Use Google Custom Search Engine with Joomla

| Joomla
joomla google custom search engine

Joomla comes with a search component that can look inside articles and other components. However, the search component does have some limitations. For example, it can't index content that is included in modules or plugins.

To search through all of the content on your Joomla pages, Google Search Engine provides a powerful alternative.

In this tutorial, I'm going to show you how to integrate Google Search Engine in Joomla.

Step #1. Install the ITP Google Search extension

We're going to use an extension called ITP Google Search.

Go to the extension page and scroll down to download it.

Download the ITP Google Search extension

  • Login to your Joomla administrator area.
  • Go to Extensions > Manage.
  • Upload a Package File.
  • Browse the zip you just downloaded.
  • Click "Upload and Install" button.

Step #2. Get the Search Engine ID

Go to the Google Custom Search Engine page.

If you don't have a Google account, click "Sign in to Custom Search Engine" button and continue the process. On the other hand, if you're already logged in, click "Add".

Create a Google Custom Search Engine

Fill in the required fields:

  • Sites to search. Type the URLs of the sites where you want to use the Google search box.
  • Choose the language.
  • The name of the search engine.

Options for creating your Google Custom Search Engine

  • When you're done, click "Create" button to reach the success page.

click Create while making a Google Custom Search Engine

  • Click "Control Panel".

A successfully created Google Custom Search Engine

  • Click the "Search engine ID" button.
  • Copy your search engine ID.

Your Google Custom Search Engine ID number

Step #3. Configure ITP Google Search 

  • Go to Components > ITP Google Search.
  • Click "Options" in the right-top of the screen.

ITP Google Search component options

  • Paste the Search Engine ID from the previous step.

Entering Google Custom Search Engine ID into Joomla options

  • Save and close.

Step #5. Create a module

Let's display the search form on our website:

  • Go to Extensions > Modules > New.
  • Choose the "ITP Google Search" module type.

Creating a Joomla ITP Google Search module

  • Show or hide the Search button.

Google Custom Search Engine module options

  • Choose a valid module position and enable it in all pages.
  • Click Save and close.

Step #6. End result

Go to your public site and test the search form.

A Google Custom Search Engine module in a Joomla site

The search results will be displayed right away.

Google Custom Search Engine results on a Joomla site

Note on using Google Search

There are some disadvantages to using Google Search:

  • Google won't be able to index and show search results for private content on your site.
  • You have less control over your customization of the search.
  • There may be a delay in showing items in Google's search results, as you wait for Google to index the site.

About the author

Valentín creates beautiful designs from amongst the tequila plants of Jalisco, Mexico. You can see Valentín's design work all over this site and you can often find him helping members in our support forum.