I am trying to get an API that I can use to do searches on my own site.

Google has something called Site Search and something called Custom Search. What is the difference?

I make a new site search, then it is listed on a page with custom search in the heading. This is really confusing.

I just want an API that I can use to search my site. I would prefer JSON to XML as the results. And if this service is offered by someone other than Google, that is fine too.

The ones that I create at Google want me to embed a premade search box into my site. I do not want that, I want an API that I can call from PHP or JS.

How can I get this?

1 Answer 1


The biggest difference between the two is how the results are displayed. A Custom Search sends you to Google to see the results. The Site Search allows you to integrate the results with your site. I believe that Site Search gives you results in XML format for site integration.

Also Site Search is not free. Custom Search is supported by Adsense.

Since you are looking for the api version, you want site search, since that has an xml api.

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