Roslyn Zolandor Team : User Experience and Information Architecture Tags : Web Development SEO Search

Taking Google Site Search beyond the standard search results

Roslyn Zolandor Team : User Experience and Information Architecture Tags : Web Development SEO Search

Here at Wiliam we use to build our own bespoke website searches but now days unless it needs to be very customised and very specific we opt for Google Site Search.  Google Site Search is free if you don’t mind Google ads else for a standard website with up to 1,000 pages and averaging 250,000 search queries a year it is a reasonable Google subscription of $100 per annum.

There are some defiant advantages of using Google Site Search the most obvious is that you can be sure Google has indexed your site.  It is also very fast and very recognisable meaning people are so use to using Google the results won’t be difficult for them to understand. 

However the drawback is that you have so much more information you can share and knowledge you can use to help them find what they are looking for which you can’t do with the standard search results.

Setup Google Site Search

Once you have:

  •  Setup your Google account 
  • Google has index your website
  • An you implemented the Google code on your site

    You’re ready to use your search.

Next enhancing your results by customising

1. Refinements

You can allow your users to refine their search queries using a predefined refinement labels.  A search page can have as many as 16 refinement links.  Refinement labels appear at the top of a results page before the result snippets. 

1.1 Search with refinement labels


1.2 Clicking the Treatment link refreshes the page and shows a different set of results

2. Customising Result Snippets

It is possible to customise Google snippets to include more than just a title, short description and link.  You can also include for example document types, authors, page views, and comments.  These publisher-provided are defined with specific metadata markup in web pages.

2.2 Result snippet with formatting, links, image, and comparative information

2.3 Result snippet that includes document types, authors, page views, and comments