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Are You Using Google’s Custom Search Engine

Google has come to be a lot of things for different people, starting with your basic search engine for most people just looking for information to a very powerful marketing tool to get your business moving forward. We can begin by saying there are several different kinds of searches, including Google’ Custom Search Engine, that you can use to make your search returns exactly what you want.

Some beginning search tips to start with:

As you start to search, you need to learn to use keywords instead of simple words that you might be using with everyday speech, like “what,” “for,” “to,” and “how.” Now you don’t have to search in full sentences, in fact, that could be a bad idea. You can probably get better and more useful results by using specific keywords instead of sentences.

For instance, by using two plain keywords, colors and tulips, your Google results show: Results 1-10 of about 2,040,000 for color tulips.

But, if we put the terms in quotes: “what colors do tulips come in” we get this result:

Results 1-10 of about 5,810 for “what colors do tulips come in”.

If the results you are getting are not what you want, try another search using synonyms. More descriptive adjectives like “popular” or “hot” may be too generic to be much use to you sometimes. Decide what term you are looking for and use a more specific descriptive search.

You should also take into consideration as you search, Google is not psychic, but a purely mechanical process of comparison and whatever their ever-changing algorithms return. As you can see, apples, Apples, apple and Apple are all the same word to Google and will get you the same results.

When you are searching for information you have to use specific techniques that are not so well-known. One of them is Google’s Custom Search Engine, which is a tailored search experience that you can customize using Google’s Search technology in different ways. Said another way, you can make a customized search engine on your own website for the benefit of your customers and visitors.

Another powerful application is the “Custom Search on the fly” which will let you automatically search across links, bookmarks or blog rolls. Then use the links on your web page to make a search engine and your directories can be made searchable. If you want to turn on this powerful tool, all you have to do is copy the code Google makes available and paste it in the HTML code for your web page.

Instantly, you will see a search box on your web page and, when you search, the results will be focused on the sites your page links to.

You could even make some money by using “Adsense for search,” another application in this suite of focused and powerful tools you can use.Some of the benefits are:

- Create a search engine on your website in minutes
- Customize the look of the search results and the ads
- Adjust the results and the ads to enhance your site’s content and the needs of your visitors
- Get more related search results that match the interests of your viewers with better indexing

All it takes to use Google’s Custom Search Engine is create a new account or just sign in with your existing Google account. There are two levels of access, free and business.

With a free account you can create a website search engine for any websites you are interested in on the Web. Google will place display ads on your searches.

A business account can start at $100 a year and lets you add a search engine focused on a business’s public website.

You can check out fees and options at: http://www.google.com/cse/compare

For a short overview: http://www.google.com/cse/

You can find info on “Custom Search on the fly” here:

http://www.google.com/cse/tools/create_onthefly

For an overview & explanation of “Adsense for Search”:

http://code.google.com/apis/customsearch/docs/money.html