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Google search boxes can no longer be altered.

Posted on 2016-10-20
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Last Modified: 2016-10-20
UNFORTUNATELY Google has change the game plan on everyone.  In order to put a google search box on a website it used to go into a <form> tag.  You could then use CSS to alter the look of it.  NOT ANYMORE.  Now you get a generated js script that automatically puts in a search box that looks terrible.  You put these tags " <gcse:search></gcse:search> " where you what the box to appear in your code.  Since the code is generated by google it cannot be altered.  Simply replacing the cx in the old form tag will not work.  Google does not want people to use the form tags anymore, and tried as I did I could not get the form tag format to work with google's new js code.

The only way I can think of to over ride the terrible look of the google box is do so in CSS.  HOWEVER...big problem.  I looked all over the web and cannot find an example or list of the code/css that is being generated between the google <gcse:search></gcse:search> " tags.  Without knowing the code or class generated in the behind code there is no way to change it to something that looks nice.  Google only offers result display choices.  They do not offer box choices.

Do you know of any code examples of what is being generated, or where I could get a list of the CSS class or code that I can use to make the box look decent?

Here is the old style form tag that google does not use anymore:
<form id="local_form" action="http://www.google.com/cse"> <!-- the form action will be changed using javascript -->
				<div class="textfield-container">
					<!-- <label for="search_local_textfield" accesskey="s" class="hidden">Search this site: </label> -->
					<input type="text" name="q" id="search_local_textfield" class="search-textfield" size="35" autocomplete="off" value="Search" onfocus="if(this.value=='Search')this.value=''" onblur="if(this.value=='')this.value='Search'" />
					<input type="hidden" name="cx" value="017201984285415750805:ypbrseilgxg" /> <!-- Update this value with your search engine unique ID. Submit a request to the OTech Service Desk if you don't already know your unique search engine ID. -->
					<input type="hidden" name="cof" value="" /> <!-- this value will be set using javascript -->
					<input type="hidden" name="ie" value="UTF-8" />
					<input type="hidden" name="nojs" value="1" />
				</div>
				<div class="submit-container">
					<button type="submit"></button>
				</div>
			</form>

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Here is the new style of code generated by google that can't be altered:
<script>
  (function() {
    var cx = '007869872437826671579:4lzit-stmto';
    var gcse = document.createElement('script');
    gcse.type = 'text/javascript';
    gcse.async = true;
    gcse.src = 'https://cse.google.com/cse.js?cx=' + cx;
    var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0];
    s.parentNode.insertBefore(gcse, s);
  })();
</script>
<gcse:search></gcse:search> 

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Question by:smitty62
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7 Comments
 
LVL 83

Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 41852446
Most of these kinds of things are done with iframes that are generated by the javascript.  It give Google and others more control over what is done.  And they can change it whenever they want or need to.
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Author Comment

by:smitty62
ID: 41852453
How do I get around this problem so that I can design my own?  Do you know of any published code examples in using an iframe to customize my own box?
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LVL 83

Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 41852471
I don't think you can get around it.  All of the code in the iframe is loaded from Google.  It will replace whatever you do.
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LVL 20

Accepted Solution

by:
Russ Suter earned 500 total points
ID: 41852474
Looks like it's still possible to edit things but you'll probably need to use the !important keyword to make the CSS stick.

I just did a quick jsfiddle to prove that it works:

https://jsfiddle.net/rsuter/u19nrw77/

Of course this relies on Google not changing its class names randomly.
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Author Comment

by:smitty62
ID: 41852567
Do you know of any complete listings for google class names?
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Author Comment

by:smitty62
ID: 41852590
I was able to select the box in Chrome, right click and choose inspect.  That allowed me to view the code and get the information needed.  Thanks for you help.
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Author Closing Comment

by:smitty62
ID: 41852591
Thank you.
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