Google Custom Search Engine

By bavidarbavidar (1260148084|%a, %b %e at %I:%M%p)

googleCustomSearch.PNG

Google Custom Search Engine

Overview

Google's Custom Search Engine has been really helpful for my wikidot site. Today's blog will explain:

  1. How I use CSE
  2. Why I use CSE
  3. How Things could be better…Much Better

How I use CSE

I use CSE for just about everything. Since it contains all the sites that I usually go to to find information regarding this industry, its much simpler than using a bunch of tools. Therefore, I get much more relevant information when i preform a search. However, there is a downside. If i do not include a site that has relevant information in my CSE i will lose some data that could have been helpful. Therefore, while i am increasing my precision i am decreasing my recall. It is a trade off. At the same time, the way that i am able to reconcile this difference is that from time to time i check main search sites like Google and Bing to see if there is new information. When i find a site that i like and think i could benefit from the the future, i immediately add it to my list of sites under my CSE. As you can see i use the CSE quite often. I use it to get quarterly earning reports, weekly news updates, and daily breaking news stories. Additionally, i a have added all, well most, of the industry leaders in online brokerage to the search engine so that i can search their sites too.
Take that Google my search is better.

Why I use CSE

Since the U.S. Based Online brokerage Industry has a lot of news but most of it is very hard to fine online, a custom search engine is needed. I initially thought I could get away with just using a bunch of tools that were at my disposal but it just became a huge hassle. After learning about the CSE in class i decided to give it a shot. CSE allows me to access all my quality sources all in one place. Additionally, since i always seemed to use the terms [online brokers] in my query i was able to automatically add that to all my queries when i use my custom search. This tool will all also allow any one who wants to find information regarding the same time more easily and more efficient.

How Things could be better…Much Better

You might think that CSE is good, and it is, but there is so much more in which it can improve from. The first main problem is the implementation. The implementation for CSE is quite strange. Additionally, it took my a while to get comfortable using the code and get acquainted to setting up a successful CSE. A CSE is not for everybody. It is anything but simple in the beginning. Here are my main problems with CSE:

  • Cannot be Implemented Everywhere - I had to devote a whole page to it on my site rather than just add it to the toolbar
  • I cannot toggle between searching Google and Searching my CSE - It would be nice if i could specify which one i wanted to search
  • There should be an easier way or method to add sites to the search without going trough the options page and setup

Final Thoughts

Overall, I am glad I learned how to implement and use a CSE. Next time i create a Wiki or a website i know that i can create a CSE that will help my users search for pertinent and relevant information. However, i do not recommend Google CSE for everyone. As i have stated a few times it is not a simple tool but can be powerful once mastered. Additionally, in certain cases i feel that using the normal general Google Search might be better. When topics are more general, i think Google Search is a wiser choice. However, when the topics are more specific and narrow than a CSE would be better as it can help find specific results within a smaller topic. Hopefully this blog gets read by Google and changes are made soon. Looking forward to my next fight with CSE.

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