How can I add a Google search box to my Web site?
Dave, I keep visiting sites and seeing these cool search boxes that let you either search their entire site or search the entire Google database, all without leaving that page! I want to have something like this and would appreciate your helping me figure out the code needed.
This is a question that's going to result in some HTML listings. You know that, so there's no reason to panic!
First off, the good news. Google itself actually has a nice page offering you HTML code you can just cut and paste onto your own Web pages to produce the search box you seek, and some variants beside. Just check out Google Free.
Instead of relying on the bright sparks at Google, though, let's go through the steps of building our own search box instead, so you'll be able to see how it works.
Also, not to pick on Google because I think the world of those folk, but their HTML samples could be cleaned up a bit, usually, so I've also recast it as proper XHTML rather than somewhat sloppy HTML. Just don't tell Larry and Sergey, okay?
The basic technique involved here is to be able to manipulate one of the variables handed to the Google search engine, a variable called sitesearch. Set it to a null value and you're searching the entire World Wide Web, but set it to a specific domain and it's constrained exactly as if you had typed in the Google special notation site:domain.
In addition to that, you need an input field and a submit button. Put them all together and here's the minimalist Google search form that lets the user alternate between just your site (well, in this case just my site) or the entire Web:
<form method="get" action="http://www.google.com/search">
<input type="text" name="q" size="31"
maxlength="255" value="" />
<input type="submit" value="Google Search" />
<input type="radio" name="sitesearch" value="" />
<input type="radio" name="sitesearch"
value="askdavetaylor.com" checked /> Ask Dave Taylor<br />
There are some additional tweaks we can apply to make it a bit more fancy, including changing the radio buttons to a single check box, and aligning things a bit more nicely using a table and some simple CSS:
<form method="get" action="http://www.google.com/search">
<div style="border:1px solid black;padding:4px;width:20em;">
<table border="0" cellpadding="0">
<input type="text" name="q" size="25"
maxlength="255" value="" />
<input type="submit" value="Google Search" /></td></tr>
<tr><td align="center" style="font-size:75%">
<input type="checkbox" name="sitesearch"
value="askdavetaylor.com" checked /> only search Ask Dave Taylor<br />
Here's how that renders when included on an HTML page:
If you'd like to use this on your own site, simply change the occurrences of askdavetaylor.com
Not too hard at all!
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Reader Comments To Date: 817
I tried this and when I try to enter a search term it sends me to the google page. Any thoughts on what I may be doing wrong or not doing.
If it's working properly, the search box should send you to the Google site, but with the word or words you typed in prefilled in as the search terms. Is this not what you're seeing? If so, what are you seeing? Also, what happens when you type in a term on the search box at the end of my article? Does that work for you?
Is there a way to have the results pop-up in a new window?
John, you'll laugh when you find out how easy that is! The line
<form method="get" action="http://www.google.com/search">
just needs to have target="new" added and it'll redirect the result of that form to a new window called "new". If you always want to guarantee that a new window is launched rather than possibly reusing the 'new' window, use "_blank" as the target instead:
<form method="get" action="http://www.google.com/search" target="_blank">
Hope that helps!
I looked at my coding several times last night and missed a typo. Things are working just fine now. Thanks for your help.
OK...I must be missing something here. How does this code search MY site? For example, if I have the word "pumpkin" on a page in my site will this search return a URL to that page?
Thanks for your note, David. Checking on "search my site" in the form causes the search to automatically include "site:yourdomain" so that it only searches pages in the Google database that have your domain as the base of the URL. In essence, it's a search engine for your site alone. Matches then go back to your site. Hope that clears things up!
Dave, now I understand what it is supposed to do. I thought it was going to search in MY domain...within my site...for the text entered...my bad. Thanks for setting me straight. David.
I would like a search box to find things within my site only. my site is not ready yet to submit to any of the search engines as i dont want to get black listed for broken links etc. How can I make and test a search box for my site without submitting to Google etc.
You can't use the Google search tool to find content on your site if you don't want Google to see it, Adam, so you'll need to install a search engine of your own on your server. If that's a possibility, then I'd talk with your Web hosting provider because they might already have something installed. Good luck!
Thank you for this tip! How kind of you to do all this work so I can have it so easy. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!
I'm making my site and have kept the google search in it. It's too easy to put google search and in few seconds it worked fine.
Thanks alot for the code that is mentioned here.
I've added my site to google and would like to know more about how I can get my site on the index page of google.
