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We have a website being developed. It is currently on a staging URL. eg: stage.testdomain.com

We want to use Google Site Search for searching on the site. To make the site go live we need sign-off and working search.

How can I setup Google Site Search if it is not on its final URL yet? Final URL will not have stage sub-domain and have a different domain, eg: www.mydomain.com

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I suggest you setup the search AFTER your site in your corrent url. Otherwise you will have lots of duplicates on the web, or 404 if your staging url removed.

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Great reasons not to do it this way. I should be able to explain it with your reasons. I will mock something up for sign-off if required. –  tab Jan 26 '12 at 8:12
    
yes, you can just make 1 page site said site is coming, then go apply for the account in google –  Eric Yin Jan 26 '12 at 8:16
    
+1 I had to set up custom search for a client a few times in the past(same client, multiple projects) and there wasn't really any way to handle staging domains other than to temporarily remove the search function for a couple days while the live site URLs got crawled. This was a few years ago, so something might've changed, however. –  Su' Jan 26 '12 at 10:30
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You could use Google Custom Search which is free (and has ads and has less control of branding) if the client really wants to see it before sign-off. However it won't be as the final version will be because you have less control.

Or you could just explain that you'll set it up once the site goes live.

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