by Kevin on October 1, 2009
Search is a large portion of most sites on the web. Without search, it would be extremely difficult to find content on your site. Sites without some form of a search box or archive system are extremely hard to navigate, and they make visitors shy away from the site, only reading recent comments.
While most blog systems do have a built-in search plugin or method, you may want some more advanced methods of tracking and managing your site’s search. For example, you might want to focus on newer content, avoid searching particular keywords, etc. These plugins come into more use when you look into redesigning your site or need to analyze what your visitors are searching for the most frequently.
The following plugins can be used across platforms. Typically, they will utilize “simple” CSS and HTML to allow this. Customization is generally limited, and some of these have plugins that make it easier to include in other platforms (but also have the “General” functionality).
Lijit – There are quite a number of features that Lijit includes, one of them being the ability to use it across nearly every platform. Some of them include: Twitter, Flickr, Delicious, LinkedIn, JS-Kit, Digg, WordPress, Blogger, TypePad, and more.
In an overlay, search results will be displayed, separating Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, and third-party site results. Like the Google search box, you can make money by adding relevant ads into the top of the search results page.
Nearly eleven thousand blogs are using the widget at this time.
Search Meter – Automatically recording what people are searching for, you can hone in on what your readers are searching for. You can also show your visitors the most popular trends, somewhat like a smaller version of Trending Topics.
Additionally, statistics can be viewed, between your last 100 or 500 searches.
Q-Sensei Sidebar Widget – This plugin will add more content into your sidebar, displaying other search results within your sidebar, making it similar to related posts, but with similar posts according to what has been searched for.
WP-TwitterSearch – Displays the latest search results based on a Twitter search. You can place the widget within your sidebar or within a single post/page.
Enhanced Search Form – This plugin makes it easier for your visitors to search for specific queries, as the form supports XHTML. Multiple conditions are allowed and connected by and Boolean operation.
Google Search for WordPress – Replacing the default search results with those from Google, you can use this plugin for better, more advanced results – it gets your results from Google, so you have to wait until some of the content is indexed.
Search Hilite – This plugin highlights search terms that have been used to find your site.
Search Everything – This plugin increases the ability of the default WordPress Search, with the following features: search highlighting, search every page/tag/category/non-password protected pages/every comment/only approved comments/drafts/attachments/custom fields/search/etc.
Live Search Popup – Want more interactive search for your blog? This plugin may be your answer, using an AJAX pop-up and Spotlight-like search results. Please note that it hasn’t been updated for some time.
Search Unleashed – Add more areas of your blog to search from – pages, comments, meta-data, and more. Extendable search engine support, everything can be configured, and a more advanced search widget are all included.
I have included some tutorials and widgets below to make search better within Blogger, although some may not apply to your template if there is already one styled.
Adding a Search Widget to Blogger – An easy-to-follow tutorial on how to add a search box to your sidebar.
Google Search Widget (Web and Site Search) – Ideal for people who want a quick way to add Google search to any platform, this plugin utilizes Google Search.
What plugin do you use for search within your blog? This post was just an introduction to some tutorials. I’ll cover some of them more in-depth if you wish to have a review of any of them.