Creating a Google Custom Search and using it in Drupal

This FAQ was last modified on: Wednesday, September 14, 2016 05:00pm
  • For Drupal 7 sites it is fairly simple to replace the GSA (Google Search Appliance) with GCS (Google Custom Search); a no-cost ad free service for non-profits. This is super simple on Drupal Express Sites. The instructions below will provide a near match to the default search that the GSA (Google Search Appliance) provides today and after the GSA is decommissioned.

     Google Custom Search – what is it and how do you set one up?

     Google Site Search is specifically designed for businesses looking to create a

    highly customizable Google-like site search solution for your website (or websites).

    A SaaS solution with no hardware or software required, Google Site Search:

    • Brings Google’s industry-leading relevance and powerful search experience to your site

    • Deploys easily and is easy to administer

    • Provides multiple customization options for search results appearance and attributes

    It should be emphasized that Google Site Search creates a separate index for

    the website or websites you specify. It does not influence or impact the ranking

    of your website on

  • You should be logged in to a Google account before you start the process. If you do not have an account you should create one and login. Please ensure your Google account is tied to a Departmental Alias and not to an individual employee's account.
  • Click this link
    • Click the ‘Sign up now link’
      • Don't worry about the pricing as we are eligible for the ad free, no cost service. Just follow the directions below.
  • If you are logged in to an existing Google account and go to custom search engine page
    • From the Custom Search Page click the “Create a custom search engine"
    • Enter the following sites in to the ‘Sites to search’ dialogs
      • *
      • *
      • *
      • *
      • *
    • Leave the ‘Language’ drop down set to the default ‘English’
    • Enter a Name for the search engine in the ‘Name of the search engine dialog
    • Click the ‘CREATE’ button
      • This will take you to the Congratulations page
        • Click the Control Panel button next to Modify your search engine
    • From the Custom Search Engine page for the search engine
      • Click Look and feel link
        • Select Results only
        • Click the Save button to save your changes.
      • Click the Business link
        • From the Settings tab click the “Do not show ads…” radio button
  • That’s it your GSE is ready
  • There are many options to refine your GSE
    • One of interest is Promotions which can be found on the Promotions tab under Search Features
      • This lets you add promoted referrals for query key words
        • These then show up at the top of the returned results in your user’s queries.
    • You can read about this and many other things you can do with Custom Search here:
  • From Drupal you can use this search as the default for your sites:
    • Login as admin to your GT Drupal Express site.
    • Install the Google Custom Search Engine Drupal module and enable the module
    • On Modules page and click on Other tab, look for Google CSE module, and click to enable it.)
      • After installation configure it
        • Configuration » Search and metadata>Search settings
          • Under Active Search Modules
            • Deselect Advance help
            • Select the Google CSE checkbox
          • Select Node
            • Under Default search module select Node
              • This will make the default search look as the Drupal index of the site by default
          • Under GOOGLE CSE
            • In Google Custom Search Engine ID
              • Add the unique Search engine ID
                • You can get this from your GSE search engine page>Basic Tab by clicking the Search engine ID
            • In Search results tab name
              • Enter ‘GT-via-Google’
            • Click the Save configuration button to apply
          • Allow all users to use the GCS
            • People>Permissions>
              • Select Google CSE
                • Check all users for Use Google CSE search
                • Click Save permissions to apply
          • Go to Appearance > Settings > GT Sub Theme (Your current active theme)
            • Under SEARCH OPTIONS
              • Check the Search This Site option
              • Click the Save configuration button
  •  That’s it - now when you search from Drupal you will first get results from the site content then have the option to return results from your CSE ‘GT-via- Google’