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WiscWeb - Adding a Google Programmable Search Engine to Your Site

WiscWeb sites have the ability to add Google Programmable Search Engine (formerly known as Google Custom Search) functions to their site to supplement the native WordPress search technology. This document will walk you through the process.



Google Programmable Search Engine allows you to provide your users with more robust search capabilities. The native WordPress search that comes standard with WiscWeb sites only searches for keywords in your pages and posts and can fail to find relevant results. Google's Programmable Search provides more accurate searches and includes additional content from uploaded files (like PDFs) and custom post types (like Fac/Staff content).

Here are a few examples of what you can do with this tool:

  • Customize the appearance of your search results
  • Connect it to your Google Analytics account so that the two tools are sharing data on user behaviors
  • Add autocomplete to your search box
  • Categorize your search results

For a full list of Google Programmable Search Engine's abilities, please see the related Google documentation.

Creating a Google Programmable Search account

To create a Google Programmable Search account, follow the instructions in UW-Madison Google Workspace - Create an ad-free Programmable Search Engine

Note: The documentation linked above will also walk you through how to remove ads from your search account.

Adding the search engine ID to your WiscWeb project

  1. Log into your WordPress site dashboard, hover your mouse over the Appearance menu on the left and choose Customize.

    Appearance Customize Menu

  2. In the left menu, select Search Options

  3. In the next screen, check the box for "Use search on this site." 

  4. Once you have that selected, you can then enter your Search Engine ID value in the field, and click Save & Publish

    Search Options Screen

Keywordssearch engine results find google wiscweb cms home page locate site programmable custom SEO customizable   Doc ID69294
OwnerMatt G.GroupWiscWeb
Created2016-12-08 15:32:37Updated2023-09-01 09:12:45
SitesDoIT Help Desk, WiscWeb
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