Google has launched a new search engine, or rather has made the old one available with a few user configurable tweaks. The Google Custom Search Engine (CSE) is now open for business and provides a brand new and tailored search experience, or at least that is what Google is saying.

It still uses the Google core search technology so there are no nasty surprises when it comes to results, only good ones. Because by using Google CSE, the user chooses to prioritize or restrict searches based upon the sources, websites and pages, you specify. In other words you get to build your own Google index, and search just that instead of the whole shebang.

You can even share your index and let others contribute to it if you like.

I like the ability to be able to give selected pages and sites a higher priority and ranking within the larger Google index, that’s both neat and useful. I like the bit of code you get given so you can have your own Google CSE search box on your site or blog. I even like the concept of creating a custom search tool that can then earn me money by using the AdSense program alongside it.

But you know what, it isn’t exactly a brand new idea and I think I prefer the approach taken by Rollyo with their Roll Your Own search service based on the Yahoo engine. This brings search customization down to a per domain level, narrowing your search sources to a list of specific sites that you know and trust. These can then be published as ‘Searchrolls’ to allow others to share the same resource.

What’s more if you like a Searchroll not only can you use it, but you can edit it to make it yours without changing the original. And, you can have as many Searchrolls as you like, one for each area of research for example. You don’t even have to roll your own from scratch, search for an existing one and customize that. The only downsides are restrictions to only 25 sites per Searchroll, and the fact that if you don’t like Yahoo searches (and Feedster which drives the blog search element) you are pretty much stuffed of course.

Dani 1,700

I'm really liking the Google custom search engine, and will be tinkering with it today.