Of Special Interest...

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Google AdSense for Search--Upgrading to the New and Improved Search Engine

A recent article in WebProNews reported that Google will be retiring its current version of AdSense for Search in just a few months, and a new, enhanced version is now available. Rather than hang onto the old, I decided to perform the upgrade now. Let’s go through the steps together.

Sign into your Google AdSense account using the old interface. To verify that you have the old version: see on the upper right, after the time of your last log in, “Try the new AdSense interface (beta)” in red type. Instead, if you see “Return to old AdSense interface,” obviously you have the new interface. I couldn’t find the right place to proceed with the new interface, so if you have it, click to return to the old version.

In the old interface, click on the second tab, “AdSense Setup” and go down to the second product and click:

AdSense for Search Improved!
“Offer your users site search or web search while earning revenue from ads relevant to their search terms.”

For Search Type, I chose “Only sites I select” and entered this blog’s URL to the box “Selected sites.” I skipped the “Optional Keywords,” thinking that they’re already listed at the bottom of each post.

“More options” defaults were quickly verified: English language, West European Latin-1 (ISO-8859-1) encoding, United States for country, and clicked “Automatically create a new channel” so the drop down box says “No channel selected.” Safe search applies to web searches, not searches of this site, but I made sure it was checked anyway because I never want to see or endorse “sites and web pages containing adult themed and explicit sexual content.” Continue.

I selected the search box with the watermark and kept the text box length at 31 characters. Continue.

As I write, I’ve been walking through this process again (this time adding a permitted second custom search box) so I can avoid any errors of recall. Now that we're at the point where there’s a choice for the opening of search results, I think but am not certain I chose “Google in the same window.” I recall reading somewhere that Blogger doesn’t allow search results to be displayed in the site itself. Unfortunately, I cannot check where search results will be displayed by going to the newly installed box, doing a search and seeing what happens because I think this violates the Terms of Service.

For “Ad Location” I chose “top and right” (this particular Blogger template doesn't allow ads or gadgets on the left side) and think I didn’t change the palettes from that which was displayed. Next, continue to “Get Search Code.” Be sure to check the box after reading the additional terms, and enter a name for your new search engine. Mine wasn’t very creative—“Our Own Search Engine”—but the given name doesn’t display.

Next, click “Submit and Get Code.” (This time, for hours I repeatedly got “The page at https://www.google.com/ says: Error while trying to save your AdSense for Search settings. Please try again later.”)* Anyway, the instructions are to copy and paste the personalized code in the page where you want the search engine to display.

Back in Blogger, from the dashboard I went to “Design” and then “Edit HTML” and checked “Expand Widget Templates”—until I realized I had no clue where to find the correct place in the code to paste the search engine code so that it would appear where I wanted it, along the right column of the blog, near the top. So, under “Design” I went to “Page Elements” and clicked an “Add a Gadget” box along the right column. From there, I chose “HTML/Java Script,” pasted the search engine code into the large box, left the “Title” box blank, and saved it.  That works fine, but later I went back and added a title for clarity: "Search this Blog."

Because I didn’t want the search box at the very top of the list, while still in “Page Elements” I moved the new search box by clicking and holding it, moving it underneath the next box in line, and releasing the mouse button when the box was in the new place, second in the column. A blank “Add a Gadget” box cannot be moved out of its position; only after a gadget has been added to the box. Click the orange button “Save,” which is in line with “Add and Arrange Page Elements” and to the right of blue “Preview” and “Clear Edits” buttons.

Go ahead and “Preview” or “View” (which is located up on the dashboard) the blog, and you’ll see the new search box right where you placed it. Here, notice my two new AdSense for Search boxes: "Search this Blog" and "Search the Web."  If only all website changes could be completed this easily!

~~
* Eventually, the code went through and I added it to an HTML/JavaScript gadget. Another roadblock:

 "We're sorry, but we were unable to complete your request. When reporting this error to Blogger Support or on the Blogger Help Group, please:
• Describe what you were doing when you got this error.
• Provide the following error code and additional information:  bX-2myth2
Additional information:
blogID: 975288774251564062
host: www.blogger.com
uri: /rearrange

"This information will help us to track down your specific problem and fix it! We apologize for the inconvenience.

"See if anyone else is having the same problem: Search the Blogger Help Group for bX-2myth2.  If you don't get any results for that search, you can start a new topic. Please make sure to mention bX-2myth2 in your message."

I looked through Blogger support and learned that there’s no particular meaning to Blogger error codes--didn't we all suspect this?-- and that clearing the cache might help. To do this in Internet Explorer, go to Tools > Internet Options > General > Browsing History > Delete and then check "Temporary
Internet files" and "Cookies."

After this, I closed and reopened the browser and repeated the steps for a new web search box.  Success.  However, as you can see, there’s no watermark in the search box, and nothing to show that it’s powered by Google.

2 comments:

  1. Hi Kinderhook,This is a great blog full of good tips and advice. I am using adsense for my blog too, there's still a lot I have to learn. Your article about Adsense for search is a great help. Thanks, treasures306
    If you would like to join my new blog here is a link http://www.letsbeready.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks, Treasures306. I just joined your blog--very nice site! We'll be learning from each other.

    ReplyDelete