Google launches customizable and social search tool to sit on users’ sites

So Google announced that it’s releasing a social search engine that can sit on blogs and other web sites and that can be customized in terms of the search index and the results look and feel. Gee, sounds alot like Eurekster’s Swicki (disclosure: I consulted on this product.) Also sounds like the always-fun Rollyo and a tad like A9’s open search. (And also, like Yahoo’s custom search tools, the product allows a high degree of customization.)
So what makes this social search? Hmmn, it’s the feature that allows the site owner to empower friends, colleagues, community to contribute links to the search index, thereby customizing the results (just like Swicki does.)
What’s interesting here is not only does the feature allow users to create customized views of search for their community/web site, it effectively creates a form of social search that could turn out to be very equivalent to Yahoo’s MyWeb, assuming the data from these customized products is reaggregated and then distributed across Google search results as a seperate data set. For example, imagine that the Harley community blog rings all implemented this feature and built a rich list of preferred links to integrate into results–and then Google could take that data and highlight at the top of the search results as a social media alternative to relevancy.
Mike Arrington points out that “Google is also offering, as an option, to bundle the service with Google Adsense ads and share revenue with websites that embed the custom search engine into their site.” Eurekster does that as well, and I wonder whether this monetization will be an incentive to adoption.
Susan sez: This is a cool feature, but it’s not a new one. The fact it disintermediates smaller companies–the Rollyos and Eureksters–to start–is creepy. Sure, it’s the law of the marketplace, but it suggests how much Google has broadened–or hardened?– its focus to not only aspire to be a first mover, but to try to be a category crusher.
(And of course as a Yahoo I get that this is also a direct swack at Yahoo search–but that is so out of my realm in terms of areas of focus at work I am not even going to bother to go there except to say Yahoo Search has its own good stuff going on.)
Bonus: Wink list of early Google Customer Search engines, aka CSES.

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  1. Greg says:

    It’s more than creepy; the Google Blog post is entitled: “Eureka! Your own search engine has landed!” which can’t be an unintentional reference to Eurekster. That’s just cold.

  2. subba says:

    Yahoo already released something similar this August (, though without the rev share.

  3. bricktop says:

    firstly – thanks for linking to my collection – I still can’t find a way to search for CSEs so I’m hoping people tag’em so they’ll be searchable on wink and The Gooliath factor is getting a bit creepy isn’t it? ;b

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