Custom Search Engines

Recently, we learned about custom search engines including their uses and how they can be added to different sites. For this blog entry, I wanted to talk about my experiences using Google Custom Search and how I incorporated it into my term project.

Google Custom Search

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The Process

Setting up a custom search powered by Google is very easy to do. You can complete the whole process at this web site in a couple of minutes. First, you have to enter a name for your custom search, as well as a description of what it does. After selecting the correct language, you can begin really customizing your search by choosing what pages it looks through. You have the option to make your Google Custom Search return pages only from your list of qualified web sites, from the entire web, or from the entire web with emphasis on your list of qualified web sites. Below this source feature, is where you can list all of the web pages that you want your custom search to rummage through.

For the Google Custom Search I am using for my project wiki site, I added the following websites to search through:

After adding the web pages I wanted my custom search to use, I was nearly done with the process. I signed up for the free version of Google Custom Search (there is a more advanced version with additional features, but it costs $100 per year), agreed to the terms and conditions, and finally my custom search was created. Google then providing me with access to my custom search, as well as HTML code so that I could add it to my wiki site. I had a little trouble regarding the HTML code and putting the search engine onto my project wiki, however. Google gives you HTML coding, but this coding when transferred exactly as they say, didn't produce my Google Custom Search accurately on my web pages. I couldn't figure out the HTML coding so I had no choice, but to just put a link to my custom search engine instead. The link to my custom search makes the whole thing just as useful as it was before, however, having the application right on my site would be more convenient and it would make my site look more pleasing to the eye.

The Results

After playing around with my Google Custom Search and trying to get it set up how I wanted, I tested it out with several search queries. The results that my custom search produced were great and I thought it added a nice feature to my wiki site. The list of pages I used to access information in my custom search provided a nice combination of resources to look through. The majority of my search results, of which there were plenty to choose from, provided helpful and relevant information to my queries. Adding a Google Custom Search to my wiki site on the music industry really enhances the site and provides a nice feature to users. My Google Custom Search for the music recording industry can be found here.

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