Building The Small Business Marketing Search Engine

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Google has a fairly new offering called Google Co-op. This tool allows anyone to create a custom search engine integrating their own site results along with hand chosen results that fit into a narrow focus.

So, I’ve decided to build The Small Business Marketing Search Engine.( Use the search box at the top of the page to see how it works.)

But, what about a BBQ search engine, a Web 2.0 search engine, an industry or obscure topic search engine. This could be a great tool for some information aggregating entrepreneur. Hand crafted results that combined blogs, websites, personal finds and news could actually outperform just about any algorithmic search for specific information.

The interface and toolset Google put together makes this work as a single site search or as a full blown collaboration. You can invite others to contribute sites and pages to your search engine or even open your search engine up for public contribution. When someone does a search using your specially formulated search box, the results are drawn only from the sites you or your volunteers suggest. Be careful with this feature as once you open your search engine up to others for contribution, the sites they index are added immediately.

I was a little surprised with how much Google allows you to brand your search results – using the full customization tool set allows you to build the search box and the search results right into your site templates with only a hint of Google branding. Google AdWords ads appear in the search results much as they might on a Google search page. (Current AdWords participants can generate revenue from this.)

Another widget that makes this a nice tool is something they call the Google Marker. I simply place a bookmark in Firefox or IE and as I surf and find a site I want to add I click on the marker and presto, another site in the search.

Visit and use the search box on the homepage. Once you hit search your results are tabulated and displayed on the page I designated for search results.


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