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Online Northwest: Heck with HAL

February 13, 2009

Open the Pod Bay Door to the Deep Web Yourself with Google’s Custom Search
by: Dale Vidmar, Southern Oregon University

Custom Search Engines (CSE)
Specialized Search engine–search select sites
You select the sites
Need a Google account
Control the results of a query: give priority to different sites, rank them, etc.
Adds human element to the algorithm

Why Bother?
Good Sites= value-added service, focus search on “good” sites
People are used to search engines
Make webliographies searchable
Search deep web
Effectively assist others find better information
Embed a search bo on your website
Can create a CSE without advertisement at no cost

9 Steps to Getting Started creating a CSE
1. Sign up for a Google Account
2. Go to Google Custom Search Engine
3. Create a CSE and provide basic info–title, description, keywords, and language
4. Select sites you want to search
5. Create the URL Patterns to search–taking root of site and add * (truncation)
6. Determine what you want to search–priorities of sites, what searching,, etc.
7. Choose the free standard version
8. Read Terms of Service
9. Create your CSE, test it out, and edit or alter as necessary.

After you create the CSE, get an email with all the code to your CSE

Creating URL Patterns
First Rule–keep it simple
ex. http://www.ous.edu/onlinenw/*
Add complexity as necessary
*.sou.edu/*

Pretty easy to do. Walked through creation of a search engine.

To me, very similar process to creating Google Gadgets, lots of the same options–Google has some great stuff, no wonder it is taking over the online world.

Get Help: Google Custom Search–Basics and Advanced, from Google

Take Home Message: Yay, Google Custom Search Engines! I guess I have something new to play around with now.

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