Monthly Archives: December 2011

Improvements to Autocomplete

Custom Search Autocompletions allow you to add to the list of useful queries users see as they type in the search box. Today we are announcing two major improvements.

Promotions in Autocomplete:

Promotions are a great way to call special attention to a result by putting it at the top of search results and making it visually distinct. Now you can choose to display them in autocomplete too. To enable this feature, simply click Show promotions in autocomplete in the Promotions section of your CSE’s Control Panel. Note that promotions based on regular expressions or the $q variable will not appear in autocomplete.

If you’d like to have promotions that appear in autocomplete but not in search results, you can add them via the new Autocomplete Promotion tab of the Custom Autocompletions in the Autocompletion section of your CSE’s Control Panel.

Match mode:

Match mode give you options for how Google displays autocompletions. The following are now available in the Promotions section of your CSE’s Control Panel. Changes to match mode will require you to update the CSE code snippet on your site.

  • Prefix (default) mode matches the opening words of the user’s query: “how to bake” will trigger “how to bake a pie”.
  • Ordered mode doesn’t require the words to be in the opening, but their order must match the user’s query: “bake a pie” will trigger “how to bake a pie”.
  • Any mode matches regardless of the order of the words in the user’s query. “pie bake” will trigger “how to bake a pie”.

We hope these new options make autocompletions even more useful for your site. Read more about Promotions in Autocomplete and Match mode. Let us know what you think in our discussion forum.

Posted by: Min Zeng, Software Engineer

Image Results for your Custom Search Engine

Since the launch of Custom Search in 2006, CSE has powered searches on a broad range of sites on the web. Until now, those CSEs have only returned text-based results, but in some cases images can be a much faster, easier and more visually appealing way to search. For photos-focused sites, image results are a great way to showcase your beautiful photos and help visitors to your site quickly and easily find the photos they want. We also think sites focused on news, celebrities, art and digital production assets will similarly benefit.

Now you can add an image results tab to your CSE to offer your visitors image-only results in a variety of image-optimized presentation formats. Once you enable this feature, your CSE will have two tabs. The first has your current web search results and the second, Image tab, contains the image search results. Here’s an example from

Enabling image results is easy! Just visit the Basics page of your CSE’s Control Panel and check the Enable image search checkbox. You can change the layout of your image results on the Look and feel page.

Once enabled, you’ll also be able to get separate image search reports from your CSE’s Statistics page.

This new feature is available to all users of our Custom Search Element (you will need to Get Code and update your site). Since we are transitioning all iframe users to the Element, this should be most sites. Our Google Site Search users can also access Image Results via XML. To learn more about Image Search for Custom Search, please visit our help center. Let us know what you think in our discussion forum.

Update: check out the New York Times Image Search app powered by Google Custom Search.

Posted by: Peng Zhao, Software Engineer