Added sitelink search field schema for site search in Google search results

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For some sites, Google will show an added feature in the search results: a sitelink search box, so that searchers can perform a secondary search only for results on your own site. But not all sites display the search box, which seems to relate to both the quality of the site and the intent of the searcher. If a searcher is likely to search results only on your site, Google is more likely to add the search box to your result.

Google actually displays two different types of sitelink search fields. One is simply a site search: example.com for your site, as with Wikipedia – note that it says “Wikipedia.org results” and the search results are just a second Google search.

The second, which requires a diagram, will allow Google to display the results on your own site, using your site’s search engine instead. Walmart uses the schema so their search box will instead display results on Walmart’s own site. Note the slight change in the text in the search box to “Search on walmart.com” instead.

For many sites, hosting your own search results for this makes a lot more sense for many reasons – pageviews and ad revenue are big two. So for these reasons adding a schematic makes a lot of sense – it just requires diagram added to home page.

If you don’t already display a Google search box in your Google search results list, simply adding the pattern won’t trigger Google to suddenly display it. So while you can still add the schema, don’t suddenly expect to see the site search box for your site in the search results. This is something John Mueller explained in a recent Google Webmaster Office Hours.

The thing to keep in mind with the sitelink search box is that we don’t show it just because you have the markup, but rather with the markup we are able to show which version you prefer. .

So if we don’t show any sitelink search fields for your site for queries on your site, then adding this markup won’t change anything, won’t encourage us to start showing it. But if we already display a sitelink search box and link to a site: search for your site, and you’re saying I prefer people to my own site because I have better search results in internal or maybe I can put some more marketing material around the search results or maybe an ad or something, then that’s something you can do.

Once we display the sitelinks search box, this markup helps us choose which version you prefer to display.

So adding a scheme to use your own internal search engine from Google search results will work great if Google already shows your sitelink search box in its search results. But don’t expect it to magically appear in search results just because you’ve added the markup.

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Jennifer Slegg is a longtime speaker and search engine marketing expert, working in the industry for almost 20 years. When not sitting at her desk writing and working, she can be found having latte at her local Starbucks or planning her next trip to Disneyland. She is a regular speaker at Pubcon, SMX, State of Search, Brighton SEO and more, and has been present at conferences for over a decade.

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