Google Custom Search – Rajat Mukherjee – Google India SearchMasters ’09


>>MUKHERJEE: Thanks, Paul. It’s such a nice
welcome. It’s actually very special to be in Bangalore because actually I went to school
in Bangalore. I was a student at St. Joseph’s and Bishop Cotton’s many, many years back.
It’s amazing to see what’s happened to all Madras’ roads. It’s just amazing. And, so,
I’m a Bengali, but I brought up in Bangalore, so that makes me a “Bangbong,” so a [INDISTINCT]
in all of this. But it’s really, really nice to be back home. Before I get started, I want
to actually thank the local team here, Alok, Paul, you know, all the folks who put this
together. They spent a lot of time to actually make this a very successful conference. And
so I’d like to take the opportunity and thank them. So let’s give them a big hand. All right,
so I’m going to talk about Google Custom Search. But before we get started, I just want to
get a feel for, you know, how many of you have actually heard of Custom Search. So,
show of hands. Okay, very good, so that’s nice. So, hopefully, today, after my presentation
you will learn more about some of the details that you probably are not already aware of.
And please feel free to stop me at any given point in time during the presentation, make
it interactive, and we can go from there. So what is Google Custom Search? Google Custom
Search basically offers you the ability to take the Google platform in your hands, and
we’ll talk about that. So Google Custom Search allows anybody–you, publishers, bloggers,
websites, organizations, businesses–to basically leverage the Google search platform that we’ve
created. It’s a very highly scalable, very high precision system that we’ve created.
And you can then create a very customized search experience on your own website targeting
your audience, targeting your content, your topics, your topics of interest, your expertise.
So the way I think of it, I kind of like to draw this analogy with pizza. So I see now
there’s lots of nice pizza places here. And, in fact, some of the, you know, some of my
friends told me to actually try out this murg malai tikka masala. That was pretty good,
actually. It’s great. It’s fantastic. So you know all these flavors that have come out
here, it’s just amazing. But think of the whole pizza as being google.com, all right?
So when you’re actually searching across the Internet, that’s really what google.com offers
you. What Custom Search offers you is a little different. In the U.S., there’s a–it’s very
common for people to actually take pizza by the slice. So you walk into the mall and then
you actually–you might be in the mood for a little bit of, you know, chicken and maybe
a little bit of Hawaiian pizza, so actually you buy two slices. So, Custom Search is like
that. You take the slices of pizza that you want and you offer that to your consumers,
all right? So, take that to your website. These are the slices of pizza you care about,
and you put the toppings you like. And you customize it even further, right? You want
it really hot. You can, you know, add some more peppers and jalapeños, and you basically
then customize that for your dinner, right? So Custom Search is like that. So, it’s built
on top of Google Search so you get all the benefits of Google Search–the great ranking,
the great relevance, the scalability, the uptime, the latency, the speed. Fantastic.
And on top of that, you then customize it a little bit further. You create your slice
of the index, if you will, and you can boost ranking. You can say, “Okay, I want these
sites to actually rank a little higher because these are my sites,” or “These are important
on my site.” And you can also customize the presentation. So we have controls, overall
look and feel of the colors and the way your site looks. And because you’re embedding the
search experience into your own website, we give you those controls, and that allows you
to embed the search experience for your customers on your website. So that is the analogy that
I’d like you to take back. You know what you want. You know what your users want. Custom
Search offers you this great platform, allows you to customize it further and offer it to
your customers. So, again, just to reiterate, in terms of getting information, all you need
to remember is www.google.co.in/cse. CSE, standing for Custom Search Engine. I often
refer to that acronym. So, if I say CSE, that’s what I’m talking about. But the value proposition
actually extends both for you, you as an individual or an organization, as well as your community,
which is the searcher. So on the left-hand side, you basically have your–you, the webmaster,
or you, the organization. So you harness the power of Custom Search. You create an experience
for your users. You search enable your website. You invite your friends, members of the community
to contribute. So that’s another feature, which is that you can actually have a collaborative
model where multiple people in your organization or in your community can actually contribute
and make your search experience better over time. And very important also to the success
of the product and to the customers is that you can make money from the resulting traffic,
so you can monetize that search traffic on your website. We have–Custom Search has been
an extremely successful product over the last couple of years. We have over a million registered
custom search engines. So if you don’t have a custom search engine on your site and if,
or if you haven’t played with it, I strongly recommend that you at least get familiar with
the product. It’s very easy to use, and then you can create a search experience in minutes,
literally minutes. On the searcher side of things, this is your community, the users
that are coming to your website, they find information easily at the source. For them,
the search is contextual. They are at your site. They are looking for a specific amount
of information or a specific topic of information. Your site offers that, so the search is contextual
around that topic. And I’ll talk a little bit more in-depth about context and why that’s
important. And, of course, as I said, as part of the community, they can also contribute
back to the engine if you have enabled that. So at a high level, let me talk about why
you need to look at using Google Custom Search. Why use Google Custom Search? A very important
point, in fact, a couple of the examples that Adam used during his clinic, I noticed that
they have a little structured search, but they don’t have a generic search or, you know,
an open free text search option on their website. And I have seen this across a lot of websites
even in India where you don’t have a search box on the front page. The reason that’s really
becoming important, these people are getting used to using search as a way to navigate.
