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Build Your Own Google-Powered Search Engine 68

eastbayted writes "Google has unveiled a free program called Google Customized Search Engine that lets users tailor a search index to their content specifications, InfoWorld reports. You can select keywords for the index, as well as which Web sites will be included or excluded in the search. You also may customize the look and feel of the engine. The trade-off? When you implement the index on your Web site or blog, it will be populated with Google text ads via Google's lucrative AdSense Program. On the plus side, you do get paid for click-throughs."
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Build Your Own Google-Powered Search Engine

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  • by Salvance ( 1014001 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @09:21AM (#16558588) Homepage Journal
    Sounds like a fantastic product for people who have a legitimate use for it. However, I wonder how many additional 'all spam' sites will be created as a result (e.g. those that have no content other than google ads, links to paid advertisements, etc.).
    • by EVil Lawyer ( 947367 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @09:23AM (#16558618)
      Probably not many more than currently exist. Right now (before this new product), it's very easy to set up a nearly all-spam site with Google's AdSense. Google requires only a modicum of content before approving a site to show AdSense ads. This new search engine implementation will probably not drastically change the threshold for setting up an ad-only site.
    • by crazyjeremy ( 857410 ) * on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @09:36AM (#16558808) Homepage Journal
      This would make it easy to see all the sites that the spammer is affiliated with. Then you could simply filter out most of the domains in his search umbrella.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by foniksonik ( 573572 )
      My first thought when coming to /. to post was that this will bring new life to the parked domains business. All those typical words and word combos that have been sitting there with pitiful link lists on them can now become real search portals. This might actually make them useful though. Go searching for "kitten mittens" and you'll probably soon get a top google result (or maybe even yahoo) for with a search of all pet, cat and novelty item stores and blogs, etc. which may actually h
    • It may cause the entire polar oposite, a load of targeted search engines designed to fileter out this kind of thing... I sure know thats what I'm about to use it for.
    • by vindimy ( 941049 )
      those are called 'web farms' and those are usually 100's of sites that have single owner and they all look similar and serve you with useless advertised links. google's been high on those lately but i hope they're working on that issue.
  • From the article... (Score:5, Informative)

    by bazorg ( 911295 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @09:33AM (#16558762) Homepage
    To enroll in the Google Custom Search Engine program, go to
    • by FofR ( 697088 )
      I have created a Wiki only search that I am hoping will evolve to include a lot of wiki sites. The search is open to volunteers wishing to add wiki sites and I will be monitoring submissions. I feel this will give a great fact finding resource and a quick and easy ability to find pages with information that go into a much greater depth than Wikipedia currently does.

      The URL is here: 2%3Anxp0gaipa40 []

      Current sites include:, www.answers.c
  • by romit_icarus ( 613431 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @09:34AM (#16558768) Journal
    Obviously there are two level of biases here - a. restriction to certain domains b. restriction to certain keywords.

    To a user it can be useful: it allows for a focused search. Say you're an industrial engineer and want to constrain your search to a topic. But what's critical to the credibility of google is a way for the user to *know* the biases before using the engine!

  • (Score:5, Informative)

    by crazyjeremy ( 857410 ) * on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @09:34AM (#16558778) Homepage Journal
    There's a little site out there called Rollyo or Roll Your Own. It works similarly to this and has been around a while. []
  • Who is stealing from whom in this case? Microsoft has had something very similar on their Live [] site for a while now.
  • This is a great idea! This will empower web site owners to add another dimension of functionality to their websites. Customized search engine. It will provide an avenue for those providing a service to help visitors get more specific search results for thier queries and providers benefit. Sure Google benefits from it with text ads, but you as well benefit. This is part of the brilliance of Google. "You get more from it than we do." You get an additioanl service on your website that is unique to your
  • In most cases, participation in the program is required if you opt to use the Google Custom Search Engine. ... "Universities, non-profits and government organizations can choose not to run ads on their search results if they'd rather not," according to Google.

    Could a site simply declare itself a not-for-profit operation, and opt-out of the AdSense requirement? Or is Google going to require 501(c)(3) certification or some similar legal status?

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I don't think this is just about getting more AdSense ads out there.

