Seven Custom Search Engines

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Google Custom Search Engines let us hide “unreadable” operators and reuse them. Search engines on Recruiting Blogs, CVFox, Big5Hire, Referyes are all custom search engines or are based on this technology.

Custom engines have their tricky side but it’s not too hard to create a basic one. On your control panel, use the sections “sites” and “refinements” to start with, and just with those two one can create wonders.

Custom engines let us do some things that are not possible to do in Google search itself. As an example, we can:

  • use refinements (an example would be to search for doc files only or excel files only)
  • expand the max number of words and symbols in a search string
  • use special characters in a search; that one is tricky (thanks, Mike Notaro!)
  • use URL patterns to define sites to search in; the patterns can contain special characters such as ? or @

Here are some engines I created a while ago. (When you try them out, notice refinements.) Hope to get back and design more. If you create one or discover some interesting features in the technology, please share!

And by the way, custom engines are not likely to decide that you are a bot. For those of us who struggle with the Google’s “I’m human” dialog lately, it’s a big plus.