How to implement Google Custom Search with Adsense in Blogger or Wordpress Blogs? [I have seen Adsense Search performing much better (in terms of CTR and revenue) after switching from the standand Adsense for Search to the more customizable Google Custom Search.]

If you are looking for new ways to maximize Adsense Income from your blog or website, it makes more sense to use Google Custom Search with Adsense on your site instead of the regular Adsense for Search program. Here are some reasons:
  1. Adsense for Search allows minimal customization of the Google Search Box and you are limited to white, black or gray colored search boxes. In Custom Search, you have complete control over layout and branding provided the custom changes comply with the Adsense TOS.
  2. For site specific search, visitors can either search the entire web or just the pages of your current site. In Google Custom Search engine you can completely remove the "web option" and let visitors search just the sites you want - there are no radio checkboxes.
  3. Ads are always displayed at the top of search results in Adsense for Search which may not be the most optimized layout for all blog websites. In Adsense Custom Search, you can chose to have ads at the top and right, top and bottom or just in the right sidebar similar to what you see on Google.com.
To use Google Custom Search with Adsense in blogs hosted on Blogger or Wordpress, you have to use a workaround since these blog do not allow adding new pages which are essential for hosting the search results page.

First, create a Custom Search Engine. Type your blog URL(s) in the "Sites to Search" section and choose "Show Ads on Results pages". Then connect your Google Co-op account with Google AdSense through the "Make money" tab in your search engine's control panel.

Next click the "Code" tab and open "Search box and search results code for your website" - Specify where you want the Google Ads to appear and click Save changes.

Create a new HTML webpage in FrontPage or any WYSIWYG editor such that it look very similar to your blog homepage.  Now copy-paste the "Google Search Results Snippet" from Google CSE page to your local HTML page. Save the changes and upload your webpage to your Dropbox. Make the file public and get the link.

Copy the full URL of this HTML webpage and paste it in the URL box of your Google CSE Code panel. Next copy paste the Google CSE Search Box snippet in your blog template and Save.

For self-hosted Wordpress blogs, you can create a new page with post slug that says "search" and paste the Google Search Results snippet inside the page.
More AdSense - Custom Search Tips
  1. If you have narrow site layout, use the Watermark style branding and it shows the Google Logo right inside the search box.
  2. For best CTR, use the Top & Right Ads option.
  3. Stretch the Google Search Results across your page width [like 800px].
  4. Never link to your search results pages from blog posts - that's against the Adsense Rule.
  5. Don't provide Google Toolbar buttons for your Adsense Search pages - that's also against the rule.
  6. Do not modify the height of Adsense Resultset - that will break the layout in cases when just a couple of pages are available for certain search queries.