutes making your first search engine. Keep it simple so that you can follow what's happening when you start testing it. You can always change it later.

Defining a Custom Search Engine in Control Panel

To create a custom search engine:

  1. Sign into Control Panel using your Google Account (get an account if you don't have one).
  2. In the Sites to search section, add the pages you want to include in your search engine. You can include any sites you want, not just the sites you own. You can include whole site URLs or individual pages URLs. You can also use URL patterns.
  3. The name of your search engine will be automatically generated based on the URLs you select. You can change this name at any time.
  4. Select the language of your search engine. This defines the language of the buttons and other design elements of your search engine, but doesn't affect the actual search results.
  5. Click Create.

Your basic search engine is ready to use! To see more configuration options, go to the Control Panel. Control Panel also has a preview window that allows you to test and fine-tune your search results.

To learn more about options available in Control Panel, visit the Custom Search Help Center. To add advanced options (e.g. filtering or results order) and further customize your search engine via XML configuration files, see the Developer Guide.

Using the engine

Once you have defined your search engine, it can be accessed in two ways:

  • Google-hosted Custom Search Engine homepage - you can find public url for your engine homepage in the Setup > Details section of the Control Panel and share it with your users.
  • A search box in your website - If you embed a search box in your webpage, your users can make searches from your website.

Next...

Continue to Implementing search box.

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