    If you look at the example given in the article, it says:

    Web sites already taking advantage of the Google Custom Search Engine include, a site focused on providing expert opinion about the science of climate change. "They have created a searchable subset of the Web to provide reliable scientific information to its visitors," according to Google.

    So am I the only one who sees how Google can also apply this to ranking websites

  • Great for reviews (Score:4, Interesting)

    by EvilMonkeySlayer ( 826044 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @10:01AM (#16559108) Journal
    Trying to find reviews of stuff is a real pita on any search engine, you'll usually come up with "buy it for $$$" results. Even if you used all the necessary search filters in google like "-buy -purchase -stock" etc you'd still end up with annoying shop stuff.

    I'm currently working on my own version that searches through review sites based on a whitelist approach of only approved sites here []. If people want to give me some help on this i'd appreciate it, that way we can filter out all of the spam sites and focus instead on only the good stuff.
  • site: anyone? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by nstlgc ( 945418 )
    Is it just me or is this just a little sugar on top of their site: search keyword?
  • More "Scraping" (Score:4, Insightful)

    by hagrin ( 896731 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @10:11AM (#16559250) Homepage Journal
    Although in the minority I'm sure, I look at Google as the largest scraper of content there is. If you think about it, they give users snippets of your original content and then take that content and use it to deliver targeted advertisements before the user even clicks on your content.

    Now, enter the same business model, add some revenue sharing and a whole bunch of smaller players with their own domains armed with CSS stylized IFRAMES and you will see the "authoritative portal/directory sites" grow pretty quickly. As someone who creates his own unique content (with no ads currently), moves like this do make me think twice about the future of search and creating content for other people to scrape and profit from. Sure, I understand the point of "without the search engine no one would ever find my site", but at some point content creators have to worry about others profiting off their efforts (/end violin playing).
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dslauson ( 914147 )
      If you add up every cent that Google makes from search-related advertising, and then gave every site they index their "fair" share based on how many times their site was displayed in their search results, I bet your blog (or whatever) would get pennies on the dollar, if even that. It's a different business model than traditional media, and per-site compensation just doesn't make sense.
      Google is compensating you, instead, by driving people to your site. From there, the task of making money
  • (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jrmiller84 ( 927224 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @10:16AM (#16559314) Homepage
    Maybe now I can finally make it to stop showing me results from when I'm looking for tutorials!
    • Yes, you could filter it to only access instead, depending on what it is you want a tutorial in...
    • Maybe now I can finally make it to stop showing me results from when I'm looking for tutorials!

      I'm looking forward to it too. It really annoys me when that site shows up when I'm looking for Expert Sex Change..
  • What would be really interesting is if they implemented a new meta robots tag where you as a website owner could decide which of these search indexes will get to list your site results. This way you could get off the standard google results pages and concentrate your results through an affiliate search portal or negotiate with other search portals for the right to list your website. Would allow non-mainstream stuff to really find their audience and vice versa.

  • For Desktops? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by m0nstr42 ( 914269 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @10:22AM (#16559422) Homepage Journal
    It would be nice to be able to use this kind of customizability for desktop search.
  • Competition does results in more 'innovation' from everyone.

    Google made MS 'innovate', MS made Google 'innovate'.
  • I can see the value of a social site like digg, delicious, or slashdot providing the list of pages for a personalized search from domains of popular past stories (or bookmark submissions) automatically. Filter out the noise of the internet automatically by only searching only your favorite pages and optionally add the pages of 1000's of like minded individuals your site attracts. Then Google gets a whole new set of data about the popularity of sites to take and put back into their main index. Social story
  • ... and it's all Googly. That is to say, the implementation is quick, but a little too Googly, in terms of weaving the results into your own web site. Of course you can limit the search scope to your own site, and the results are right there (and of course very fast)... but interestingly, though I regularly see Google crawling my dynamicly rendered content, very obvious searches that should bring that stuff back aren't showing up in the results. It's the same problem content people always have in getting se
  • by truthsearch ( 249536 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @11:06AM (#16560054) Homepage Journal
    I attempted to create one specific to Slashdot comments. I don't like Slashdot's built in search for anything but articles. Unfortunately slashdot blocks the indexing of pages at / (probably to prevent duplicate content, thereby helping their SEO). But it does work well for my site documenting the best Slashdot comments []. So please give it a try [] and let me know what you think. What I'd really like to know is if it's worth adding slashdot's article URLs even though it'll then search the summary's text as well. Also if there are any other sites which should be included.

