Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Friday, June 16, 2006

Integrate Google Search Results On Your Web Pages: Google AJAX Search API (Beta)

Google has released a new, experimental AJAX-based search API that allows you to embed a dynamic search module into your web pages and enables your visitors to perform searches within Google and other sources directly from your web site.


The Google AJAX Search API, which is still a beta, is indeed very flexible: users are able to choose between blog, local, web, and video results (or have them all appear) and also to customize the searcher's style.

If your web page is designed to help users create content e.g. message boards, blogs, etc. The visitors of your web site will also have the option of mashing up Google search results with other content on your site or add search results clippings to their own content.

Google AJAX Search API supports all major browsers and is a free beta service, available for any web site that is free to consumers.




The Google AJAX Search API is a widget that allows you to embed Google Search in your web pages and other web applications. The API consists of Javascript that allows you to display results from Google searches, including text and URL results from Google Web Search and results from searches on other Google services ("Google Search Results") on your website.

Click on the above image to enlarge it

The image above shows how you can incorporate the AJAX Search API in user composition. In this case, users can clip Google search results to their comments on a blog post.

Click on the above image to enlarge it

You can also use the Google AJAX Search API to Integrate Google search with your website or Google Maps and create a collection of your favorite places.


Google AJAX Search API is completely customizable, enabling you to change the options of the Search Control and configure various searchers and drawing modes according to your needs. You have the ability to set a user defined label for a specific searcher. This lets you replace the current system defined label of "Web", "Blog", etc., with a label of your choice e.g., "My Site", "", etc.

Uses that are more confident with CSS will also appreciate the possibility to change the style of the searcher and specify a user defined class suffix to wrap the results for any searcher.

Google recently launched a new add-on for the Google Personalized Homepage that is based on the Google AJAX Search API. Through this widget you can, for example, perform local searches within your home town and it can be used as a reliable in-page address book. You might be also interested in searching within a specific web site without having to leave your Google Personalized Homepage (Check out how you can add the new gadget directly to your Google homepage.)

The AJAX Search API is currently in Version 0.1. It's an experiment designed to get developer feedback and may change over the next several months.

Brady Forrest at O'Reilly Radar commented on the launch of Google AJAX Search API and said:

"For Google this is about distribution and getting on more websites. By making a rich UX accessible for little work they will get even more people willing to put their results on their pages. Assuming they add advertising (which is mentioned as an "if" in the FAQ) then the uptake will definitely increase - especially if site-owners are able to share in the AdSense revenue (it's not surprising to note that the AdSense question was the first one asked in Developer's Group) ".


To use Google AJAX Search API, you will first need to sign up for an API key. In order to obtain the API key, you must sign up for a Google account.

The Google AJAX Search API currently support Firefox, Internet Explorer 6 and Safari. Additional browser support is coming soon.


The Google AJAX Search API is a free beta service, available for any web site that is free to consumers. Google stated that when they will formally launch Version 1.0, it will likely contain advertising.


If you have questions or problems, check out the Google AJAX Search API discussion group to see if anyone has had the same problem you are facing. The Google AJAX Search API team also participates the group and answers questions.

Learn more

You can take a look at the Google AJAX Search API documentation to know more about this service.

Another useful resource is the Google AJAX Search API blog, which reports all the latest news.

Read the FAQ about Google AJAX Search API.

Photo credit: Jamez Picard

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posted by on Friday, June 16 2006, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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