A site search engine is a mini search engine located on a web page or web pages of an individual website. A site search engine often appears as a small rectangular box in the upper left or right corner of a web page, and is sometimes captioned with “search this site” or “search the web.” These options invite the site’s visitors to search either the website they are already on, exclusively, or the Internet as a whole. A site search engine may also be labeled “powered by Google” or some other search engine, to indicate that the search being performed is administered by that specific search engine and will yield the same results that one would find at the search engine’s main site.
Search engines such as Google often encourage webmasters of corporate websites to include a site search engine on multiple web pages of their website as part of their business solutions, as some websites may feature millions of individual web pages. Google charges organizations a fee for this service, starting at $100 US Dollars (USD) annually, which includes several benefits to both webmasters and the site’s visitors. Some of these benefits include enhanced search features such as synonym-searching, which automatically yields results for both the keyword entered as well as its synonyms; multi-lingual searches, which allows users to search in various languages; customizable search boxes that can be tailored to bear the website’s logo and branding; and webmaster reports, which make several important statistics available to the webmaster, such as which keywords are being entered into searches and which pages are visited.
Many search engines also make a site search engine available to webmasters for free, by making the HTML code readily available on their site so that webmasters can drop it into their own website’s Content Management System (CMS.) A free site search engine typically has fewer features than a “custom” one, and will often display the search engine’s logo on the screen as well as ads next to its search results, which may lead users away from the website they are on and direct them to sponsors of the search engine which powers the site search. Although this is a drawback to the host website in terms of traffic, webmasters are sometimes also rewarded with incentives from search engines for each time a search is performed on their website using the mini site search engine.