Uses of Google Custom Search Engine (including Librarianship Feed Finder)

Update: THIS rocks. Garrett Hungerford used Google’s CSE to make LISZEN, a Library & Information Science Search Engine.
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(My “Librarianship Feed Finder” CSE is at the bottom of this post if you want to skip down to it.)

So when Google announced its new custom search engine tool, I pretty much ignored it. After all, Rollyo has been offering a similar service for a good long while now. Eurekster’s Swicki does something similar, and Google’s direct competitor, Yahoo, has had the Yahoo! Search Builder since August.

However, recent readings suggest this may have been a hasty judgement, as creative uses of googles new tool pop up all around.

Last week, I posted about Give Me Back My Google, a tool that executes your google search and excludes link-spam sites. Well, the Google Customized Search Engine tool can also exclude domains and accept wildcard characters, so someone has used it to create Putch Search, which has some advantages over Give Me Back My Google. The most important advantage is that anyone can join the collobrative and add spammy sites to be excluded.

Putch Search

Another interesting use is being explored by librarian Bill Drew (of blogs Baby Boomer Librarian and Wireless Libraries). Bill has put together a custom search engine for information WLANs and Libraries.

Of course, the application most interesting to me so far is the Google Medicine portal tha Dean Giustini made. Dean has offered a list of most of the sites searched by his engine (20 of 27), and shows us the results of the same search (“common cold” AND “vitamin C”) in Google, Google Scholar, and his new Google Medicine.

For other interesting applications of Google CSE, check out eWeek’s slide show of Google Custom Search Engines.

But I think consideration of the bigger picture is called for here. Google has more to gain from this than just more places for adsense advertisements. Note that the service is branded as “Google Co-op”. What makes it different from the previous version of Google Co-op? It seems to me that with Google Marker for the co-op CSEs, Google has provided an incentive for users to annotate the web for them.

I don’t think I have a problem with this, but it is something that users should keep in mind.

Anyway. This morning I decided to try making my own. I’ve been collecting feeds for information libraryfolk care about for a few months (I’ll explain why in a future post), so I uploaded about 1000 of them and created a CSE to be a “Librarianship Feed Finder.”

Give it a try:






Here’s a test search to see which LIS feeds have recently mentioned Meredith Farkas.

Here’s a test search to find feeds that mention Library 2.0.

Its neat and sort of interesting, but really not extremely useful.

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