If you are looking for a search engine tailored perfectly to suit your needs, this could be it. Google have just released their latest creation, a Custom Search Engine allowing users everywhere to create their own search tool, specifically related to certain topics or communities.
The search can be customized easily by choosing keywords and selecting which sites are included in the search index. Users can search through specific sites exclusively or choose to only give them high priority.
To give you an example, here is an ineedhits search engine I created while writing this article. The search engine only searches the ineedhits website based on our major keywords and took me less then 5 minutes to set up. You can even customize link colors, add logos and much more.
The company expects the move to increase overall advertising sales, but noted the search also gives non-profit organizations, universities and government agencies the ability to create a simple search with the benefit of having no ads. In an article from informationweek.com Stephen Arnold suggests, “Every government agency can now put up a Google box at no cost,” and “Applications will come out of the woodwork for this function.”
My only concern is how will Google stop abuse of the no ads feature? The check box is simple enough for anyone to tick, giving them their own, add free, in house search. I guess time will tell.
With the power of this search, its no wonder people are getting excited. Some of the more interesting developments are reported on the Matt Cutts blog, where he talks about the combination of the Google AJAX API and custom search. A useful example includes four custom searches on one page (reviews, price comparisons, forums and shopping) with AJAX adding a blog, web and news search. You can check out this combination here and why not check out some of the other AJAX API samples.
As you may have guessed, Yahoo! have their own version of custom search called Yahoo! Search Builder. Why not check them both out and let us know which one you like better!