The Benefits of Using Google's Custom Search Engine

Jul 18th

I recently installed the new business edition of Google's custom search engine. It took about 5 minutes to set up and will likely pay for itself many times over. You can use it by using the search box in the right rail. Google's custom search engine is easy to customize, fast to implement, works across multiple domains and is cheap. It only costs $100 a year for up to 5K pages and $500 a year for 50K pages. It also allows the owner to see search frequency and your most popular queries.

Rather than doing Google site specific searches, now I can see Google flavored results customized to my site right from my own domain. If I am searching for something on my own site and can't find it, the odds are pretty good that I am not going to show up in Google's global search either.

Using Google's search will likely also help you figure out how well they trust different pages on a site or a subset of sites, as it likely factors in link popularity and other off site relevancy measurements (unlike most site search services). If your site is easier to search it is easier for you and others to cite your archived content.

Using search results with the same format as Google's will also show you how compelling your documents look to customers on Google, from a searcher's perspective. Some consumers may also view your business as being more Google friendly if you use a Google site search service. Their awareness of and affinity toward Google's brand may help increase your conversions.

Published: July 18, 2007

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Comments

Kyle M Brown
July 18, 2007 - 3:40am

Did a search on your site with the new Google Box. Nice , clean, results.

So whats the admin interface look like.

Does it have more than the customer search Google offers?

July 18, 2007 - 3:42am

I believe the feature sets are roughly the same, with the exception of requiring carrying their ads.

EdgarPE
July 18, 2007 - 4:52am

Maybe I miss something but I don't understand. What is the point in Business edition?

You can register a free Google CSE, add just your site and put the HTML to your website. And there is no page limitations in this way.

What am I missing?

Ashish Roy
July 18, 2007 - 8:21am

Aaron,

I compared a couple of searches on your site using the CSE thing with the site: operator. The algos appear to be working exactly the same. Try site:seobook.com pagerank OR site:seobook.com "branding a website".

Definitely, this search service is better than others (from a user perspective) but only as good as a custom solution that reports volume of searches on the site.

Zvi Goldstein
July 18, 2007 - 2:05pm

For most sites, people aren't searching for web pages. For the most part, they are searching for products, articles, images or other things.

Taking that into account, google custom search is only a half-baked product until it's integrated with gBase.

David
July 18, 2007 - 2:14pm

I have a small niche market that I used the free search box on and am now going to pay for the $100 - it's nice.

Another great idea from G

Jason
July 18, 2007 - 3:19pm

Great post Aaron. Here is what I don't understand, do you still have to show the Google branding?

Jason
July 18, 2007 - 3:20pm

Great post Aaron. Here is what I don't understand, do you still have to show the Google branding, even after paying the fee?

ChessZone
July 18, 2007 - 4:46pm

Maybe it's easier to use site:seobook.com search to learn all this best-pages-trust things ;-)

Adrienne Doss
July 18, 2007 - 6:51pm

My main concern is that you can't guarantee every page of your website will be included in the SERPs. Considering I'm constantly adding new products to my company's website, I need to be sure that customers can find them as soon as possible.

It's not bad for $100. But if you absolutely, positively need every page to be searchable, you should probably shell out $2,000 for the Google Mini Search Appliance.

Andrew Miller
July 18, 2007 - 8:57pm

It's important to note that the new CSE pulls results from G's main index. Installing this feature on a site won't earn preferential treatment from G'bot or make previously uncrawlable content magically appear. If your pages aren't currently indexed in Google, this built-in site search won't find it either. You'll need the Mini search appliance for that, which will certainly cost you more than $100.

Aviva
July 18, 2007 - 9:46pm

Aaron, you're obviously not wearing your tin foil hat!

David
July 19, 2007 - 12:15am

I have a G Mini and believe me it is cool but way more than I need - I'll sell it cheap just to up my CSE capacity.....

I like this latest Coop - :p

AB
July 19, 2007 - 1:03am

Sometimes the best way is to use http://www.flexum.ru/ (it haven't English interface, though :( ). E. g. one of the searches: http://antivirus.flexum.ru/ "Flexum" also allows to export the search onto your own site.

Rapdaniel
July 19, 2007 - 9:54am

I see no difference between Google/coop and Google Custom Search Business. Can you give us more details?

Justin Davy
July 19, 2007 - 6:12pm

The Google's custom search is great for sites that are primarly based on articles but if your site is based around commerce and fielded data I would think that a custom search built in house is going to be much more effective for getting specific results.

David Saunders
July 20, 2007 - 3:25am

I am wondering how I can get my adSense to show at the top again now that I've updated to business??

Any help please email me

THX

David

hikaye
July 20, 2007 - 3:00pm

I see no difference between Google/coop and Google Custom Search Business. Can you give us more details?

July 20, 2007 - 5:20pm

Does anyone know what the deal on the statistics tab is? It seems that it just gives details for popular searches and not all searches.

Any plans for this to become more of a robust tool?

July 21, 2007 - 3:29am

I still see no difference in the paid version and the free version.

July 25, 2007 - 4:46pm

Hey do you have option with Business edition to modify the result page.For example adding small pictures to your result (very common when you are a merchant)

Marie Casas
July 25, 2007 - 6:20pm

Wow, I'm glad you brought this up here. We're setting up a new niche content site and it'll be mostly articles. Sounds like Google CSE could really help us find out what the visitors will be looking for. Now, I just have to check what's the difference between CSE and Mini Search App. Less coding for a custom search engine for my boyfriend to do :)

September 7, 2007 - 12:36pm

Hi Aaron,

How do you feel that the benefits of the custom search outweigh the cost of donating all one's search data to Google? For a site like SEObook you probably don't need that data as much unless you shop for topics in user search data, but other people's sites which may not have as tightly defined of a niche may get some good use for content they need to make more obvious. - your Opinion?

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