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Add Google Custom Search Engine to WordPress Site: A Step by Step Guide

add google custome search engine

Because currently Google is the best search engine and Search pioneer in the globe. There is no reason you shouldn’t add Google Custom Search Engine (CSE) to your WordPress blog. It will give best search experience to your blog readers too.

Why Google Custom Search Engine is perfect for your site?

Although WordPress has successfully emerged as the most popular Content Management System (CMS), it still performs poorly in the search department. If you are using the default search feature in your WordPress website, your visitors might not get the appropriate results because of the following limitations:

  • Results are often chronological (although some attempt has been made to weigh relevance).
  • Your site don’t include comments, custom post types, and other data, without the use of a specialized plugin, such as SearchWP.
  • Advanced parameters cannot refine the search results.
  • The search results display the default WordPress excerpts (often the first paragraph).

And there is an alternate solution. You can integrate CSE provided by the world’s most powerful search solution, Google. Because it’s free, allows you to limit the search to your sites only, and can be run from your own site. Replacing the default WordPress search with Google search can help by:

  • Including more relevant search results through the power of Google’s indexing and ranking.
  • Including all content on your website within search results.
  • Searching across multiple domains to provide results from your other web properties.

Having said that, let’s see how you can easily add Google Custom Search Engine to your WordPress site. To make it easy, we have created this text instruction on how to add Google search that you can follow below.

How to set up your Google Custom Search Engine

Enabling Google Custom Search Engine on your site is extremely simple with four following steps:

  1. Install WP Google Search plugin
  2. Create a Custom Search Engine
  3. Customize the Search Engine
  4. Add Google Custom Search Engine to the site

Install WP Google Search plugin

This first method is easier and recommended for beginners. It allows you to add Google search to your WordPress site without modifying your theme files.

First thing you need to do is install and activate the WP Google Search plugin.

Upon activation, you need to visit Settings » WP Google Search to setup the plugin.

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The plugin will ask you to provide a Google Search Engine id. Here is how you will get a search engine ID.

Create a Custom Search Engine

  1. Log into Google Custom Search Engine.
  2. Click New Search Engine and enter the details:

add google custom search engine 01

  • Sites to search: You can enter one or more URLs for the sites or pages you want to search, on your site or any other.
  • Language: This is the language of the search engine itself; therefore, it affects buttons and design elements.
  • Name: This is auto-generated from the URLs entered above, but you can change it.
  • Advanced options: You can additionally restrict the search to only pages that include certain Schema.org types, such as Product or Event.
  1. Click Create.

When you successfully create your CSE, these options will appear for you to add it to your site:

add google custom search engine 02

Customize the Search Engine

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  1. On Setup section, you can change the name of your search engine, provide a description, allow image search and speech inputs, add additional websites, etc.
  2. Click the Look and feel menu to change the look of your search engine.

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  • Layout: Choose the suitable layout of web search. For example: Overlay, Two page, Full width, Two column, Compact, Results only
  • Themes: You can choose the theme.
  • Customize: This lets you select the font, border color, background color etc. for the search box, search button, result title, result URL, promotions etc.

Add Google Custom Search Engine to the site

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  1. Click on the Save and Get Code button at the bottom of the page. This will save all of your customizations, then it will take you to the page where you will find the necessary code for your search engine. Copy the code from this page.
  2. Switch back to your WordPress site and paste the search engine ID in the WP Google Search’s settings page and then click on the Save changes button to store plugin settings.
  3. Visit Appearance » Widgets page, then drag & drop the widget to a sidebar where you want to display the search form.


Add Google Custom Search Engine has completed, test your search engine now! Again, you can play with the settings in the Google Custom Search Control Panel and the settings will be automatically reflected on your site.

If you still have any question about adding Google site search to your WordPress website, please leave a comment below. You may also share some other ways of doing this.

I'm the content marketer at ThemesPond. In addition to writing blog posts, I edit our blog, and manage our many content contributors. Also, I’m a member of the WordPress community. I’ve devoted my time on delivering all necessary elements in the WordPress ecosystem, like WordPress tutorial, plugins, themes.

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