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Observe the following results for searching the text "dictionary" on Google:

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Notice that there is a custom search box at the bottom of the listing for dictionary.reference.com. Is there any documentation floating around that explains the criterion by which Google decides to display such a search box?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 8 down vote accepted

To follow up from the answer above, here's the official Google blog post about the feature:

http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2008/03/search-within-site-tale-of.html

The key bit says: "This feature will now occur when we detect a high probability that a user wants more refined search results within a specific site. Like the rest of our snippets, the sites that display the site search box are chosen algorithmically based on metrics that measure how useful the search box is to users."

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+1 for finding Google's announcement. I was too lazy to do that. :) –  John Conde Nov 5 '11 at 15:25

There is no criteria specified by Google and this isn't something a website controls. Basically Google uses an unknown criteria for deciding what sites it offers this for. But it's not hard to see that it only is applied to very large sites with a search feature that is commonly used. Wikipedia is another example of where you should see a search bar.

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