Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Google Custom Search

I wanted to share my thoughts on Goolgle's new Custom Search Beta Engine they have created. Basically, it's a kind of search feature that you can add to your own website/blog/whatever but that you control the results which appear in the SERPS that the custom search throws up. The first step would be to add all of your pages on your website to the Search results. Then you can periodically add any other pages across the internet you like, thus creating your own personalised search results for your users to see if they use your search engine.
Barcelona SEO - Google's Custom search
I was trying to find the use of this, and came up with two theories. The first would be to simply add this to your site if you have a huge site and want a free search feature. However chances are that if your site is that big, then you'd probably have a search feature in there already. Let's use the example of a website that sells products for dogs - say dog collars, kennels, shampoos, etc.

So now imagine if you're searching the net for something, and you come across another blog all about dogs, and think that your website users may find this useful so you add it to the search results. This is all done very innocently and in good faith that you're creating a better experience for your website users. However, you may in fact, be turning away many customers without even thinking about it.
Barcelona SEO - Dog whistle
Let's say a customer wants to buy a dog whistle, but you don't sell them. They do a custom search for dog whistles on your site which throws up a few random results on some sites you have added; say how farmers use their whistles to call sheepdogs. YOUR customer clicks the link, and LEAVES your website (there's a big bounce rate to start with). On the new site, Google AdSense is displaying ads, and guess what? There's an Ad for dog whistles from your competition! So not only have you sent a customer away from your site, but you've also opened the door for them to your own competition!! Ok, you might not have been able to sell them a dog whistle, but they might have loved the 2 for 1 promotion you were running this month on squeaky toys. You get the picture.

As always, Google is the only winner on this one. They are becoming frighteningly good at collecting information, and it's all been given to them freely. Don't forget that Google takes a hefty chunk out of Adsense, too, so it's a win-win for Google. I really can't see the benefits of the custom search engine,but if you guys have had any positive experience with it, please do share...

SEO services Barcelona

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