It appears Google’s Custom Search Business Edition is undergoing a metamorphosis. Just announced, the hosted site search solution will be renamed Google Site Search.
In addition to the easier to remember name, Google’s also adding a bunch of new features and upgrades, including:
- Enhanced index coverage: comprehensive search results on any website by crawling and indexing more content, even pages deep within a site;
- Synonyms: queries expand to include commonly-searched terms (a search for [car] will now include [cars]), and website owners can add their own custom synonym dictionary (a search for [fd] would include [fixed deposits] in search results);
- Date biasing: site owners can influence search results based on the age of documents (e.g., a recent product datasheet is weighted more heavily than older product documents);
- Top results biasing: specific sections of the site (such as the product catalog) appear at the top of search results
- Full customization of the look & feel: site owners can fully customize the search results interface to integrate with the unique look and feel of their sites.
What caught my attention is the upgrade I noted above in bold. Google Site Search’s previous weakness was its reliance on Google’s main index to provide the site search results. If a site wasn’t fully indexed by Google.com, Google Site Search choked. With the new updates, Google Site Search gets its own index, allowing users to ensure all their web content is indexed.
Are you thinking, what I’m thinking?
Will Google use Site Search to supplement its main Google.com index?
That’s what I asked Nitin Mangtani, Lead Product Manager, Enterprise Search. His response? Pages indexed by Google Site Search will not be shared with the Google.com index. However, he did confirm that other data, such as site search queries, "could" be leveraged in Google.com.
Google Site Search starts at $100 a year for up to 5,000 pages. Want to know how it looks, here’s a sample implementation.