We offer DNS masking, which allows you to show searchers search.YOURAGENCY.gov (instead of search.USA.gov). Follow these steps to mask your domain.

  1. Create a CNAME in your external DNS records for search.youragency.gov. Point it to yoursitehandle.sites.infr.search.usa.gov. Your site handle is listed on the settings page in the Search Admin Center.

    For example: if your site handle is abc, the DNS record would look like this:

     search.youragency.gov   CNAME  abc.sites.infr.search.usa.gov

    NOTE: if your site handle contains a ., please replace it with a - in your DNS record, e.g., for site handle abc.gov.search the DNS record would look like this:

     search.youragency.gov   CNAME  abc-gov-search.sites.infr.search.usa.gov
To use a CNAME with HTTPS, you will need to email us after your DNS records have been updated in order to be added to our SSL certificate. If your CNAME is not on our SSL certificate, browser security warnings will appear when your search results page attemps to load over HTTPS. We are only able to offer top level domain masking with HTTPS: i.e., search.youragency.gov but not search.subagency.youragency.gov.
  1. When the setup is complete, change your search box’s form code action from search.usa.gov/search to search.youragency.gov/search.

Your domain mask will work as soon as this DNS update is complete.

Troubleshooting tip: Many agencies have both internal and external DNS. Be sure to update your external DNS records (step 1) before changing your form code (step 2).

Did you know? Any search site within your domain may use the same domain mask and CNAME record, even if the CNAME is not associated with that particular site’s handle. To implement an existing mask for a search box, just do Step 2, above.

Did you know? Once the CNAME is set up, if visitors to your site happen to truncate the URL in the browser bar to http://search.youragency.gov (without any parameters), they’re automatically redirected to your agency’s homepage at http://www.youragency.gov.

Did you know? Most of our customers use a search.youragency.gov mask (such as search.nih.gov). If the search subdomain is already used by another application, you can use find or findit, such as find.irs.gov or findit.state.gov. We no longer support other subdomain patterns.