Dave,I have added Google to my webpage using the "Google free" code. Can you please tell me how can i by default place the cursor in google search box?
It is my understanding that you can get paid by Google when people use your site's Google search box. How does that work? Do the ads have to be able to pop up on your site or can the inquiries be sent to the Google website, leaving our website free of clutter? How do you set it up so that we get paid when people use our search box? I have tried to find the answer in Google's help pages but I just can't seem to get a solid answer anywhere.
We are also trying to customize the appearance of our Google search box so that it fits within a certain space designated on our website. Any recommendations?
I am at my wits end and desperate for help!
I'm trying to add the Google search to my blog, but it doesn't seem to work. Perhaps I'm inserting it in the wrong location. Perhaps I need different code because it's a blog, not a web site. Any help would be appreciated. The blog's purpose is to facilitate communication among former high school classmates, many of whom do not seem to be very Internet savvy. I'm hoping a "search this site" function will help them to locate names more easily
how can i make a search "form" such as one that a car dealer would use to have people search his site for a car. one that would use multiple boxes such as "make", "model", "color" etc. and use all the boxes to come up with results
Hi Dave, I entered the code like said and changed the domain, but the search won't work on my site. (as in, won't return a search relevant to my site), but will do the google search just fine (when i uncheck the box). any thoughts on how i can fix this? thanks!
Two issues, Jillian. First off, you need to not send the "http://" part in your 'sitesearch' field, but more importantly, a search of Google shows that it doesn't have a single page of your site in its search engine, so there's no way for it to ever succeed. Try searching for 'site:www.askdavetaylor.com', for example, then search for 'site;vespa-rosso.blogspot.com' and you'll see what I mean. Sorry!
Dave, I'll fix the first part (the http), but I also noticed the google search thing. How can I change this? I listed my site with google about a week or two ago. Thanks!
You might just need to have some patience, Jillian. Google has a "sandbox" where brand new sites and domains are parked for a few weeks up to a few months before they're added to the full Google database. That's so spam sites don't just pop up and corrupt / pollute the Google database, but it's darn frustrating for us legitimate content providers. Sorry!
Hi Dave, I've read all your comments to other posts and I'm using CityMax for my host and they don't offer a search box for my site. I'd love to have one that just searches my site and no advertisements.. google seems to have a problem with my site since it's through a host and not mine... :(Can you help me with how to add a search box to my site that only returns items from my site with pictures? Like any one of the pages listed below would be fantastic.
www.silady.net (www.silady.net/page/page/2265521.htm(home page)), (www.silady.net/bracelets.html),
(www.silady.net/pendants.html), (www.silady.net/rings.html), (www.silady.net/sets.html), (www.silady.net/page/page/2319361.htm)
Thanks and praying really hard for help :) Deborah
I ve got the google search on one of my sites and it works great for searhced throughout that site.
However I would like to have the search box search sites "a" "b" & "c" all at the same. So far i can only get it to either serach teh whole web or just the one site. Ive tried checking all teh radio buttons, but this just makes its search teh last one.
i have a set of pages to be listed and another set which should not be listed.. how do i do this?
Balaji, you'll want to learn more about the robots.txt file, and specifically the equivalent meta tag you can add to specific pages that tell search engines not to include those pages in indices. See: http://www.askdavetaylor.com/about_robots.html
Hi Dave, I was reading your article about the Google Search Box. I have a website running in PHP-Nuke. The code does not seem to work. I tried adding it to a block, and all that appears is just the *.gif from Google. Can you help?
Ok I see that you have ads by google on the top..well I signed up for google ad sense..and when I copied and pasted the html code to a site..the ad on there was for another site. Isn't it supposed to show my site ad? Could you help me out on how to advertize my site?
Youx, I don't really understand what your expectations of AdSense are: you don't want ads for your own site on AdSense, because then you'd be paying for click-thrus that are from people already at your site. Make sense?
I got a search box coding from your site. Thanks a lot for it.
I am doing a search engine website. When i do this site i may get lots of problems, i think i can get solutions from your site.
Thanks a lot.
I was wondering if there is any way to add a 'Local' search box to my web site. I would like to have a link to search local restaurants, stores, etc... Is there any weay to do this?
I was wondering if you can stop the google search from looking in certail folders/directories?
Also can you customize the look of the search page?
Thanks for all the help?
Thank you for all you do for us.
