In A World of Customization...

By bryblumbryblum (1225733338|%a, %b %e at %I:%M%p)

In a world of custom everything - customized cars on "Pimp My Ride", custom t-shirts with any phrase you'd like, custom stir-frys at Mongolian BBQ, and even customized labels on bottled water - it makes sense that custom search engines would exist and be an increasingly popular tool for "search enthusiasts" and web-designers across the world wide web.


What is the point of a custom search engine?

  • So, you've got Google, which searches almost every site that exists. Well, what if you don't want to search ALL the site that are out there? What if you only want to search through a small sub-set of websites? Custom search engine to the rescue.
  • Google is a dominant force in the Custom search engine field, and offers a free service where users can create their own search engine and customize it to their needs.

Who could it benefit?

  • Business owners who own a website (users can use Custom search engine to search the webpage)
  • Bloggers who maintain a blog
  • Basically, anyone who maintains a website

How easy is it to create one?

  • Very easy. Google provides it for free, as long as there are ads on your results pages.
  • You can choose to search the entire web, or only the sites that you select, allowing you to fully customize your search engine.
  • The best thing that Google does, is it gives you their Featured Examples for a variety of different types of custom search users, such as:
    • Enthusiasts of a certain hobby
    • Techies
    • Educators
    • Bloggers
    • Industry experts Hold on a sec … industry experts?

Will it help with my term project?

So, Google, custom search can help industry experts, huh? That sounds familiar. Coincidentally, I need to become an industry expert for a term project of mine. Essentially, as an industry expert on the investment banking field, I'll be able to create a custom search engine that will search only the resources that I believe to be the most important and useful. As I progress through the semester and through my research of the industry, I'll continue to compile a list of solid web resources. Since Google custom search engines are able to be consistently updated, I'll continue to add to the list of searchable URLs as I go. The criteria I used for choosing my websites was pretty basic - I included the sites that I use most often to get new on the investment banking and broader financial markets industry.

Check it out, Google even gave me easy instructions to embed my custom search engine into any page I like.

Here it is:

Sorry, no match for the embedded content.

Well, the embedding isn't working for me, even after using Professor Moore's instructions.

Assuming that the websites I chose are the most relevant, I can use my custom search to weed out all of the less-relevant news stories, vastly improving search efficiency and relevancy. Pretty cool.

How useful are custom search engines in the grand scheme of things?

Overall, I think that custom search engines can be very useful to a variety of users. Google is definitely smart for offering this free customization service - it is almost their duty to do so as a leader in the search engine industry. In any blog I write or business I own in the future, I definitely plan on including a custom search engine. They will not only help me find information quicker, they will also make any website searchable and more user-friendly.

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