“Wouldn’t it be cool if you could easily build a search engine on your blog or website tailored to the topics and areas you know and love the most? You’re not alone if you’d like that — we’ve heard from partners large and small, and users across the web who want access to the Google search platform, and want to customize and make it their own.”
We at OurChurch.Com created a new Christian search engine using this service. How good is the service? How easy was it to set up?
Google’s announcement claims, “It’s a simple and straightforward product to use and understand. In a matter of minutes you can create a search engine that reflects your knowledge and interests; looks and feels like your own.”
We gave it a try, and guess what? It really couldn’t be any simpler. If you don’t already have a Google account, you have to create one first, but after that it is literally a matter of completing one simple form and they copying and pasting the HTML for the search box into your web page.
Beyond that there is a control panel you can use to further customize your search engine any time you like:
- Add to or modify the sites included in the search engine.
- Embed the search results into your own web page.
- Customize the appearance of the search results to match your website.
- Allow other people to add to the list of sites included in the search engine.
- Earn money each time somebody clicks on an ad by connecting it to a Google AdSense account.
When creating our new Christian search engine we used most of those customization options. We added to the search engine the thousands of websites we have already reviewed and approved for our Directory of Christian Websites. We embedded the results in a new page on our website, tweaked the appearance to match our site, and associated it with our adSense account.
What new search engine could you create with the Google Custom Search Engine? The possibilities are endless: a search engine of Christian theology, Christian music, evangelism resources, denominational resources, country-specific sites, and on and on. If you have a page of links related to your website, why not create a search engine of sites related to your website?
What do you think of this new Google service? Our new search engine? If you create a custom search engine, post a link here and tell us about your experience.