Google custom search is a service that is provided by Google to have a search box customized for the websites. If you are wondering about the purpose behind having a customized search box, well, the main purpose is the website users need not leave it to search for their queries. This box can be further customized to connect to related websites and blogs.
Difference between Google Custom Search & Google Web Search
There are a few differences that can be seen when you set up your custom search engine when compared to the usual google search. The results displayed in the custom search will be more about your products than others on the web. These will be a subset of the Google index results. Moreover, if you include more than 20 websites then the results will be different from the Google.com results.
Pros and Cons of using Google custom search
There are various advantages of having a search box that is provided by Google on your websites. Some of them are:
- One of the major advantages of using google’s custom service is that it is free of cost. Thus it is useful especially for small business owners who do not have a lot of money to spend on website development.
- Since the search results are from Google’s core technology the quality of the results is always top-notch which makes it highly useful for website users.
- The setting up of this is also simple and straightforward. Moreover, there are built-in themes that can be used which adds to the ease of use for the website developers.
- The free version of this service shows ads but one can remove ads from google custom search by taking a paid version. But if you want to stick to the free version then Google shares a part of their revenue through the AdSense account. That means if the users use the search you get money from the ads.
- The search box functionality and appearance can be easily customized.
- Collecting user behaviour information can be done by linking it to Google Analytics.
Cons of Using Google Custom Search
Google custom search is a service that has many features and functionalities but it has some disadvantages too. Some of them are:
- The basic setup is pretty straightforward but to be able to customize it there is a need for API knowledge.
- Any changes that you make to the website will not be displayed immediately as there is no control over when the Google index happens. So it may take days or even weeks to display updated results.
- No control over search results: For certain search queries the results are not as expected and there is little control over that.
Google Custom Search Engine has no impact on SEO
If you are planning to add this search box hoping that it will help in the SEO of the site then it has no bearing. It does not help in ranking higher but it is useful in providing a good user experience. That helps in retention rates as the users do not have to leave the site to search for their queries. But one thing the google custom search engine does is that it gives user insights that can be used for SEO.
Having a custom search engine has many benefits for your website. But that does not mean it has to be a Google custom search! There are many affordable google site search alternatives that can be used based on your use case.