Custom Google Search problems

Hi,
I have installed the Custom Google Search plugin today from WPMU, and followed all of the instrcutions for activating on my site, but it has been a huge flop..

I have put the Custom Google Search code into the plugin settings, and placed the resultant widget into my sidebar.

But when i test it by putting is a search term for something that is common on my site, I get a response which says "No results".

Can you help?.

By way of background, all of my pages are static pages, fo which there are about 45, with masses of content.

The word Golf must be referred to over 1000 times but when I put "golf" as a term, there are no results (except for some Google ads).

I have no post pages set up and therefore no categories, taxonomies or the rest.

My site is not yet live, but all of the pages are published. But I have not yet ticked allow Search Engine Visibility in oreder for them to index the site. That is becasue I will be changing the url before I do. This is becasue I am revamping an existing site, and will replace that sites url.

The standard Wordpress serach function is useless as it invents and places information in the search results that have no meaning for static pages, such as categories, date published, author, etc. I dont wan these to appear. But is does seem to work.

I have just spent about about three hours checking and double checking that I have done everything correctly, and cant see what I have done wrong.

I dont really want the Google ads to appear in the results anyway, until such time as I might sign up to ad sense, which is a way off.

Are there any other search plugins that work with static pages rather than posts?

The WPMU Global Site Search plugin does not seem to be an option for me in this situation, as although I am progressing to multisite, I want the results to be local to this one url at thsi stage, not all of the subdomains.

Sorry for the lenght of this post, but I wanted to explain fully.

Thanks
Paul

  • Adam Czajczyk

    Hello Paul,

    I hope you're well today and thank you for your question!

    You mentioned that your site is not "live" yet and you haven't yet allowed it to be indexed by Google. Google Custom Search requires site to be indexed by Google crawlers and it's not plugin's but Google requirement. Therefore the plugin will only work (will return search results) after the site gets indexed by Google.

    As for Google Ads. It's not possible to turn them off using free version of Google Custom Search code. Google may provide you with "ads free" search code but they'll charge you for this. Again, it's not a matter of "Custom Google Search" plugin but just Google Custom Search service and their offer/requirements.

    There are however some other search tools for WordPress and if standard search, Google Custom Search doesn't work for you you may want to try this one:

    https://wordpress.org/plugins/relevanssi/

    It is very advanced search engine for WordPress and I think it may be of help here.

    Best regards,
    Adam

  • Paul Yates

    I think I have just found the answer to my own question. I just read the following on Googles pages, which suggests that until your site has been indexed then the Custom Google Search will not work.

    If this is correct then this plugin is completely useless in a development situation, where your site is not yet live, but you want to test the search functionality. This is not explained in the WPMU instructions on how to get this to work.

    I will therefore have to dump it and try something else. All suggestions welcome.

    Google quote:

    What is indexing?

    In order for your site's contents to be included in the results of your custom search engine, they need to be included in the Google index. The Google index is similar to an index in a library, which lists information about all the books the library has available. However, instead of books, the Google index lists all of the webpages that Google knows about. When Google visits your site, it detects new and updated pages and updates the Google index.

    To see which pages on your site are in the Google index, you can do a Google Web Search for "site:mywebsite.com". If you want more pages included in the Google index, you can create and submit a Sitemap through Webmaster Tools.

    If you don't want to wait for your newly added or updated pages to appear in your custom search engine results, see On-demand indexing.

  • Adam Czajczyk

    Hello Paul!

    That is exactly what happens. As you can see I already mentioned it before. However, please note that it's not the matter of the plugin but of Google. The plugin is just a "wrapper" for Google Custom Search that helps you implement it on site easily with no need for any coding and/or theme/template changes. You're right though that we could make it more clear and I'll be happy to suggest putting this information into plugin's docs to our usage writers!

    As for alternatives, I think you could make use of previously suggested Relevanssi plugin which is - in my personal opinion - on of the most robust search-replacement plugins for WordPress:

    https://wordpress.org/plugins/relevanssi/

    For even more custom solution, please take a look at this article on our blog:

    https://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/custom-faceted-search/

    Have a nice day!
    Adam