When you enable autocomplete on your search engine, users will be able to see lists of useful queries as they start typing in your search box. For example, if your CSE contains sites about classical composers and a user types ta into the search box, she might see autocompletions like tallis and taverner".

Where do autocompletions come from?

Google automatically generates autocompletions by analyzing a variety of characteristics of your custom search engine, including the content of the pages it contains.


Activate autocomplete

  1. On the Custom Search home page, click the search engine you want.
  2. Click Search features, and then click the Autocomplete tab.
  3. Switch Enable autocomplete to ON.

Once you enable autocompletions, your users will start to see them within a few hours. If a few hours have passed and you still don't see any autocompletions, try double checking these settings:

  • Because the autocompletions we generate depend in part on the specific content of the pages in your custom search engine, Google won't generate autocompletions for search engines that search the entire web. Make sure that you've set your preferences to Search only included sites and not Search the entire web and emphasize included sites. (To check your preferences, click Setup under Edit search engines on the Control Panel.)
  • Make sure you have included an appropriate set of sites for your custom search. Autocompletions will not currently be generated based on sites included indirectly via annotation feeds.
  • As autocompletions are content dependent, adding/removing any URL/URLs patterns to/from "Sites to Search" and "Sites to Exclude" will impact what autocompletions are generated.