Let Me Taste Your Soup – The Importance of a Search Box

Let me tell you a joke:

A funny old man sits down at a restaurant and orders chicken soup.  Once it’s delivered, he calls his waiter over to the table.

Waiter – “Yes sir, how can I help?”
Man – “Please taste the soup.”
Waiter – “Is it cold?”
Man – “Just taste the soup.”
Waiter – “Is it too salty?”
Man – “No, no, just taste the soup.”
Waiter – “Is there something in it?”
Man – “Taste the soup.”
Waiter – “Fine!…Where’s the spoon?”
Man – “Ah-hah…”

Now to get to the point – let me taste your soup!!!  How do you expect for your readers or an advertiser to find what they are looking for if you don’t have a way to search your posts?  They may have something that interests them and would love to find your posts about it…hard without a search box.  And if you are one of my clients, and you don’t have a search box, you are driving me nuts!  So repeat after me, a search box is your friend.  A search box is your friend. A. Search. Box. Is. Your. Friend.

Now you may be thinking, but I have archives, isn’t that enough?  No, sorry, but only your biggest fans will spend the time needed to peruse your archives to find the post that they are looking for.  Those of us just looking for a post on cell phones or what your view on cable is won’t be able to find it without a search box.

Just in case I haven’t been clear – LET ME TASTE YOUR SOUP!!!  Thank you.  :-)

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14 comments to Let Me Taste Your Soup – The Importance of a Search Box

  • I’ve gone back and forth on this a bit, but I think a search box is a good thing. I can see how it would be especially helpful for advertisers, but I doubt readers use it as often. As you said, simply having an “archives” listing isn’t very helpful at all, especially when you have hundreds of posts.

    I think for readers purposes, it’s more helpful to have a “Start Here” or “New to this site?” page or sidebar widget where you can highlight your best and most popular content. That’s usually what I look for when checking out a new blog.

    Technically, you could search an individual site in Google using the “site:” function, but I know not every knows this (and it’s more of a pain, anyway).

  • I thought they were just standard on blogs these days! :) I agree with Jeffrey’s comment that a “Start here” can be helpful, but I think a Search box is still a must.

  • LOL Yes Crystal. Search box officially added back.

  • I love that joke!! My theme has always had a search box but I just went and tested it to make sure it works. All clear…

  • Another benefit of the search box is that you can find out what your readers want to find more information on and learn about. It is a built in way to find new topics to write about.

  • Thanks for the tip on adding a search box to my blog. Like Briana, I followed your advice.

  • Thank you, thank you for this! I stumble upon some good blogs, and it is frustrating to not be able to search for items. I usually just leave the blog because I get so frustrated.

  • How bad is that? Just had to check my own site to see whether I have a search box – phew I do!

  • Done! Funny how the common sense things escape some of us :)

  • I’m in the middle of changing website hosts right now (so my site is down for a couple more days until the former host releases me to the new host). The new host allows me to change up my layout (quite a great deal), to include a recipe index (hurray!)–and to include a search box that will only search published pages (as opposed to all content, inclduing unfinished content).

    And so, my site will now have a search bos on every page, and I’m rather excited about it. Reading this makes me even more excited about it.

    Hoping I’ll be back up on Wednesday sometime–search box, new layout, and all!

  • I removed the search box from my site because it sucked. It never pulled up what I was searching for. Since I want to ‘guide’ the reader through the site I replaced the search box with a better navigation bar. So far traffic is looking better since then.

  • Yes, just did this. Thanks!

  • I never even thought of a search box for my blog! Thanks for the tip.

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