Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Google Co-op Custom Search Engine

Google innovates again with the possibility of creating your own specialized Google search, and this can be done cooperatively.

My first shot at it, of course, is to create a Web Analytics specialized search engine where all solution and service providers would be presented, along with specialists and practitioners in the field.

FeaturesGoogle Co-Op

Configuration is a snap and provides good parametrization of the various features:
  • definition and subject of your specialized search,
  • indexed sites which can be exclusive or given preference in the search results,
  • labeling the results, which ease refinement of search results,
  • tweaking the look & feel,
  • including a search box in your site,
  • managing the collaborative aspects (contributors & volunteers) and doing invitations,
  • setting up adSense
  • and uploading annotations easily built with Google Marker (trough OPML or XML format).


  • Current number of sites in the Web Analytics specialized search: October 24th, 42
    November 2nd, 80
  • Refinements: Blogs, Solution, Services, Reference
  • Collaborators: 1
    Important! If you want to collaborate to enhance and extend this specialized search, send me a quick email (shamel67(at)gmail.com) or create a profile (provide your URL) so I know who you are. Otherwise your collaboration request will be rejected!


Be warned that the Google Co-Op Search is still in beta... and it shows! After a few days of using it, here are some stuff to be careful with:
  • Collaboration is far from being complete. When someone asks to collaborate, you can't even see their email address. It is also possible to ask for contribution without a profile, which leads to some confusion about who is contributing...
  • When adding new sites, be careful to use only the most meaningful URL. That is, avoid putting "http" (useless) and specify "www" only if it makes a difference, such as "www.iperceptions.com" vs " blog.iperceptions.com"
  • Surprisingly, there is actually very little stats you can get to know if your search engine is being used or not. I would expect some Google Analytics hooked up to it.
  • Of course, the concept only works if people actually use it and suggest sites to be indexed. I think the code to create a search box should be widely available to anyone who wants to use it on their site, not just the owner or contributors. Here's the code
<form id="searchbox_017598970026374442327:f6fozzzu_qk" action="http://www.google.com/cse">
<input type="hidden" name="cx" value="017598970026374442327:f6fozzzu_qk">
<input name="q" type="text" size="40">
<input type="submit" name="sa" value="Search">
<input type="hidden" name="cof" value="FORID:1">
<script type="text/javascript" src="http://www.google.com/coop/cse/brand?form=searchbox_017598970026374442327%3Af6fozzzu_qk"></script>
<!-- Google CSE Search Box Ends -->