Is there a way to stop the google search from searching certain directories on your website?
can i include in my site to search web sites from my site or i need to pay any thing? it is opening search result in the same web brouser cant we open in the new web brouser?
Sajja, you're welcome to use this code for free - thanks for asking - and if you want to have it open in a new browser, add
to the "form" tag.
I put a google free site search on my webpage and there is another one below that with search the web and my website. I look in the HTML code but there isn't any for the bottom one. I only copied the HTML for the top one. How do I remove the bottom one?
Peder, assuming you haven't copied and pasted it twice, I can't imagine how the code I present here could produce two search boxes for you. Can you email me your page URL (use the "Ask" button near the top) and I'll have a quick peek?
How do I add in the option of searching either the Web or only pages from the UK
John, just tweak the code I show to have the option of adding site:uk as a way to constrain your search results.
thanks for the quick reply. Not knowing how to do HMTL code you couldnt give me a clue how to restrict the search.
I was wondering, could a form like this work when trying to search images and web on google as two seperate actions in one form.
is there any way to have the results of the search display in my own page rather than googles? if not, do you know of a search engine that can be bought that has functions to prioritize search results? let me add my thanks to the bunch. thanks.
A couple of questions:
I know the first one has been asked a couple of times here but I haven't seen an answer yet. Can you get the google results to come up on your own page, instead of transferring to the google website?
And is there any way of tracking what people are searching for, when they use the search box on your site? Any ideas of how you can do this?
George, Trudes, no, you can't do that without some sneaky hacking behind the scenes that Google won't look upon happily. In terms of what they're searching for, yes, you could theoretically create a search box that feeds the search query to an intermediate script that logs their search pattern then bounces them directly to Google. Hmmm.... :-)
Ok, now you've lost me. How would I set up an intermediate script? I'm still learning!
how can i add vote button to my website.
I've been looking for some proper valid code for these pesky search boxes all day. At last I've found it! Thanks Dave! And (if it isn't too late) Happy New Year :)
Hello, recently I decided to add a search feature to a site I'm constructing, http://skee.zaiph.net
However, the Google search bar doesn't work! If I attempt to search for any keywords whatsoever while on the "Search this site" option, no results appear.
The site uses an iFrame, is there a chance that this may have effected the searches?
Also, when I was on the panel that enables me to control the search bar (I am using the free one that enables the site's banner to display on the results pages), it states only 1 page is registered for my site.
How can I add more of my site's pages to the Google database? Why isn't the search bar working?
Thanks in advance! Also, if this helps any, the link to the Google searchbar is at
James, the reason that Google isn't finding your search results is because your site is just too new. Your best bet for getting into the Google database is simply to have sites point to you and make sure that each of your pages points to all your other pages. Then just have some patience!
If you visit my page, you can see that I need major help with my page. First, I want my side bar to align right next to the posts. Second, the google search does not work with my site. I know that there are only 2 comments, but when I type "Dr. Hyde in the Wordpress search, it comes up with the comment that has Dr. Hyde in it, whereas the google search for my site does not..... PLEASE HELP.. i am not familiar with CSS, but if you canhelp, it would be great
I posted my question a couple of days ago and I don't know when to expect a response from you. I don't know how these forums work either. I just wanted to let you know that I am in deperate need of help. Please, anyone, can you help me?
I'm using the Google search (not for my site, just to do full web searches from my site). How can I get the cursor to default to the Google input box?
I'm glad to send you a link to my site, but didn't want to post it as it's under construction, and currently lacking in some areas of security.
Thanks for any help or suggestions!
I would like to have the Google search box search several different sites (call them "a" "b" & "c") all at the same. So far I can only get it to either search the whole web or just one site. I can do this with Yahoo but can't figure out how to do it with the Google code.
that should be all you need to do!
Hi, How would be the same search box using froogle?
Thanks in advance
Your code and this page are not XHTML valid. I believe the checked value is the problem.
First, many thanks for the great information! Can you please explain how to use the site: variable to search several different sites at the same time? I would like to have a search box on my intranet that searches a handful of sites, but I don’t want to offer each site as a choice, I just want a box and the Google search button, and have it search all of the sites.
Thanks in advance for your help.
Dave, how can you change the attributes of the Submit button (font, color, color of the button, etc.)? When I get the answer, I promise to buy you that chai.
Thanks Dave! You're the best. It's hard for my readers to search my old blog postings but you've just made it easy and nice to look at!
