I have managed tons of sites in a niche. I noticed on a few of the sites that did not offer an in-site search area had much hirer page views per visit and time on site. In most case 40% more on both metrics.
I have a site that I have been running for just under a year it is quickly become the authority site in the niche. Tons of users have been craving an in-site search function. I obliged and both the page views per visit and time on site dropped by 35% overnight.
Is that going to kill my ranking; even though I have very happy users?