We have a website being developed. It is currently on a staging URL, e.g. stage.example.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, e.g. www.example.org.

2 Answers 2


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

  • 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
    Commented Jan 26, 2012 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
    Commented Jan 26, 2012 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'
    Commented Jan 26, 2012 at 10:30

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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