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Help Your Readers Search Your Blog

When your blog gets larger, you'll want your readers to be able to find the content easier - sometimes using more detail than can be found in the Archives index.

You can generally use Labels for a more comprehensive index of the blog contents - but both labels, and titles, index the posts based on your vision of the blog. What if you want your readers to view your blog, on their terms?

This is where the Navbar, with its search box, becomes useful.

The Navbar based search is a good choice, for most readers of the blog.

It's a good choice - assuming that you don't block the Navbar, and assuming that your readers like using the Navbar - and that the navbar based blog search is not broken.

You can use search accessories outside the navbar.

But you're not confined to using the Search box on the Navbar - you can make your own search box, and position it where you like.

Setup a new HTML / JavaScript gadget, to get a very simple search box for your blog. Use the "HTML/JavaScript" selection in "Basics".





Just copy the code - a simple 4 lines - to the new gadget.

<form action="/search" method="get">
<input name="q" type="text"/>
<input value="Search This Blog" type="submit"/>
</form>

You can add this gadget, in many places.

Having setup your new gadget, you can position it anywhere on the page. Or, you can have a search box inside a post, as I show above. See "Search This Blog", above - and "Search The Real Blogger Status", at the top of the sidebar?

And, there are still more possibilities.

You can get way more fancy, for instance search multiple blogs at once, using a Google Custom Search box, but for a 5 minute blog upgrade, this is all that you need.

  • Search only the posts, in the one blog.
  • Search your blog directly, not from search engine cache. No waiting for search engine updates.
  • Search private blogs, with some chance for success.
  • Display search results as part of the blog display, with all blog accessories and decorations visible.

This is very user friendly - your readers will appreciate it. And it's so easy to add.

Comments

Arizona Steve said…
Hey, do you know of any way for ftp published blogs to add a search box like this? We don't get access to all the nifty Blogger elements. :(
Nitecruzr said…
Steve,

This feature is plain old JavaScript, which will work fine in a Classic template. You will have to edit the template HTML, but beyond that issue, it's perfectly doable.
Thank you! I did it and it's neat.
Anonymous said…
I just discovered your series of posts on adding this search to my blogspot blog. Understand that I'm not tech savvy. I went into "Add a Gadget" but could not locate "Find and select "HTML/JavaScript".

I've copied and saved the code. Hope you can direct me to where it goes.
Nitecruzr said…
Elaine,

I don't enjoy the disarray of the list in "Add a Gadget", but "HTML/JavaScript" is in the "Basics" list, a bit more than half way down (right now). You'll have to look very carefully.
Jim Davis said…
I'm trying to set up a search box for an ftp published blog but I can't get it to work. I tried replacing "/search" with my URL/search and got nowhere. I set up a directory named "search" but got nowhere again. Obviously I need to learn a lot more. I'll appreciate any help.

Thanks,

Jim
Nitecruzr said…
Jim,

With BlogSpot / Google published blogs, there's a standard folder URL structure. This pos, for instance, is "blogging.nitecruzr.net/2008/07/help-your-readers-search-your-blog.html", and it's in folder "/2008/07". The search term "/" directs the search to start at the root, ie at the level above "2008".

If you publish your main page to the root of your blog, with the archives under it ("2009", "2008", etc), I would think that a search of "/" should work. Unless the search only works for dynamically published blogs (BlogSpot / custom domain).
I have completed setting up my blog, but it does not come up when I search for it on the net. It is written(published/) for BlogSpot.com, Google. What do I need to do to launch on the net??
Ames in CT.
Nitecruzr said…
Ames,

You launch your blog on the net with lots of hard work.
Wow, I just keep clicking on things on this blog and learning and learning. I will be spending lots of time here, thanks.
Anonymous said…
it is simple and really great.
Anonymous said…
Thanks for all the information. I was a little disappointed with no activity on my blog(it is barely a week old) but it would also not show up in the google search engine,I have a lot of answers now and it is some solace. I have also gone through lot of hard work and I am implementing most.Thanks I will keep trying and will continue to read the information here:)
Outlier Babe said…
Thanks. Just thanks.
Noisy Quiet said…
Hi there. I'm having an annoying problem with my navbar searches on one of my blogs. A basic search widget like yours (not the google one) yields the same problematic results as the navbar search. It seems I'm not the only one on blogger with this issue (complaints go back to 2009) but I was wondering if you'd ever read of a workaround or fix.

