Monday, 23rd October 2006
Briefs: Google Joins Rollyo, Yahoo, and Microsoft Live Search in Allowing Users to Create Customized, Domain Specific Search Tools
Search Engine Watch Blog and News.com report that Google has launched a tool that allows users to create "customized" search retrieval engines. Surprised? ResourceShelf is not.
In the past few weeks we've seen a similar tool from Yahoo and then from MSN Live Search.
Of course, Rollyo has had a simple, elegant, and what Greg Sterling calls "industrial strength" tool that allows users this ability for about one year.
Since then, Rollyo has received positive reviews not only from ResourceShelf but from many others including Walt Mossberg at the Wall Street Journal and recently from librarian Phil Bradley who reported on several new features that had just been added to the Rollyo service and many others.
Sterling's excellent (what else is new) overview for SEW Blog points out a few other key points:
+ The Google product will have more of a social aspect to it, think Swicki from Eurekester.
+ Google Custom Search is free but will show AdSense results.
+ Sterling writes:
But what is perhaps most interesting about the new Custom Search is that publishers (large or small) can allow approved colleagues, friends or community members to contribute to that index. For example, if I own a site dedicated to stamp collecting and have a group of regular contributors or trusted readers I can allow those individuals to contribute their selections to this index. This gives the index the ability to evolve and grow over time -- and makes it "social."
+ Sterling also points out that this in many ways is yet another stab at a social search product after Google Co-Op launched but "confused many people." In fact, this new service is listed in the Google Co-op section of the Google site.
+ Direct to Google Co-Op Custom Search
1) Your results can include all web results but emphasize the domains you list or just the list of specific sites.
2) The creator determines who can contribute more urls. Either ANY other user after volunteer and they are "approved" by the editor or a specific list of subscribers. How one determines the quality of a random volunteer who could go in and add in nonrelated sites that would then need to be cleared out is an issue.
3) Search engine builders must list at least one keyword that:
is used to make sure we promote the most relevant pages in the search results for your search engine.
This idea reminds us a bit (in concept only) of what Greg Linden calls
the old personalized search in Google Labs (which was based on Kaltix technology) where you had to explicitly specify that profile, but now the profile is generated implicitly using your search history.
Back in 2004, SEW wrote about a version of Google Personalized and how a user would use sliders to personalize results.
Btw, a registered user of Rollyo could easily share their password and login info with a group of trusted colleagues (for example) and allow them to change/add/modify entries. Rollyo registration also allows a user to create from their bookmarks" (very useful) and share your "rolls" with the Rollyo user community. Finally, a few weeks ago Rollyo added the availabilty of blog results via a pull-down menu option to Searchrolls. Also worth noting, Google Custom Search users must have a Google login and password. Rollyo allows users to create SearchRolls with a login; however, several of the advanced features are not available.
Postscipt: About two weeks ago, the AP and LA Times reported that Google execs told developers to slow it down. Yet, since that article, we've seen the launch of this service and the acquisition of YouTube. Granted, the acquisition was one thing and this version of Google Coop was likely on the calendar before that story. However, the precise quote from Sergey Brin goes to today's release on a new variation of the Coop theme. His quote:
We don’t want people to have to learn about 20 different products that work in 20 different ways,” Brin said. “I was even getting lost.