Joomla includes a site search feature, but the results are not always as relevant as you might expect. Here's a way to display better search results by replacing the standard search module with Google powered search.
1. Download the googleSearch component. Note that there are two files and you only need to download the one relevant to your version of Joomla.
2. Download the googleSearch module. Once again, you only need to get the relevant file for your version.
3. Go to your Administrator and install both the component and module as normal. If you need help, refer to lesson 12 of the Build a Joomla Website tutorial.
4. If you are already using Joomla's native search component, find it in Module Manager and disable it.
5. Still in Module Manager, find the newly installed module, labeled Google Search and click it to edit. There are no parameters to adjust here, but you may need to change the Module Position from left to your desired template position. Also make sure Enabled is set to Yes.
6. Go to Components - googleSearch. There are a number of settings but the important ones are:
Google Adsense ID: if you have an Adsense account, enter your account number here so your ads will appear in the results. The extension instructions at the top suggest that you must enter something here, but it does work if you leave this blank.
Width of search result: you'll probably have to play with this a bit to find the ideal setting based on your template design.
Search domain: enter your domain name.
Search domain label: You can enter your domain again but I tend to use "This site". This means the search box will allow your visitors to search the "Web" or "This site".
Search Domain as default: Set to Yes.
Select Web/Domain position: This setting is towards the bottom. Depending on your design, you might need to change this to Right.
Search button position: same as above.
7. Go back to your front-end, type in a search phrase, hit ENTER and the results will be displayed inside a normal page.
- Pages will only be displayed in the search results if those pages have been indexed by Google.
- Although this extension is free, there is a link to the developer's website at the bottom of the search results. This can be removed by making a $10 payment to the developer.
- Further instructions can be found on the developer's site