    I tried the site integration code but the search form submission seems to conflict with my CMS. So a custom page outside the execution of a CMS may be required for some sites.
  • So you mean if I have some old domain lying around that I've never used, I could create a custom google search engine in under an hour and put that domain to work?

    Wait, I guess I can :-)
    • Hey, I get a blank page. What am I doing wrong?
      • by phildog ( 650210 )
        What browser? what OS? It is working for me here with WinXP and IE 6.0.29 and FF 2.0.

        Email me at if that is easier than slashdot comments threads for support.
        • Yeah- FF 2.0 on XP doesn't produce any results at all. It's strange to me too, but I didn't mean to make anything of it. Just thought you might be interested. It could be the call from the text box - it looks like Google isn't getting what I type in. Here's the returned html when I type in "test":

          <!-- Google Search Result Snippet Begins -->
          <div id="results_006484545198767812489:x4pqfbwj4he"></d iv>
          <script type="text/javascript">
          var googleSearchIframeNa

    • by sc00ch ( 254070 )
      Interesting. Similar Pages turns up pages from every domain, is that a feature you can turn off or modify?
      • by phildog ( 650210 )
        I don't see anywhere in the Google control panel where you can turn it off. But I'm not seeing anything called "Similar Pages" when I do searches. Where is this?
        • by sc00ch ( 254070 )
          Next to every result for me, see below. You click similar pages and it searches the rest of the web...

          Slashdot: News for nerds, stuff that matters
          From the article: "During the development of Mac OS X, Apple polished the existing ... Apple modernized its existing Mac APIs into Carbon, which would run ...
 - Similar pages
  • by Amitz Sekali ( 891064 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @11:12AM (#16560176)
    Google will be able to harness people's specific expertise to fine tune google's domain specific search, without signing any contract with anybody. That means less administrative and financial commitment, less legal headache, and less legal fees. And because of the adsense program, Google only pay, when Google got payed.

    Brilliant, fucking brilliant!
  • Sample (Score:3, Interesting)

    by loconet ( 415875 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @11:37AM (#16560672) Homepage
    Here is a sample installation []. Use the search box at the top.
  • by ChaosDiscord ( 4913 ) * on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @11:49AM (#16560962) Homepage Journal
    The Terms of Service [] are terrible. Section 1.5 says that Google is your exclusive search service. No offering Google and Windows Live to your users. Maybe no providing your own htdig service. It's Google or nothing. Of course, section 1.2 is the ever popular, "we can change this at any time without notifying you, and if you keep using the service you agree to the new terms without even knowing they exist." Of course, these are basically the same terms that Google Free [] offered. It's really frustrating; I'd like to use Google Search to give visitors to my job's web site a better search engine, but those terms aren't reasonable for a business.
  • by objekt ( 232270 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @12:06PM (#16561288) Homepage
    I belong to a few forums that require member registration to browse. As a result, you can't use google normally to search the forum. Can this be used or would it make the information be publicly available?
    • by se7en11 ( 833841 )
      The new search engine only pulls data from what Google already has. So if Google has the member-only pages, then yes it will include them.

      It works almost the same as doing a search like " se7en11 []" except you specify the sites automaticly and you can include the results on your site.
  • "Desktop" version (Score:3, Insightful)

    by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <> on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @01:49PM (#16563306) Homepage Journal
    I would love to see a "desktop" version of this - i.e. something that can work inside a browser with a plugin or something. In fact, it could probably be done with Greasemonkey...

    Imagine being able to type in "NEC 40xx review" and have all the pointless price comparison and fake review sites filters from your results automatically.
  • Yahoo! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Spuddy42 ( 688236 )
    I believe Yahoo! has had something like this for awhile: []
  • Only Quotes [] is a search engine that searches a ton of quotation sites. It's fast -- much faster than any of the 20 or so websites it searches -- and it doesn't return any spam links or links to quotation sites that are slow or low quality.

    I think the custom search engine program has a lot of potential for domains that have a relatively small number of high-quality sites, and for which the normal google search is too contaminated with seo-ified crap and commercial junk (which is unfortunately more and mor

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