If you’re using WordPress for sometime then you probably know that WordPress search is not up to the mark. It’s good to find results but the search results’ relevancy sucks big time.
Google introduced custom search back in 2006. But I was not impressed with the way results are arranged and presented. So I never cared about using Google’s search as a replacement for WordPress search.
But last year Google gave a new look to Custom Search. They changed the way search results are presented with a new style and a new Search box that’s more modern and streamlined. Again, last month they introduced a new look for the Custom Search control panel as well.
The last time I tried Google Custom Search Engine was several years back so most of the new features were unknown to me. So if I’m to compare the new look with the old one then I would say the new Custom Search search box style, results page, and control panel is simply and attractive.
10 Reasons Why You Should Use Google Custom Search
1. The primary reason is like I said before "relevancy". Since Google is the king of Search they know how to sort search results better than anyone else.
2. With Custom Search you can not only search your own domain but can also include the search results from your other domains. For example, I have a micro-blog minterest.co and I’m using Google Custom Search on that blog. So I have included both the .co and .com domains to “Sites to search” field in Custom Search.
3. You can enable image search for your custom search engine so that Google will display image results in a separate tab from web results with thumbnails.
4. You can customize the "Look and feel" of your search box and search results page so that it matches the theme of your blog.
5. You can enable promotions so that users will see your promoted result on top by setting triggering queries. It’s quite useful when you want to promote a particular page.
6. Your Custom Search supports “Autocomplete” so that your users will get suggestions as they type their queries in the search box.
7. You can enable "Results sorting" so that users can sort the results by "Relevance" or "Date".
8. Connect your Custom Search engine to your Google Analytics account so that you’ll get detailed site search reporting.
9. You can add up to 200 users to your custom search engine as admins so that they can manage your custom search engines.
10. And one more thing! You can even make money by connecting your custom search engine to your AdSense account. When a user clicks on an ad in the search results page you get paid.
P.S. I was using the new Google Custom Search on this blog until last month but had to switch back to the default WordPress search as there was a style sheet conflict when I changed my WordPress theme. I’ll switch back to Google Custom Search once I sort out the problem.