Blog:Custom Search Engines

By Susan KennedySusan Kennedy (1225900581|%a, %b %e at %I:%M%p)

One of the more awesome things that I have discovered while exploring the web is that you can design your own search engine. In reality, it still has to search through another established search engine, such as Google. However, you get to specify what URLs you would like it to focus on, which can be extremely helpful when you have a very specific topic that you need to search for.

Walt Disney Pictures Search Engine

To set up my Walt Disney Film and Related Topics search engine, I first went to Google's Custom Search Engine Site. I then named it, specified key words, and added a few URLs to start with. I also added that I wanted the search engine to also search the broader web. If you do not want this, you do not have to add the feature; I just wanted to see if I would find more information from random sites. Then, Google makes the search engine and you can add some design features before adding it to your site.

Usefulness of a Custom Search Engine

To decide how useful I feel this could be for Disney research purposes, I decided to test out a few queries.

How to Make the Most of It

From what I gather, the way to make the most of a custom search engine is with diversity of URLs. As I continue to explore it, id like to add more URLs from blogs, scholarly sites, and educational sites. Likewise, it is crucial that you KNOW what you want to look for and have the best query that you can. Unfortunately, that just takes time, practice, and further research.

The Potential

Although right now I havn't found this site to be incredibly useful, I can see the potential. With a custom search engine, you can find information that you simply wouldn't via google, regardless of the query, simply because there is too much information out there. I am excited to continue to refine my URLs and queries and will continue to update you with my progress.

That being said, the one major downside of Google based search, is that it comes from Google. Google is a very powerful search engine. However, for our purposes, Google may not always have what we need. This is why it is important to use a diversity of web sites, most of which I discuss on this site. This is a very cool tool, but should by no means by the major asset of our research. For this reason I suggest you try it out, have fun, but make sure that you continue to use all the other tools that are out there :)

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