Add the power of Google to your website by using Google Custom Search Engine and Google Site Search.
Article by Paul Janzen
When it comes to searching the web your first and last stop(likely) is Google. Now, with two new Google web services you toocan harness the power of Google from within your own website.
In the past year Google created two new web services: CustomSearch Engine ( http://www.google.com/coop/cse/) and GoogleSite Search ( http://www.google.com/sitesearch/). At theircore, these tools allow you to add a Google search box to yourwebsite. Not just a plain old Google search box which searches theentire web universe. Rather, they allow you to have a Google searchbox which returns search results that you want your websitevisitors to see.
The most obvious application for these tools is to provide yoursite visitors with an easy and familiar way to search all of thecontent on your website. But Custom Search Engine (CSE) providesmuch more than that. Here is a non-comprehensive list of CSEfeatures:
- Explicitly define a list of web pages, and/or websites whichyou want included in your CSE’s search results.
- Display search results within the context and design of yourwebsite.
- Easily control the colours displayed in your search resulttext.
- Include your organizations logo on the search resultspage.
- Choose specific web pages that you want to exclude from anysearch results.
- Fine tune your CSE by adding your own keywords and labels.
And the best feature of all is the price. It’s free! Well,it is free if you are willing to put up with Google Ads. If you area non-profit, government or educational organization then you canuse CSE for free and not have Google Ads show up in your searchresults.
For-profit organizations who don’t want Google Adsappearing on their website can use Google Site Search (GSS)instead. Starting at $100 per year, GSS provides all of CSE’sfunctionality with the following enhancements:
- Search reports inform you of how often people are using yoursearch engine, and what the most common search queries are.
- Search biasing provides you with ways to increase thelikelihood that your most recent and important content appears highup in search results.
- For more advanced users, search results can be retrieved in XMLformat which provides unlimited ways that search results can bedisplayed and used.
- No limit to the number of web pages and/or websites you caninclude (CSE has a limit of 5,000; the GSS pricing model ispartially based on the number of websites that are included in yoursearch engine).
- Specify the language that search results will bedisplayed.
Here are a few live examples of CSE and GSS at work:
- Disaster Relief Rotarian Action Group –created a CSE which allows users to search through a long list ofDisaster Relief websites.
- United Way– using CSE, users can search the United Way’s websiteas well as all of United Way’s 1,300+ local chapters.
- GreenMaven - the most comprehensive “green” searchengine on the web.
Easy to use, fast and familiar, Google Custom Search Engine is apowerful way to make your site shine!
Article by Paul Janzen