Google is undeniably the current search leader today, both in mind share in and actual market share. This is because Google has invested lots of time in improving its search engine (and its infrastructure). When you search using Google, you are talking about searching through billions of web pages. While most of the time this fact is good thing (knowing that weâ€™re searching through a vast amount of websites/information), there are special cases when we donâ€™t what Google to search everything that it has indexed, but rather, search only the few sites or resources that we know contains specific and detailed information about what weâ€™re looking for. Wouldnâ€™t it be nice if we can have our own search engine (say for bird lovers) that looks only in places that we want? This is where Google Custom Search Engine comes in.
Google Custom Search Engine uses the power of Googleâ€™s algorithm and its massive infrastructure to create a search engine that reflects your knowledge and interests. You tell Google which sites to search, then you save your own version of Google. J Isnâ€™t that cool?
To get started, go to the Google Custom Search Engine page where you will see two easy ways to start creating your own search engine:
1. Setting up your Google Custom search engine by specifying the sites to include
2. Generating a Google Custom search on the fly for your blog based on your links, blogroll and/or directory.
Letâ€™s start with Option 1, which is actually a simple 2-step process to get started with your own search engine. Look for the appropriate box in GCSEâ€™s home page and cick Create Search Engine. For the basic information, you will be asked for the following information:
- The name of your search engine,
- Description of your search engine,
- Search engine keywords,
- Language of the Search engine.
You will be then asked for the scope of your search engine. You can choose from the following options:
- Only the sites you select
- The entire web, but emphasize sites that you select (increased site bias)
- The entire web
If you chose either of the first two options above, an additional form is available for entering the websites of your choice.
The last option is whether you want to display ads or not. The option not to display ads is applicable only for non-profits, universities and government agencies.
When you click Next, you can try out your custom search engine to see if you will get relevant results. In this stage you can reiterate setting the sites of your choice and testing the search engine to find the best configuration for your own search engine.
If youâ€™re satisfied with the results, go back to the custom search engine wizard then click finish.
Next post I will discuss the other way of creating a custom search and further customization of your Google Custom Search Engine.