14 Custom Search Engine

Note: additions to his notes are in bold.

Class Discussion

No notes here. Extensive discussion about how class is going, what should change, etc.

My class notes

Today we're doing custom search engines. You can basically get your own search engine that you control.
Google Custom Search Engines, which essentially took over the industry, changed in a huge way this Monday. Everything Prof. Moore knew about it, changed.
Prof. Moore's Search Engine:

  • Gives list of included sites.
  • His search engine keywords: nutrition, health, diet, food

What is it

  • A search tool that uses Google's search engine (as the back end) but that you can instruct the following ways:
    • Look in a certain list of URLs (pages, whole sites, or subsets of sites) (what to look at)
    • Avoid a certain list of URLs (what not to look at)
    • Append a set of terms to any user-supplied query
    • Customize its looks (within bounds)

We're going to create a custom search engine for your project today.
Then, we'll learn how to embed the search engine in your wiki. Lots of different ways because each of them will work under dif. circumstances and with different tools, i.e. blogger, wordpress, wikidot

How can it be used (3 different ways)

  • Its own Web page
  • An iGoogle widget
  • Embedded in random Web page
      • See today's exercises for instructions on how to embed
      • Google Custom Search Engine is an easy way to do it.
      • Note: IFrame doesn't work on Firefox for Mac and Windows. Skip it.
      • Search Element Based Process- looks the best, provides the best user interface
        • Three ways: full width, compact, and two-columns (trouble implementing it)

Why would you use it

  • Captures creator's knowledge of the field

In previous years students have explored and learned about several search engines: Topicle, Eurekster Swicki, and RollYO; however, for the last year or so these sites have been completely displaced and dominated by the Google Custom Search Engine so that is the only tool we are going to look at today.

Blog topics

  1. Describe how useful or not Google Custom Search Engine is for your site.
  2. Describe how you chose the sites to include in your custom search engine.
  3. Compare and contrast 2 (or more) different custom search engines.


  1. Topicle
  2. Eurekster Swicki
  3. Rollyo
  4. Google Custom Search Engine
  5. BuildASearch
  6. Yahoo Search BOSS — Build your Own Search Service
  7. 3 Guides to FireFox Quick Searches (Smart Keywords)
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