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Today you’ll see a new and improved sitelinks search box. When shown, it will make it easier for users to reach specific content on your site, directly through your own site-search pages.
What’s this search box and when does it appear for my site?
When users search for a company by name—for example, [Megadodo Publications] or [Dunder Mifflin]—they may actually be looking for something specific on that website. In the past, when our algorithms recognized this, they'd display a larger set of sitelinks and an additional search box below that search result, which let users do site: searches over the site straight from the results, for example [site:example.com hitchhiker guides].
This search box is now more prominent (above the sitelinks), supports Autocomplete, and—if you use the right markup—will send the user directly to your website's own search pages.Google Changes Sitelinks Search Box Taking You Straight To a Site's Own Search Pages [googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com]
You need to have a working site-specific search engine for your site. If you already have one, you can let us know by marking up your homepage as a schema.org/WebSite entity with the potentialAction property of the schema.org/SearchAction markup. You can use JSON-LD, microdata, or RDFa to do this; check out the full implementation details on our developer site.
Google Custom Search allows you to create a search engine that reflects your knowledge and interests. With Google Site Search you'll enjoy additional features and support to help you integrate Google search into your website. Learn more [google.com] about the features of Google Site Search.
If you implement the markup on your site, users will have the ability to jump directly from the sitelinks search box to your site’s search results page. If we don’t find any markup, we’ll show them a Google search results page for the corresponding site: query, as we’ve done until now.
This search box is now more prominent (above the sitelinks), supports Autocomplete, and—if you use the right markup—will send the user directly to your website's own search pages.
I work at Google in search and was involved in this launch. I'd like to clarify one tiny detail as I initially misread it. Adding the schema.org markup to your homepage makes the site eligible for the new search box but doesn't guarantee it. We have algos that look at a whole slew of signals to decide if/when to show the search box for a given site and query.
This means you should add the markup if you have a site-specific search so that when the algos find enough support to show it, the search points to your site's search feature.
On the free Custom Search, Google displays AdSense. How does this carry over to this particular setup? AdSense with site search is probably not a good option for many business models. Question for me would be is whether it's possible to use this feature with a paid version Google Site Search (ie, a paid Premium Version of Custom Search)
whether Google can provide autocomplete if it's using your own site search function