Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Last week, Microsoft launched a major update to their Live Search Macros. Now, Google is finally getting into the custom search engine space that sites like Rollyo have pioneered. All you have to do is choose what websites you want to include in your search engine and put it on your site.
However, Google Custom Search Engine does have some nifty features. If you go the Advanced tab after initially setting up your search engine, you can upload annotations (a bulk upload of sites you want to include or exclude) along with scores (this tells how high to rank the sites), labels, and comments. OPML, tab-delimited, and XML files are accepted.
Other neat features: Refinements are basically tags you can apply to sites so searchers can filter results by them. You can also customize the look and feel of the UI to fit the look of your site. Users looking to monetize their custom search engines will be able to get a cut of the Adsense revenue. Currently, only Eurekster has implemented ad revenue sharing.
Here are some additional benefits Googler Vik Singh lists (he has a great post on the launch):
- Make money (get a share off the ad clicks)
- Multi-label sites
- Have up to 5000 annotations per search engine
- Can collaborate with friends to tag sites (just send an invite)
- Can associate weights to results and have control over the rankings (refer to the XML)
- Completely brand the engine and customize the look and feel
- Can display refinements on the search results page
- Can upload XML/OPML files filled with links
- Can upload XML to configure the search engine labels/contexts
- Can even nest label hierarchies on the refinements onebox
- Ex. http://vik.singh.googlepages.com/machinelearningsearch2 .. click on Sources
- Can make the search Ajax’y
- Can combine results with another person’s search results
- (by intersecting the background labels in the XML advanced configuration file)
Google Custom Search Engine