In terms of SEO is there any benefit about using Google SiteSearch over internal search (eg. Wordpress' own search engine)?


Not directly. They both will find your content (although Wordpress will find it faster since it knows about the content immediately whereas Google has to find it and index it first) and display it to your users. And neither affect your rankings since neither affect your content.

The only possible advantage I see from using Google SiteSearch is it forces Google to crawl your site more frequently and deeply as they need to make sure they know about all of your content in order to deliver useful search results. Obviously doing this for site search means they can use the same information in their main search results which is a good thing.

  • Pretty sure that adding Google SiteSearch is not improving their indexing of your website. If you have an official source from Google stating otherwise, it would be nice of you to link to it. If not, then it is just not true and might mislead the OP. – Evgeny Oct 29 '10 at 18:33
  • I didn't say it did. I said "possible advantage" and provided my reasoning for it. If you think otherwise please state why. – John Conde Oct 29 '10 at 18:42
  • You might want to include a link to google.com/support/customsearch/bin/answer.py?answer=97294 in your answer then. – Evgeny Oct 29 '10 at 18:57
  • You already did. :) – John Conde Oct 29 '10 at 19:03

Google internal search will work great if 100% of your pages are indexed by Google. If for some reason you have pages that are not indexed correctly it will usually be better to use the wordpress own search engine.

  • Does Google site search not crawl your site separately from regular Google indexing? Surely the paid site search entitles you to more detailed indexing than the free custom search or regular Google indexing. – Lèse majesté Oct 29 '10 at 18:50
  • 1
    Apparently, it does. google.com/support/customsearch/bin/answer.py?answer=97294 – Evgeny Oct 29 '10 at 18:57
  • That makes sense, since not every page on the web is worth indexing, but if you install a search engine for your own site, it had better include every page in the site. – Lèse majesté Oct 29 '10 at 19:01

I just use both with this custom addition to the theme's search.php file:

<div id="googleResults">
    <h2>Google Search</h2>
    <iframe id="gcs" src="<?php
        $url_iframe .= 'http://www.google.com/cse?';
        $url_iframe .= 'title=Search_Results&';
        $url_iframe .= 'cx=' . $google_code_cx . '&';
        $url_iframe .= 'cof=' . $google_code_cof;
        $url_iframe .= 'q=' . urlencode( get_search_query() ) . '&';
        $url_iframe .= 'sa=Search&';
        $url_iframe .= 'siteurl=' . urlencode($_SERVER['HTTP_HOST'] . $_SERVER['REQUEST_URI'] ) . '&';
        $url_iframe .= 'ad=w9&num=10';
        echo htmlspecialchars( $url_iframe );

... add some CSS styling and some show/hide functionality with Javascript and your visitors get all the search they need (and then some).

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