Google has launched a customisable search engine that publishers can put on their own websites.
The tailored search engine can be set up to prioritise or restrict results, based on the website owner’s specifications, combining Google’s search algorithms with the publisher’s preferences.
The move is expected to open up wider markets for the search giant’s advertising sales and provide competition for niche search products produced by other vendors.
Users choose which sites to include or prioritise in their own search engine index and are then provided with code to place a search box on their website. More sites can be added to the index later.
Website owners can also add up to 16 "refinements" – labels applied to websites in the search engine index. The labels appear at the top of the search results pages, allowing visitors to search those pages exclusively or see them prioritised in the results.
Google Custom Search also includes a collaboration feature, allowing several users to contribute to tailoring the engine.
The search box and search results pages can be further cutomised to fit the look and feel of the publisher’s own website.
Search results pages are hosted by Google for free, although users can also host them on their own sites.