Google's Custom Search Engine – Customize Me!

Mark Johnstone By Mark Johnstone
Expert Author
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Google Co-op is providing a customized search solution for people wanting to add a search feature to their website.

Customize Your Google Search Engine With Ease
Customize Your Google Search Engine With Ease

Users who sign up for the Custom Search Engine are able to control which websites the engine will search and there is the added feature to add additional websites easily. Users of the custom search tool can add sites to the engine while perusing the internet by utilizing Google Marker . Simply Google Mark the page you wish to have added to your results in one click. This feature is available for both Internet Explorer and Firefox browsers.

Although there have been other search box functions one could add to their website in the past the Google Custom Search has a more robust list of features and is simple to set up. Once a Goggle account has been activated, the time to implement the feature to your website can be done in less than 10 minutes. After a few simple questions to answer and customizations the service generates some very simple lines of code to add to the page or pages you wish to employ the search box. Google’s Featured Examples

Here is a basic example I have set up to test drive the Custom Search Engine in action. I have selected for the results to be displayed via Google itself but if one prefers they can have a personalized results page displayed and hosted on their own site. The topic of this example is “SEO News” and I have selected a list of keywords which will describe the content or subject of my search engine (seo news, search engine placement, search engine optimization, seo blog, and seo friendly web design). In this example I have selected to have the results pulled from the entire web however there will be an emphasis on my “included” sites. This function can be altered as well as you can search only your “included” sites.

The ease of set up should not be any sign of the lack of features or customizations one can implement. The following is a snap shot of what is available:

Keywords

One can add their own keywords during set up which will fine tune the results that are served up during a custom search. For more information on choosing the appropriate keywords visit “Choosing Good Keywords”

Included Sites or “Listed” Sites

Simply add the URL of websites that you wish the search box to hunt down information for when a visitor types in their query. In the example above (“SEO News” Search Engine) I have selected a variety of websites from throughout the SEO news industry.

Use the AJAX Search APIs (Advanced Users)
By employing this advanced feature webmasters can add a more dynamic search function. Developers who make use of this impressive application can include Google Web, Video, Maps, News and Blog results. Examples

Invite and Collaborate

An extraordinary aspect of the Custom Search Engine is the ability to invite your colleagues who might be knowledgeable in your field of interest to contribute to the list of sites that are included in the displayed results.

Search Refinements

These labels are available to add to your website and appear above the search results displayed after each search. Once again your “listed” websites are given priority during a search. This assists in refining the targeted results for visitors as it will add additional words to the query.

Google AdSense

By adding Google AdSense website owners can generate money by adding this feature to your search feature. If you create more than one Custom Search Engine your AdSense Account will generate the same results throughout each engine. As always when users click on the delivered ads you can generate funds per click.

Final Touches

You have the ability to customize the look and feel of the search box and the results delivered to visitors to your website via your control panel. This list includes choosing color schemes (changing border, background and font) so integration is visually flawless, adding your personalized logo, and the positioning the layout of the results.

Unlike other search tools available that you can use the Google Custom Search generates clean and simple code to add. The search box itself only creates an additional 8 lines of code to the page it is inserted on.

The Google Co-op has delivered website owners a real world search tool that they can apply their interests to – by facilitating refined search results for visitors with similar interests.

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About Mark Johnstone
Article by Mark Johnstone, StepForth Search Engine Placement Inc.

Mark is the Senior Web Developer for Pure Ignition - Search Engine Friendly Web Design.

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