Google has taken a big step into the social search arena. Google now allows you to create customized search engines. A customized search engines is a Google search that is restricted to a specific list of web sites that you specify, like search 2.0 company Rollyo’s searchrolls. An interesting feature is the ability to invite others to help edit and customize in a cooperative manner with you, and to have volunteers offer their help too. Currently you only get 100 invitations, but the number of people that can volunteer is unlimited. Google manages the entire invitation and volunteer process for you, and you do have editor privileges over anything submitted to your customized search engine.
You can also refine your target web site list by adding keywords to highlight certain topics a particular web site offers. This allows you to emphasize certain keywords that are hard for the search engine to pick out. For example, suppose a particular web site is great for reviews. In an normal search, the word review is used in many different contexts leading to search results that have a lot of web pages that don’t actually contain reviews. By refining a web site in your search list with the word review, you are telling Google that it is specifically a review site.
Google has added a powerful motivation for people to use this new program. AdSense. Once you have created a customized search engine, you can put a search box on your web site and make money from it, via the AdSense ads placed along side the search results. It will be interesting to see if the other social search engine companies like Wink, Eurekster, and RollYo follow suit and allow contributors to monetize their search boxes. I would think they will have to in order to survive.
A little holiday note from the editor. I've been watching the latest news on the Best Selling Toys blog, a new toys, gadgets, and consumer robots blog. It looks like my favorite animated movie character Wall-E has been made in to a robot. I found a web page that covers the Ultimate Wall-E intelligent robot if you're interested in learning more about it's features and capabilities. I've seen videos and it really captures the essence of Wall-E. The other robot toys that caugh my interest are the transformers toys, which look like the glossy transforming robots from the Michael Bay movie "Transformers". In fact my favorite robot toys so far this year are Femisapien (which you can see in this funny video spoof of the famous song Barbie World made popular by Aqua), Wall-E, and the transformers toys. Give one of those to someone this holiday season along with a Nintendo Wii console and you'll be their best friend forever. Speaking of the Wii, make sure you read the available tips on how to get a good Nintendo Wii price or you may find yourself getting price gouged on eBay.