The Power of Google Search is Now Customizable
Today, Google is launching the Google Custom Search Engine, a new way to bring tailored search to websites and blogs.
Our clever engineers have found a way to open up the Google search platform to let anyone build their own search engine, without needing a Ph.D. in computer science. In just minutes, individuals, organizations and businesses can use the Google search platform to create their own search engines targeted toward their audience and focused on any content they like, from academic pursuits, to charitable causes, to Hollywood heartthrobs, and more.
When we say we’re letting people build a custom search engine, we mean the whole thing: choosing which pages they want to include in their index, how the content should be prioritized, whether others can contribute to the index, and what the search results page will look like. Custom Search Engines are monetized through the Google AdSense program so they can even generate revenue with it. Universities, non-profits and government organizations can choose not to run ads on their search results if they’d rather not.
You can already see a few Custom Search Engines in action. Intuit’s JumpUp.com site, which provides information and resources to small businesses, is combining a Custom Search Engine with its years of experience in small business to provide the most useful resources on the Web to its users. Or take RealClimate.org, a site that offers expert opinion on the science of climate change. They have created a searchable subset of the Web to provide reliable scientific information to its visitors.
Here’s how a Custom Search Engine works: organizations or individuals simply go to www.google.com/coop/cse and select the websites or pages they’d like to include in their search index. Users can choose to restrict their search results to include only those pages and sites, or they can give those pages and sites higher priority and ranking within the larger Google index when people search their site. Users can then customize the look, feel and functionality of their search engine.
“Search and advertising is at the heart of all we do at Google, and we’re constantly looking for ways to make both even more relevant for our users,” said Shashi Seth, group product manager, Google Custom Search Engine. “Now, people can get the power of Google search, even when they’re not on Google.com.”
Google Custom Search Engine is available at www.google.com/coop/cse . We plan to expand the offering internationally in the coming weeks.
Recall also that Amazon had a version of this with A9.
UPDATE: More from the call today with Marissa Mayer and the product managers. The Custom Search is designed to extend the limited audience of Google Co-op, which they found stagnated as an early-adopter tool. It has improved ease of use, as showcased by the search engine on Justin Timberlake that a Product Manager’s teenage daughter “rolled” in about 10 minutes. While similar to Rollyo’s innovative custom roll, the Google CSE adds the benefit of allowing users to roll an unlimited number of sites together and display the results on their own site, with personalized presentation. Someone on the call described this as the fragmentation of search. The ability to build verticals will allow experts to build specialized engines. But while the engines will be individual, the collaborative element of tagging the domains encourages communities of knowledge to create together. So while each will stand apart from the amazing all-in-one answer box, the Custom Search will also allow a thickening or deepening of intelligent tags in Co-op, which feeds the one box that unites them all.