After I did all the work to customize a search results theme page, I found a link at the original site telling of an easier way to do the same thing.
Get the mightysearch plugin and follow a couple of tutorials for getting it up and running. You can see what this plugin does for your site by doing a search in the sidebar to the left. It allows you to do Google searches but display results with your own website’s theme.
Ironically, the page that got me started on all of this does not use either method to display his search results as of this writing.