From troubleshooting today I've found that:

1) Only posts past a certain date appear in the search (even if you click "show older posts.")

2) It may be related to posts that are back dated to before the blog was created, but I can't find a uniform number of days for that. Though with two test blogs I created today, the magic number seemed to be "7." Posts dated 7 or more days before today don't show up in search results. (- My existing blog with this issue doesn't fit the 7 day pattern.)

3) The above holds true for posts created today, saved, and then back dated to 7 days or more ago, as well as imported posts.

4) If the blog is made private, the search works perfectly. - But the problem returns as soon as it's made public again.

5) On the Edit Posts page, the search box there has the exact same issues if you search with "Published" posts selected, but works perfectly with "All" posts selected. (and if the blog is set to "Private" it works correctly with "Published" too.)

That's all I remember off the top of my head.

Thoughts? It's so darned frustrating :P
Thanks! Happy New Year!
Thanks for supplying the html for the search box! I discovered that my blog's gadget was no longer working. Now that I used your code, all is good. Much appreciated.
Sgpwritingh said…
Thank you Chuck for showing this search box! It is been very helpful!
Mike said…
Thank you - that's really helpful. Now that I have a seach box I can disable the Navbar.
Unknown said…
Worked fine thank you..
Lucie said…
Chuck, I now have your RSS comment feed coming to My Yahoo page and see your response dated today to a post started in 2008--which is good.

That brings up another question.
I clicked on the author's name and it states "dean hasn't shared anything with you.

People are more likely to share with you if you add them to your circles.".

I get this a lot in Picasa where I like to share albums. How do I know what albums/discussions the other person has that would be of interest to me--or they mine, before adding them to my Circle?
Nitecruzr said…
Lucien,

The notation "xxxxx hasn't shared anything with you ..." is normal, with Google+. Until you Follow that person - and the other person Follows you back - you may never see what content (if anything) the other person shares.

Following people in Google+ - and deciding who to Follow - is not a linear task. Nor can your friends tell you, reliably, how to choose who to Follow.

I could probably publish a small blog, simply discussing Google+ - and a large number of posts would be about Following people - and being Followed.

All that I can advise you is to Follow whoever looks interesting. As you read your stream - and as you +1, Comment on, and Reshare various posts, Google+ fills up a database about you, who you Follow, and who Follows you - and who +1s, comments, and reshares who. The database is termed "Relevance".

When you, people that you Follow, and people who Follow you, +1, comment, and reshare, each others posts, you get high relevance with each other. Then you use a tool like Circloscope, to analyse who you Follow in terms of relevance - and trim those with low relevance.

It's a fluid process - and you go with the flow.
Lucie said…
I have pretty much been going with the flow, but am confused about the +1 thing? I think I just need to add them to my circle and if they add me back, if we both like what we have in common, that's all there is to it? And, if we don't, we can always delete.

Love you website!
Nitecruzr said…
Hi Lucien,

I think you pretty much have the idea. If you have Google+ questions, you can find answers in the Google+ Help Community.

Thanks for the encouragement!
1st Rate said…
Thanks so much for this, it really helped!
Kelly said…
Thank you SO MUCH! I tried using code from several other people on various forums and blogs, but yours actually worked for me. Yay!
Thank you, thank you!! It works like a dream!!

I'd also like to say a big thank you for all the work you've done to provide us very useful info. I don't comment a lot, but I sure have appreciated your tips.
Thank you! This was an easy fix and is working great!

Jill
www.dousedinpink.com
Unknown said…
Thank you so much...! Up and running!

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