I recently found that a Google Custom Search engine on a website had stopped showing all results or was severely limiting the results.
The search had worked for several years then suddenly it was either returning no results or very few irrelevant results.
I checked on Google Webmaster and there were no reported issues, all pages were indexed by Google.
I was also able to use Google to search using the same keywords, for example a Google search for:
returned 50 results., where as a search for ‘help’ using the Google Custom Search will return less than 5 results.
Google’s official response is to check you’ve included the domain in the ‘Sites to search’ section.
However no matter what I entered it didn’t help.
What I did find is that by using ‘Include just this specific page or URL pattern I have entered’ and entering in the URL pattern for the website worked.
Suddenly my search results using Google Custom Search were back to normal.
Here’s the URL pattern I used: