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Google Custom Search Engine (CSE) Review

Have you created your own Custom Search Engine (CSE) since Google announced last week they had launched this tool?

One of the huge benefits of the Google CSE is that it may turn up in Google OneBox results if it becomes popular enough and people choose it as a trusted source. Nobody has confirmed that yet, but it was one of the benefits of the previous generation Google Co-op “Subscribed Links” program, which is profiled after it’s launch in a Danny Sullivan post at Search Engine Watch blog back on May 10th of this year when Google announced Co-op.

Custom Search Engines, based on Google Co-op, until last week, had required knowledge of XML to use effectively. Google CSE has simplified that tool and made it accessible to the rest of us by creating an administration control panel which eliminates the need to “code your own” subscribed links in XML documents, required from the previous Co-op. Now it’s easy and any webmaster can create one – and if they know basic HTML – can have that CSE hosted on their own site.

When you create your own customized search engine through Google Co-op, it is possible for anyone to see customized search results drawing only from sites you choose to search. This is similar to the search engine, which allows you to create customized search which draws from Yahoo results, but only allows 25 sources.

Google Customized Search appears to have no limit on the number of sources and is also allowing you to incorporate Adsense into the search results so that if they become popular, you can benefit from the traffic generated to your Custom Search Engine.

Rollyo also sends searchers who use your Rollyo custom search engine to their site, while Google Custom Search Engine allows visitors to search from a page on your site AND see results on your site, keeping them there, rather than sending them away to another site.

There is also a new directory which has started up (apparently in partnership with Google) in order to list quality Custom Search Engines created by site owners. They also allow you to suggest other CSE’s for inclusion in their directory (free membership required). They then link directly to those searches at Google from the directory. Here’s their launch press release.

Chris Sherman, at did a thorough overview of the new Google Custom Search Engine tool last week on October 24 at:

So I happened to be writing an article about Corporate SEO Job Searches when I saw that announcement. I immediately went to Google Co-op and created my own search engine which searches all the top SEO job boards for Search Engine Optimization Employment listings. It’s incredible tool that allows you to simultaneously filter out all the junk, while at the same time broadening your search beyond just one jobs board at a time.

What’s even better is that when you use query operators like “” (which is one of the source sites I included) that it returns only those results from that source. If you add a city name or state to the search box, it returns only SEO jobs offered in that city or state. There is nearly zero fluff or search engine spam remaining in the search results and you get EXACTLY what you were searching for.

I suspect that the Custom Search Engine tool will see a huge surge in popularity once people realize how powerful it can be when you use the CSE tool from trusted sites. I sincerely hope nobody figures out how to game this thing so that it can continue to improve search without polluting results.

I’m off to create some more of these things and plan on making them central features of several of my own sites. I suspect that many will create CSE’s on dozens of amazing topics and would love to see some of those when you are done. Submitting directly to Custom Search Guide would be wise, but maybe I might find it worthwhile to create an SEO CSE list to represent custom search engines created by RealitySEO readers? 😉 Let me know if you make one of your own that would be of interest to search junkies.

Here are a list of those I’ve created so far:

Custom Search Guide

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Courtney October 30, 2006, 1:11 pm

    Very informative, thanks! Does it take a lot of time to set up a custom search?

  • RealitySEO October 30, 2006, 2:53 pm

    Hi Courtney, It took about 30 minutes to choose the source sites to be included in the CSE searches, paste the Google Code into my site template and upload the page to my site. I’ve since played with it by adding resources for an hour or so (mostly CraigsList subdomains as Google doesn’t allow wildcards ahead of the domain name). You could take longer if you choose more sites to search, less time if you include fewer or have a list to cut and paste from elsewhere. Very simple stuff. Let me know if you create one. Here is the public SEO Jobs Search page at Google.