A year ago, Google first started testing a solution—a search box that could be placed in a sidebar. Like in WordPress, the search box was available as a sidebar widget (“Gadget”)—but only in Blogger in Draft. At the same time, Google announced an embeddable comment form in Blogger in Draft.
To add the widget, go to Layout—Add a Gadget. Select search box. (The pop up window also gives a preview of the search results.)
Where the old Blogger search on the header bar showed the results integrated with the blog template, the new search box creates a results frame above the blog content (search box in the left sidebar; results box in the main post column):
The tabbed results frame also offers results from web pages linked from your blog, and the web at large. If you have a link list, that’s a fourth option for a tab. If you don’t want these tabs, these options can be customized when you add or edit the Gadget.
Overall, this is a good step toward making Blogger a stronger hosted blogging platform. Making the individual blogs more powerful and user friendly is definitely a smart move. The only question here is: is this too little, too late?