Replace Google Site Search with Bing Site Search

Having a site search available on your web site is essential. It can be frustrating to find a site from search results that looks like it might solve a problem, but when following the link to a landing page you discover that the content is only "almost" what you are looking for. Most visitors will immediately look for a search box to fine tune the search to find all related documents on the site that may be more targeted to a specific solution. This is one reason why a site search box is essential, and that it should always have a prominent place on each and every page.

Search engines now provide the ability to easily install snippets of code on your site to provide search functionality.

Recently, I have removed Google's search widget from my site and replaced it with Bing. Google's search results, which are inserted into a template page that you specify is horrendous looking. On the other hand, Bing's search widget produces an elegant pop up box of the search results that anyone can easily page through the results.

example bing results

To get started building your Bing search widget, go to the Bing Box start page. You'll have a choice of either the Basic or the Advanced search box:

  • The Basic Search Box will generate code to display results on the Bing site.
  • The Advanced search will generate code to display results on your own site as a pop up (looks cool and elegant).

Both search boxes allow you to specify searches on a particular site or all the web. Click the Get Started button once you make a selection.

Specify the Website(s) to Search

With Bing you can specify up to 10 different sites to search. The display name is what will be shown in the tab. Each tab will represent the site searched so enter a name that makes sense. I used "Search Site:" but now that I understand where the name is used, I'll change it later.

Enter a URL of the site to be search. For instance, for my site, I entered Click on the Next button to continue.

Customize the Search Box

Choose the display language, the search box width, the search results pane dimensions, and the results pane color theme. The dimensions default to small but I find the 800x550 more useful for 1024x 768 monitors. There are only 4 color themes available but all 4 of them produce attractive results. Click the Next button to generate the code.

The code snippet generated is all you need to add a search box into your page. Simply paste the code into your page where you want the search box to appear.

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