Google has launched the Google Custom Search Engine, a way for Web site operators, bloggers, and online publishers to create custom search portals for their site which not only tap into the full power of Google’s market-dominating Internet search engine, but enable sites to customize search results to make them more relevant to their sites’ visitors. And, of course, more-relevant results means Google can charge more for advertisements appearing on those search portals.
The Google Custom Search Engine enables Web publishers to create a search engine focusses on a site’s particular topic and interests, and lets publishers customize the search results so they integrate neatly with a site’s design and layout. Publishers can optionally earn money off the traffic by participating in Google’s AdSense program, and even let friends and associates help build the search engine using Google’s tools.
A Custom Search Engine works by prioritizing search results based on the content of Web sites and pages specified by the engine’s author, tailoring results to match a particular point of view or interest. Users can submit Web sites and pages they’d like included in their custom search index—which restricts results to only those sites and pages—or choose to give those sites and pages a higher priority when Google displays search results. Done right, the custom search engine can be like using Google so search for information on a particular topic with the aid of a subject-matter expert. Site owners can invite up to 100 friends, associates, and others to help refine and expand the focus of their custom search engine, although there’s no real limit to the number of contributors who can volunteer to assist with a custom search engine.
Google’s Custom Search Engine feature is built on the Google Co-op platform, a set of tools Google has developed to enable groups to customize and tailor Google’s search offerings.
Google’s Custom Search Engine program is free, and available now.