Nowadays, more and more vertical search engines are popping to life as a movement to provide more targeted and relevant search results than the traditional search goliaths. In the same spirit, Google has developed the Custom Search Engine platform (launched in 2006) that allows users to create their own ‘tailored’ search engine which continues to build momentum as Google adds new features (ie the recent integration with Adsense)
So how does it work? Building your search engine is easy and goes something like this…
1. Give your search engine a name and specify some of the keywords you want to target
2. Select what sites you want to search
3. Customize it and host the search box on your own website
Some enterprises are already taking advantage of Google’s Custom Search API. For example, the guys at Green Maven have built a green search engine using Google CSE to help their audience search for “green, conscious, sustainable” websites (whatever that means).
Smart move on Google’s part — inspire everyone to use their search engine technology and provide more incentives for Adsense publishers.
So, the question is: how will this play out with all the vertical search engines trying to gain a competitive advantage and keep up with the features and value-added services that Google Custom Search is providing? It seems like the vertical search war is just starting to heat up. Bernard Lunn of RRW wrote an interesting post about this as it relates to business networks.