I would like to have the google search and google adsence to my website can you guide me how to do it.
If i copy-paste the the code you mention above where will the box be placed on my webpage , will it not change all the existing setting.
Using the "google search" seems reltively easy as you explained! It seems the only search I get is from my index (home) page? What is the proper code to search all pages? I'm the novice here when it comes to html and my site is as "green" as can get for expertise! Thanks so much and I do enjoy all the reading! You're very knowledgable and appreciated!
please give some idea to develop a searc engine.
Or give me some method how to implement google search so that my company logo will come after search,means i dont want to allow google logo
Thanks a lot for the code, but I couldn't get it to search an internal database on an internal network (my code for database search was as value="K:\InternalDatabase\" (drive and file names changed for security reasons, yet the format is exactly how I have it)). Do you know if I can make the database searchable with Google Search?
I would love a search box for my site however, I don't like the way it is boxed with a black line.
Is it possible not to have it outlined?
Miriam, that's easy. Just take out the
border:1px solid black;
from the code snippet (it's in the "div" tag) making sure not to remove the quote just before it, and you'll have the box and search function without the black box line!
I was wondering, I want to put this google bar in my banner on my page, but I am building it in Fireworks and there is no code view, can I do this? I also will be using either Dreamweaver or FrontPage, could I put it in my banner using one of these programs? I would use the banner as a background image except I have my buttons on it so I am going to have to import it as multiple Fireworks files. Help would be great! Thanks!
I added the Google site search to my site last year. But it does not find new content.
For example, I added the terms "yankee doodle dandy" to a test page back on 9/9/2005. However, upon a "site" search, it does not locate the page with that term.
Can I assume that my site must be re-indexed by Google before any new content will be found?
thanks in advance
I've trie to put google search on my site in the top border (front page) so it will appear on each page, but I cut and pasted it, couldn't find the html for the border. Help......Nice site!!!
hi dude....i ur site is very useful for me....here i come up eiyh one question...
i need to add my website in google search...
i looked some articles related to google search optimization...but iam clear ...so can u help ?
i need the simple steps in designing , implemetation & i also want to know about aother pay search engines...
it will be very help full for me if u do this
Hi Dave - This should be easy for you, but I'll still buy you a Chai if you can help... I just put an Adsense search box on my front page, but I'd really like the button to default checked on MY site. What do I have to modify in the code? Thank you so much.
...And while I'm asking, I just noticed that on my OS X system, When I used the search box with "web" clicked, it turns up nothing in the search! But it's just fine on my older system. What am I doing wrong...? Thanks again.
Steve, the AdSense search box is a different beast. Let me dig around and see what I can put together.
I'm grateful for websites like this, and I'm very thankful for people like you, dave. Thank you very much. But I'm wondering if, for example, somebody did a search for my website and did not find it, but my other website can be found, how can I add the new website to appear in the search?
Dave, I can't get either of your above sets of search code to work. What could I be doing wrong. Thanks , Jerry
I can't get Google Search box to work on my intranet site. Can it work on an intranet site?
hello dave,actually i am kind of new to adsense and web designing.I have a blog at http://technogeekzz.blogspot.com/ at blogger.com.Now
I want to enter the google searchbar and some other banners on my site related to google software.I have the html codes(thanks to you for the google searchbar )but i dont know where to put this actually.There is an option in the templates section at blogger.com where i can view and edit the whole html code of my site but i dont know exactly where to put these banners and searchbars.Any help would be greatly appreciated.please reply here or if u can plz mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org it would be really great...thanx in advance...awaitinf for ur reply
I am truly amazed by this site! Why are you doing this? WHEN are you doing this? - Anyway, I very much like the 'additional tweaks' version of the script on top of this page. Can you also do it the other way round? I mean, what is the code to create a decent search box and submit button just to search your own site and a little check box underneath if you want to search all of Google?
Jeroen (pronounced as 'yaroon'), Belgium
lol hey dave
I added your google search tags to my webpage, which didn't pass XHTML validation. To be sure, I pasted your tags on an empty page, but it still earned one error as below. Please help!
the name and VI delimiter can be omitted from an attribute specification only if SHORTTAG YES is specified.
value="askdavetaylor.com" checked /> only search Ask Dave Taylor
"VI delimiter" is a technical term for the equal sign. This error message means that the name of an attribute and the equal sign cannot be omitted when specifying an attribute. A common cause for this error message is the use of "Attribute Minimization" in document types where it is not allowed, in XHTML for instance.
