Many of us have had the "joy" of going to a website and seeing a Google search bar there. Usually, if you're on a website, you're hoping to find links relevant to that site through searching - so it's always entertaining to see some of the links that pop up. Finally, Google has addressed this issue, though - in a little bit of an unusual manner
Introducing...(insert fanfare)...custom Google searches! Yes, that's right, you as a page owner can now build your entire index, rate sites yourself, and do all the work that Google was doing in order to have more relevant material come up. The benefit? Complete control over what your visitors get as results from your page.
One can bet that for the privelage, the company will evaluate your index and perhaps be able to better sort your site and those relevant to yours in the future. Overall, it's a pretty nice deal - we end up with some better results, Google ends up with better searches, and advertisers are passed down some better anonymous data.
I can see two distinct downsides here, though. The first involves people who don't understand when they're looking at a custom search. Without clear identifiers, someome might think that your choices are the only
options, as opposed to your favourites. It may sound like I'm not giving society a lot of credit, but in the words of George Carlin, "Think of the average person. Then realize half of the world is dumber than that."
Second, Google's Adsense could end up ripe for abuse with all the possible self-referrals. Could custom searches end up being as much a liability as a blessing? Only time will tell.
Got a thought on the new feature? Looking forward to some more relevant searches? Let us know your thoughts in our forums