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Google Extends Syndication, Adds Site Flavor

By - June 20, 2004

Late to this one, life got in the way, but worthy of note nonetheless. Google late last week introduced two new offerings, Google AdSense for Search, and Site-Flavored Google Search. One is a commercial product, the latter a Labs project. Both give new tools to publishers which, through their adoption, extend Google’s reach into the web.

Full PR info is in extended entry.

labs_smNow, these are interesting products for a couple of reasons. From what I can tell, Site Flavored is the outgrowth of Google’s Kaltix acquisition. It allows a webmaster to tailor Google’s search results to a site’s own tendencies (so my site, for example, would bring search engine results as opposed to headhunters…). It seems a pretty blunt instrument for now (not instantly updated, categories are pretty general) but that will change with time. Site Flavored is yet another way for Google to get you registered into a Google relationship – a key strategic imperative (in fact, once you add site flavored search to your site, the logo google_kaltix_site_flavored_searchboxthat Google places on your site links to Google’s personalized search page). It’s another neat feature that will help get Google’s search results distributed across more of the web, and leverages the Google platform in a more robust manner.

Of course Google is already in the web platform biz – they serve AdSense to thousands of sites. Yup, true. And they are extending that with their other product, AdSense for Search. As far as I can tell (and I may get this wrong), this is a way of syndicating AdWords – their in house ad serving tech used on the main search site, and licensed to big partners like BellSouth and AOL – out to the masses. As Danny points out, this has been done before, but abandoned in the dot com bust.

I’ll be very interested to see how much uptake these products get.

Peter Adams (CTO Looksmart) weighs in on Site Flavored.

Wired News on the news….

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Google announced two new innovations today that enable web publishers to
enhance their websites by adding a Google search box which provides their
users access to billions of web pages through Google’s advanced search
technology. These two separate programs also give web publishers a choice of
sharing in revenue generated from ad clicks or customizing their user’s
search experience.

Google AdSense for Search

The first innovation enables web publishers to place a Google search box on
their websites and provide their users with Google search results and
keyword-targeted advertisements. Through this new online program, Google
shares the revenue generated from ad clicks with the web publisher.

Websites in English, French, German, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese, Japanese,
Spanish, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, and Finnish are eligible for the
program. Web publishers apply for the program through the online
application for Google AdSense available at

This program is an extension of the combined Google WebSearchT and Google
AdSenseT for search programs, previously offered exclusively to larger
websites and portals such as AOL, Earthlink, and BellSouth. The search
results served through this program are hosted by Google and require no
additional resources from the publisher. These search results pages can
also be customized with logos specified by the publisher and color schemes
that complement the website. Web publishers can also track the number of
queries, clicks, clickthrough rate, and earnings through a web-based account

Site-Flavored Google Search

Google also announced the availability of site-flavored Google Search, a
Google Labs project that provides websites with a “flavored” search box that
delivers search results customized to reflect the content of the website.

With site-flavored Search, webmasters select from a wide variety of
categories to specify the interests that describe their website. For
instance, a computer site owner might select [computers > hardware] to
describe their site. A user searching for the word “mouse” from that site
will see results more relevant to the computer peripheral than the animal.

With this technology, webmasters and site publishers can enhance the overall
experience of their website(s) by connecting users with search results that
are relevant to the website they are visiting. The program is free and
available at

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6 thoughts on “Google Extends Syndication, Adds Site Flavor

  1. this is a natural step for a company in a time when ‘vertical search’ could take over much of web search traffic. Now, publishers have more of an incentive to drive traffic to google.

  2. Craig says:

    For google site flavored search, why do I have to tell them which categories to use? If they have my site spidered, they should be able to TELL ME what my site is about and what my users should be looking for.

  3. It might be nice if they could make the search based on the site’s link neighborhood, or any of the other auto-categorization methods that have been proposed.

  4. John K (not B) says:

    I am hoping that they will still allow users to search outside of the “categories” the publisher decides are relevant. For example, John mentioned here that they would return search engine marketing results on his site instead of headhunter results… Well what if I’m looking for headhunter results?

    I just happened to be at this site when I decided to look for them.

  5. Alex says:

    this is a natural step for a company in a time when ‘vertical search’ could take over much of web search traffic. Now, publishers have more of an incentive to drive traffic to google.