XML News from Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Google has launched Google Coop, a customized search engine service for sites like this one. I've been using Google searches here for a while. The search box on the right is just a simple form that links to regular Google. However, now they're letting me customize it more, give preference to links to this site without excluding other sites, change the look and feel of the search results (or even host my own), and get kickbacks^H^H^H^H^^H^H^H^H^H referral fees for the ads on the search results page. I'm still playing with this. I haven't yet figured out how to set the look and feel to fit into the sidebar, but in the meantime here's a basic search box. Try it out and see what you think:

OK. I've figured out how to hack the search box code so that it fits nicely in the sidebar. The next question is just whether that violates the Google Coop terms of service or not. They tend to be picky about things like that. Looks like that might be OK. I don't see anything in the terms of service that suggests they mind this.

I may also have to configure this so it only searches the sites I specify. I don't mind it giving out additional sites that may be helpful, but it doesn't always place hits from my sites on the first page; and if someone uses the search box on my page that's probably what I want. For instance, I searched for "Downs", an unusual string that occurs about twice on all the sites (both in the last week or two) and it didn't find either of those hits. Instead, it found irrelevant sites about Downs syndrome, and companies named Downs.