Create your own search engine

Create Your Own Search Engine

Google has recently announced their latest product, the Google Custom Search Engine, enabling anyone to build their very own vertical search engine.

This new product can be compared to Eurekster, Yahoo! Search Builder, or Rollyo.

What makes this product unique is that it is built upon Google’s highly successful search platform.
In their official announcement, Google said….
«We want to make it easy for anyone to create a search engine about all of their favorite topics, without needing a Ph.D.,» said Marissa Mayer, Vice President of Search Products and User Experience. «Everyone — businesses, organizations, moms, dads, teenagers, and teachers — can harness the power of Google technology to create a personalized search experience that reflects specific knowledge and interests.»
Google custom search allows you to quickly create your own search engine by choosing which websites and directories you want to include in your index.
You can include only those sites or give those particular sites a higher ranking while still including the larger Google index.
Here are some of the other benefits you will find in Google Custom Search:
Add hundreds or even thousands of urls to your customized search engine.
Exclude certain results or directories from different sites.
Place a search box and search results on your own website.
Customize the look and feel to match your website.
Invite others to contribute to the search engine.
Add refinement labels that help your users narrow their search phrases to a particular sub-set of topics.
Make mon?y from relevant Adsense ads in your search results.
Another interesting feature is the capability to add Custom search engines to your Google homepage. You can put the «Add to Google» button on your website in order to allow your visitors to quickly add your search engine to their Google homepage.
Other features include a bookmarklet (Google Marker) that allows you to quickly add sites to your search engine while you are surfing the Web. In fact, you can even allow volunteers to edit your search engine and add new sites. Just for fun, I created my own customized Google search engine using 50 of my favorite internet marketing sites. Try it out at: SEO Search EngineYou can find some other real-life examples at: http://www.google.com/coop/cse/examples/ According to Matt Cutts, this tool has much more potential than most people will realize. Below is a quote from Matt on where he thinks this new product might be headed.
«For example, the first person to make a truly kick-butt search engine about biking will likely start to attract volunteers and traction and first-mover attention, and could very well become the authority search for that niche. I think that this launch could kick off a wave of search over a long tail of niches; rather than a big vertical like «health,» someone could make a search for the much much smaller «health at every size» movement. Or juggling. Or ?nsurance companies.

Imagine your favorite niche, which could be as specific as a small-town or as broad as you want.» These customized search engines have the potential to play a major role in the overall search scene by providing increased value to the end user. You can n?w create search that is free from sp@m. As the publisher, you get to choose exactly which sites represent the expertise and knowledge you want to share.Specialized search engines also allow Google to dig deeper into niche topics without developing their own vertical search engines.

Topic experts can quickly and easily create a search engine that delivers the very best information on a particular topic, whether it be basket weaving or teleseminar marketing.When you are looking for general information, Google is great, but when you really want to dig deep into a particular topic, these specialized search engines will provide much more value.Custom search engines also solve one of search’s biggest problems: ambiguity of language. If you go to Google and look up the term, «bass», you will find results ranging from musical instruments to fishing supplies. However, when someone creates their own custom search engine about bass fishing, this problem no longer exists. The same is true for the web publisher who creates a vertical search engine about bass guitars. Google Co-Op helps the search engine to understand the user’s intent.As more and more customized search engines are created, Google will have essentially created a layer of specialized search engines on top of it’s main index.Google vice president of Search Products and User Experience Marissa Mayer was quoted at InternetNews.com as saying, «We would like to see mill?ons of small search engines built on top of the Google search engine that deploy the expertise and knowledge of our end users.»
As you can see, the possibilities for customized search engines are only limited by our imaginations. It will certainly be interesting to see what other web publishers create. In the meantime, here are some interesting possibilities that go beyond the traditional.
Possibilities:
Job search engine for SEO specialists

Compository search of 100+ social bookmarking sites
Video search engine
Digital Camera Reviews
Political search engines that promote a particular slant. Research a political issue and find all conservative or liberal views.
Search engine that covers a particular sports team or athlete.
U.S. Newspaper Search
Niche Shopping Engine just for tech gadgets: Search for lasers, hovercraft, and the latest tech toys.
While Google’s custom search engine offers a world of possibilities, there are also many features that would make great additions to this new technology.

Below is a wish list of possible new features. Many of the following ideas came from an interview with Shashi Seth, lead product manager for Google Co-Op.

Wish List of New Features:
The ability to rank sites in order of importance. Give Web developers more control over which sites rank the highest.
Usage StatisticsThe ability to show default Google results and CSE results side-by-side.
The option to add A Eurekster/Swicki «buzz cloud»
A directory created by Google of all CSEs.
By n?w you can probably see that these new custom search engines have the potential to offer exceptional value to the end-user. However, these new technologies also hold implications about the future of Google search.What Google Co-Op says about the Future of Search Shashi Seth, Product Lead for the new Custom Search Engine stated, «We are trying to shore up our algorithms with the wisdom of the crowds. We know we are not always the expert in every topic in every domain.» Personalized and social search are quickly coming upon us.
Customized Search is one of Google’s first steps into the realm of social search. It is allowing web publishers of all skills to create their own search engine dedicated to their particular branch of knowledge and interests. The social part comes in when the web publisher allows others to contribute selections to their search engine, growing your search engine into an even more valuable resource over time.
Social search is all about giving the power to the users. Google is empowering users by enabling them to slice their massive search engine into thousands of sub-topics. The question is, «How will Google use this collective knowledge?»
This new product could give them a wealth of data on the linking structure and popularity of websites around the Web, giving them yet another competitive advantage over other search engines. Google could also use this new data to find authority sites among different topics, which could be very valuable information for improving mainstream search results. Would these kinds of changes affect the world of search engine optimization? To some degree, they would, but for the most part these changes would simply improve upon the relevancy of results. For the smart webmaster, they should have no trouble adapting to this new age of search.

Quality has always served well for search engine rankings and the future of search is even more dependent upon quality content and authoritative websites.

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