Thursday, February 22, 2007 4:03 PM
What if you could harness the power of Google search, but add your own twist? What if you could limit your search to a select group of sites on a particular topic, and invite trusted colleagues, or anyone in the world, to add and contribute to this list? What if its results could be delivered lightning fast, in a format that blends in with your website or blog? If you ever asked yourself these questions, you already dreamed up Google Custom Search Engine (CSE), which officially launched last October. Create a search engine for kids by limiting sites searched to kid-friendly websites; create a search for you and your colleagues that's limited to university sites or a select group of professionally-vetted resources; or even create your own personal search engine that combs through your favorite recipe websites. It's all free, and there's no limit to how many CSEs you can create.
In the short time since launch, over 100,000 CSEs have been created by people with all kinds of interests and purposes. Here are some examples worth exploring:
* Lucy Gray's Research Sites for Kids
* The Librarian's E-Library
* John Doyle's (of Washington & Lee Law School Library) Searching U.S. Law School Websites
* Deb Morrissey's ALA Best of Free Reference
* Tamas Simon's Digital Reading Search
* Bill Drew's Google Custom Search for WLANs and Libraries
It's easy to create your own, and you'll have it up and running in a matter of minutes. The Custom Search Engine Starter Guide on the Tools page will walk you through it step by step. If you want to dig a little deeper, there is an FAQ and plenty of other documentation on the Google Co-op website.
If you've already created a Google Custom Search Engine and you want to share your story, we'd love to hear it.
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