Google and I recently worked together to build a specialty search engine devoted to disc golf.
What? When did Duncan start working with Google?
This new Disc Golf Search Engine is made possible by a new offering from Google Co-op. It turns out that Google is offering anyone the ability to build a custom search engine through the Co-op tools.
For my blog this month, I decided to go ahead and build a custom search engine to see how it works. I chose disc golf as a topic because disc golfers are always weeding through search engine listing pages trying to get to pages about disc golf rather than regular golf.
It was very easy to build the custom search engine with the tools Google gave me. Google does require that you have an account with them before allowing you to create your own search engine. Since I am already a Gmail user, this wasn’t a problem. All I needed to do was login and follow the prompts. In about 5 easy steps I created my Disc Golf Search Engine and Google emailed me the code to stick it on my web page.
The basic idea of the custom search engine is that you choose the sites you want Google to look at for your queries. In my case I selected the top five or so disc golf related sites. This will ensure that my searches will only bring up listings for those sites.
Now I can search for putters, driving tips, and tournament information without seeing any pages on traditional golf. In regular Google I always had to add the words “disc golf” to every search to ensure I was getting what I wanted.
I’d expect that custom search engines will start popping up all over the place once people see how easy this is. Only your creativity will limit the ways you can use this new, free technology from Google.
To you search engine marketers out there, I encourage you to think very carefully about the implications of this new offering from Google. Keep in mind that Google will be showing AdWords on the results of these custom search engines. Natural optimization will continue to be important as these custom search engine results won’t take away the need for technically sound sites that deliver great content.
Are we getting closer to personalized search with the advent of custom search engines? Perhaps this is the next big thing.
Duncan had so much fun creating his custom search engine that the rest of the SUS team just had to take it one step further. So we created a StraightUpSearch Blog Search. Don’t be shy – give it a try.