How to fix: For attributes such as compact, checked or selected, do not write e.g <option selected ... but rather <option selected="selected" ...
Easily fixed to be fully XHTML compliant:
value="askdavetaylor.com" checked="checked" />
that's all there is to it.
I'm been trying to find the right code to copy google's search bar with all of it's features, like images, videos, maps, etc. So far i've only been able to edit the script where the normal search works, but the images and other things don't work. Do you have a code or know where to get it?
Hello Dave, Thank you for answering my earlier question. Your answer helped me understand the validation error message!
Hi Dave - I'm using frontpage to design my site and am having some problems with the search box. I copied the code you gave me onto my site and it doesn't seem to return any results. I understand that it won't return anything results from my site yet since I just registered with Google, but shouldn't it return results for searches outside of my site? Right now, when I click the button, nothing happens.
Help - and thanks for all the good advice.
Nice article, i have a simple question, is it legal to edit the google search form ,remove the google image and radio? i would like to do that on my site www.BadrIT.com.
Mohamed, I guess it depends on how you define "legal". There's no *law* saying you can't do that, and I really can't imagine that Google is going to notice or really care if you tweak with the script if you're sending them traffic. However, I do recall that the terms of service for searches indicates you shouldn't be monkeying with the script.
Thanks for your reply, i reviewed the terms of service but the only restriction i could found is that i must put google logo, can you tell me please where is the part that say not to play with the scripts, i am feeling that i may missed some thing!
First thanks for all the helpful information. I imported the code and when I search "my" site, for a word, for example, Necklaces, it returns results from my shopping cart software, but not from my site proper. When do a Google site search for www.maggies107.com, I get the first page of my site, and the shopping cart data. What do I need to do to get the balance of my website to show up? Would including the sitemap for the Google information cure this?
Thanks for the info. Appreciate the service, as I am in the boonies with no other brains to pick.
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Thanks for the code. Great help!!!
Hi Dave! Wicked awesome plugin. But, I do have a query.
First: It works. No sweat.
Second: Whenever I add the code checked="checked" somehow after I submit the changes, it wipes that particular string out. nothing else, just that. Like it's invalid & trying to get rid of it. Any clue why? I can't get the code to make the box checked.
Alternately, I'd be happy with no check box, so it ONLY searched my site. I couldn't finagle the code to do that though. Any clue?
Can I modify my "custom google search box" to just search a few specific sites, not just one?
Thanks for the code to add google search box in my blog. But i have a problem integrating wikipedia search within the same script.. i tried making another button for wikipedia but with no success with the search results. Since i am not that familiar with HTML, i couldn make it work. Is there any way u can make it work?
When I add your code into my blogger:
only search Ask Dave Taylor
It appear the following warning:
"Please correct the error below, and submit your template again.
Your template could not be parsed as it is not well-formed. Please make sure all XML elements are closed properly.
XML error message: Attribute name "checked" associated with an element type "input" must be followed by the ' = ' character. "
Please help me to solve this problem.
Thanks you so much.
My server has a pre-coded search query box that searches just my site and does what I need for the most part. I am satisified with that aspect, yet is there a code I can insert within their code that will HIGHLIGHT the search result? I have an example for test search box on the url:
A search of 'Chicago' yields 13 results, but I have a lot of text on the site and I feel the users will get frustrated trying to find their keyword without a highlight tag.
Or another option, is there a code that will make it jump to the first result within the website, then a next button, similar to the search option for a keyword in Microsoft Word Document that will make it jump right to the next result?
FrontPage has an insert search box option, but I have a code conflict with my server and I'd rather just use the servers code and I insert their code manually. My site is new and hasn't been listing on Google yet so the Google search box isn't an option yet.
Thanks for all your assistance to others, I have been reading a lot of your site today.
It was really fruitful and it was up to my needs it also proved to be inspiration for me i tried and found out Google Custom Search Engine
Ultimately very happy....
Thanks Chaitanya Parekh ! With a little work I finally got it to search all of my pages and not just the front page. Also for the ease of use for my visitors, I just added a message above the search box to view in 'cached' for their keywords to be highlighted since I have a lot of text on my pages. I appreciate your suggestion for to Google Custom Search Engine option. Up and running perfectly, thanks again.
I do have a lot to say, and questions of my own for that matter, but first I'd like to say thank you, Dave, for all your helpful information by
buying you a cup of coffee!||
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