Yesterday, The Google announced the availability of their Custom Search Business Edition and I immediately signed up all my websites for inclusion in that keen opportunity.

BEWARE: You can only add THREE domains per Custom Business Search! If you have lots of unified domains across more than three domain names, you will have to split up your domain searches — and pay for them — in groupings of three domains per search box. I added logos to all my Custom Business searches so my visitors will semiotically know which of my sites they are actually searching!

For $100.00 USD per year, Google will index for me — and then serve for you — up to 5,000 web pages. This new Business Edition of their pre-existing Custom Search offers much more customization, reporting and, above all, it is advertising free.

SEARCH NOW!

SEARCH NOW!

The great thing about Google Custom Search Business Edition is that I can create a pre-drilled deep digging of all the sites I own and operate and have only those sites returned in a search. If there’s something I’ve published or put on the web it can now be found much more easily via this sophisticated and focused search method.

Here’s a peek at my Control Panel. Setup was super-easy. I simply add the domains I want Google Custom Business Edition to serve up and Google does the rest. The real power, I learned, is in the ability to EXCLUDE some parts of your site that you do not want returned.

Urban Semiotic has tons of information across thousands of pages and the current WordPress.com search engine does not drill down well and finding something you want or said in a comment is impossible. With Google Custom Business Edition, you can get returns that include comments.

However, I had to EXCLUDE the RSS feeds for my blogs because when you just enter your domain name, EVERYTHING on your domain gets indexed. So when I did a search on a recent unique phrase in our Comments here, Google provided a link to my Comments RSS feed.

That wasn’t a good thing because when you clicked on the URL to read the result, your localized RSS reader popped up to subscribe you to the RSS feed instead of having Google just give you the comment. The fix was to exclude the RSS feeds from being indexed in the first place and once that’s done, you’re golden.

Customization of your search is great fun. You can add your own logo and have Google load your search returns on a page on your own server.

Google also gives you a Homepage to use for your searches, but it is so ugly and plain no one with the ability to setup a custom search would ever use it in the real world.

Here’s how the generic search returns look when you use the generic search page to call up your results:

The real power and the greatest joy comes in loading Google’s Custom Search Business Edition from within your own pages on your own site.

This is web logo Branding at its best and you can quickly find what you need using all the standard Google search terms:

I added a Google search box under our standard WordPress search box so you can find what you’re looking for here.

When you click on the Google Custom Search Business Edition link you will be taken to http://BolesUniversity.com/search.html where you can search until you can type no more.

All of my sites will be included in those search returns — so if you only want Urban Semiotic stuff — make sure you make that clear in your search.

If you get some great information returned in the search that surprises or pleases you, please share your find with the rest of us here in a comment!

13 Comments

  1. Hi David,
    Looks like another great Google product. It works in environments where Adsense for Search might not be optimal, i.e. a business website where one wouldn’t want any competition against ones own products.
    I wonder if there will be a free version of this product?

  2. Hi Chris!
    It is another great product from Google. They sell a hardware server you can buy and install that will then index all your pages. That’s around $2,000.00 USD for service and setup, though. This new offering lets everything sit in the Google Cloud and you have no hardware you need to manage.
    I agree this is a fine way to control your search returns especially if you have a humongo site with lots of similar information that can be hard to drill-down and find.
    The free version is here:
    http://google.com/coop/cse/
    It is advertising sponsored, though, and it isn’t as customizable as the pay version.

  3. Hi David,
    I haven’t played with the new Google site search, but I do know what you mean by not being able to dig into the comments using the standard WP search engine. I’ve tried to find things in the past that I knew were on the site without any luck.
    It will be interesting to see if paying for the site search gets your site indexed any differently than a site just using a sitemap and submitting same to Google’s sitemap utility.
    It will be interesting to see if your statistics show increased Google bot visits.

  4. I did a little experiment using the search tool in the sidebar using the term “Minnie Riperton.” Nothing showed up. The BolesUniversity Google site search tool was able to find it in Urban Semiotic’s comments.

  5. Hi Chris!
    Yes, the standard WordPress.com search engine is severely lacking. It takes a lot of computer muscle to quickly search databases using queries. I asked the WP.com Powers That Be long ago how search returns were determined and presented. I never received an answer from them, but in my informal testing it seems post titles are given first preference, then post content. No comments are ever indexed by WP.com in that search as far as I could tell.
    As I understand it, paying for this Google search service gets us a return promise that everything we publish gets indexed. I have no idea how fast that indexing will be but sometimes our articles appear in Google search hours after they’re published and that was before we paid anything.

  6. Lovely! Lovely!! Lovely!!!
    David!!!
    You don’t know how happy I am!!!
    I am typing any word/phrase under the Sun in the search box and the search result is just fantabulous!!!
    Thank you!!!

  7. Hey Katha!
    Are you logged in? :mrgreen:
    I know you have struggled in the past trying to find those great thoughts we had — and then forgotten about — and when I read about this new Google service yesterday I thought this will be a great enhancement for all our archaeological endeavors! 😀

  8. There you are, Katha! Yay! 😀
    I know! I remember your great mind would remember things I had forgotten and you’d ask me to help you remember a more specific term to bring up an old article and I didn’t ever do very well. Now we have paid, professional, help from Google! 😆