Custom Search Engines

Custom search engines? I guess it should not surprise me that such a tool exists. I feel like anything and everything can be customized anymore. But, what is a custom search engine? Who can utilize them? And will they prove useful in my term project for my BIT 330 class this semester? These are all questions that I hope to answer through this blog.

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What is a custom search engine?

Having no prior knowledge of custom search engines I had to do some extensive research. Okay, maybe not extensive, but I did spend some time trying to figure out exactly what custom search engines are and putting in terms that the average web searcher would understand. While doing my research I found a website called StoneTemple Consulting that had an overview of what custom search engines are all about, particularly Google's. Here's what they had to say:

CSE provides a deceptively simple form-based interface for building a domain-specific search engine on top of the Google search platform. This means that the builder gets to focus on selecting valuable content and tuning the ranking criteria, while Google does all the "heavy lifting" of crawling, indexing, ranking, and displaying results.

Basically, what I get from custom search engines is that instead of searching the whole World Wide Web for a certain query you can utilize custom search engines to search a small set of topic defined sites.

There are many different tools out there that serve in assisting individuals in creating their own custom search engines. For example, we discussed Topicle, Eurekster Swicki, and Rollyo. I found several others that offer similar fuctions: Obtanium and Search Maker Pro.

Who can utilize custom search engines?

  1. Business Professionals
  2. Industry Experts
  3. Bloggers
  4. Passionate Searches
  5. Anyone with their own website

Will it be useful for my term project?

When we were discussing the Google Custom Search engine something popped out at me. The second point where our professor provided several different examples to look over. The second example was Industry Experts. Professor Moore noted this is similar to what we have to do for our term project. That got me thinking. How can I utilize custom search engines for my topic: the Airline Industry.

Obviously, this tool will prove very useful for my term project. I'll be able to compile all the web resources that are relevant to my topic and create a search engine that I will embed on my site. The sites that I add will help improve search relevancy. As I continue working on my project I can add to my sites and allow more information to be retrieved. Here is my initial custom search engine. It is very rough, but here you go:

Final Thoughts:

I think this tool can be very useful for anyone, not just the search savvy. I love that [Google provides it as a free service. Although there is a twist. On your results page there must be ads. Not a bad price to pay for a cool gadget. I feel my site will be legit having it's own search engine. I look forward to making a more complete custom search engine through my further research.

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