Google launches Custom Search

Google launches Custom Search

Google has released a platform that gives its search tools to any site

The Google Custom Search Platform, which allows organisations to add Google search functionality to their web sites is now available internationally.

The new downloadable search platform will be less expensive and simpler to obtain than the search product currently supplied by Google, the plug-in appliance, which was launched in April 2006, according to the firm. The Custom Search Platform is also purely for websites, whereas the Google Search Appliance can index documents held internally by firms.

The new platform is available free to small organisations but at a cost for larger organisations requiring more customisation and support. The Custom Search Business Edition costs $100 per year for searching up to 5,000 pages and up to $2250 per year for up to 300,000 pages. This contrasts with the Search Appliance that costs as much as $30000 dollars to search 500,000 pages.

Custom Search Business Edition was first launched in July 2007 in the US but it is localised in 40 languages and will be available in 80 countries. The free edition, however, is still in beta.

Businesses can sign up online for the hosted service and it can be set up in ten minutes, according to the firm. One of the product’s customers is the UK Parliament, which is using the Google Custom Search Business Edition on their website to make nine million documents easily accessible to the public.

The Google Search Business Edition provides similar functionality to Google’s Custom Search platform in that it is a site hosted by Google, which means businesses do not need to install or maintain their own technology. All organisations can also gain from reporting features that give insight into visitor behaviours.

However, the business edition contains added functionality such as the ability to give full customisation of search results available through an XML API and contains options for email and phone support through the Google Enterprise group. The business edition also allows businesses to choose whether to include advertisements or not.

Robert Whiteside, UK and Ireland Google enterprise manager, said “Our focus remains on improving the end user experience. That’s the best way for us to serve our users, innovate and stay ahead.”