Ed Hoffman just pointed out an interesting search box on the LA times site. When you click on the search box it pops up to a larger box and includes a link to their advanced search.
Before you click
After you click
As part of our site search tips – we recommend making the search box large enough to handle most of your queries. If you’re just not able to afford the real estate then this is a nice compromise. Note: There are other benefits to having a large search box – the most important being a large search box is easier to find. You want it to be easier to find to encourage people to search because typically people who search will convert 2-3 times better than people who don’t.
I think search is less important on a news site than, say an ecommerce site. I think the LA times approach of having a small search box that gets larger when you click on it is sensible. Nice work LA times!