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Customising the visual layout of the searchbox

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2:56 pm on Jun 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I've sent off an email to AdSense to ask them about some changes I've made to the searchbox.

Until now, my sitesearch (Atomz) has been located on the right hand side of the page in a column only 124 pixels wide.

I changed the AdSense search box, so that it would fit the same width - basically you can see the Google graphic, underneath which there is the search field, underneath which is the button, underneath which the two radio buttons - and have asked AdSense to give the green light.

I am hoping that if you don't touch the functionality of the search, you can visually format the search box however you want to.

I'll report back when I get a reply.

3:31 pm on June 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I really wish publishers could have more flexibility here in the appearance of the search box. It can be quite limiting, although I can see why they want their Google logo brand there. I would be happy background color flexibility too.

I see others have already made TOS violating changes, such as opening results in new windows, etc. It will be interesting to see if this is something the AdSense team plans on enforcing.

3:57 pm on June 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Background colour flexibility is something I would like to see introduced too. At the moment, because of the anti-aliasing, you can't have the Google logo on anything but a white background.

I just stuck style="background:#fff;" into the <img> tag.

5:27 pm on June 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Oh, here's a discovery.

The logo they give you is anti-aliased for a white background:

[google.com...]

But I took a wild guess and found this one:

[google.com...]

which is the same logo, anti-aliased for a black background.

7:14 pm on June 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

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There's a gray background logo too.

See [google.com...]

7:39 pm on June 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

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> I changed the AdSense search box, so that it would fit the same width - basically you can see the Google graphic, underneath which there is the search field, underneath which is the button, underneath which the two radio buttons - and have asked AdSense to give the green light.

Exactly what I have done, and it fits in with the existing page well enough. However, I don't want to upload it until we know if this change is acceptable. I've emailed them my version of the code, but I bet they'll take a while to reply as they must have had a busy day.

8:20 pm on June 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Another vote for being able to change the background color.
8:31 pm on June 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I'm testing the search on one of my sites, though my background color is #FFFFF, which makes it clash horribly with the Google white background. I countered that by making a table for it with a black background, but it creates an unnecessary extra space at the bottom as a result. I then countered that problem by adding a line above that says "SEARCH HERE:" in white text. It's not perfect, but it's a workable solution for now.

Here's hoping the black background version comes out soon.

6:09 am on June 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I got a reply back about modifying the code. They will allow a shortening of the textbox length and putting <BR> characters in to modify the table layout. They say no other modifications are acceptable, but those are the mods I asked about. They said they allow a "limited" amount of customisation - my guess is that they have had a stack of emails about it and are having to modify the TOS on the fly, as they said originally that "NO" modifications were allowed, and within 24 hours that seems to have changed to "LIMITED".
9:29 am on June 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

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They forgot target="_top". On my framed site clicking the Google logo frames the Google site in my own. I wonder if that is the sort of thing they want and whether people there have their thinking caps on at all.
10:55 am on June 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

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AdSenseAdvisor writes about code modification in this thread [webmasterworld.com]. Minor changes are allowed, as described above, but you do need written permission from G.

IMHO all this is a slap in the face of every professional webmaster who tries to adhere to accessibility guidelines. So it is against the TOS to put <label> around the radio buttons? Or to add the accesskey attribute to the text input box?

Come on Google, think again.

12:23 pm on June 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

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The lack of <label> was one of the first things I noticed too... it's a bit shocking... doesn't Google have anyone who knows basic stuff about standards compliance, browser compatibility and accessibility guidelines to check the code before they put it out?