The moment you have more than 10, 15, 20, 30 pages, and of course if you have thousands
of pages, search is mandatory. But even if you have a reasonably small site, search is
becoming a very common way for people to find information. You know, the web is moving so
fast, people have very little time on their hands. They want to be able to find information
very, very quickly. So, they’re always looking for the search box. I mean, when I go to a
site, if I don’t see something that I’m looking for on the, you know, in the first couple
of, you know, a few seconds, I’m looking for the search box. So, because of the popularity
of search engines, people have gotten used to looking at search as a way to navigate.
So if you have a website, in addition to navigation, you want to have the people have the ability
to search across your website. Search can be, as I said, integrated in minutes, literally
minutes, using the look and feel of your own site. Better user retention of your targeted
search. We have seen cases where customers have actually adopted Custom Search over some
proprietary software and overnight they have seen large increases in the number of searches.
And when I say a number of searches, number of successful searches, you’re also talking
about people staying on your site longer, finding the information and accessing the
content on your site longer. So if I’m monetizing your content using AdSense for content, that’s
also going to be benefited by a high quality search. And user retention is very important.
The other important value proposition that Custom Search offers out of the box is relevance.
A lot of people have said, “We’ve spent months tuning up proprietary search engine for quality
and relevance, but the moment we turned on Custom Search, we’ve seen fantastic quality
of results out of the box.” The reason for that is very clear. We sit on top of the Google
index, and Google takes into account all the great ranking, page rank, anchor text, et
cetera, on the web, so even though you’re searching only a small domain of websites,
the relevance that we are computing is built on top of the Google algorithms. So, out of
the box, even without any tuning at all or even without boosting or using some of the
advance features of Custom Search, you get really high quality relevance. And lots of
organizations try it and immediately say, “Wow, this is so much better than what we
have already, you know, spent six months developing.” So you have to really give it a shot and look
to see how it works for your site. Better click to rates and conversations on your site.
I will talk a little bit about some of the interesting experiments around ad click rates
and [INDISTINCT] as well for some of these cases that we’ve seen. There are some significant
increases that you can actually drive through certain features in Custom Search. Enhanced
Indexing. There were a couple questions where you, you know, we talked about, “My site has
so many pages, but only a small subset of those pages has been indexed by Google.” Now,
we understand that that could be a problem for certain sites. But when you are doing
the site search on your own site or you are trying to carve out a specific section of
the index for searching, we know that you need to go deeper, because when you have your
own pages and you are providing search on your own site, you absolutely you want to
search all those pages. So to address that specific need, Custom Search actually has
Enhanced Indexing. So we actually have a separate Custom Search Index for our CSEs and we also
in the–at the end of last year, created a new feature that we refer to as On-Demand
Indexing, because we understand that when you’re launching a new product, you want people
to be able to find that on your own site search. So, you have the ability to On-Demand Indexing
to actually give us a portion of your site, of your URLs and we will actually index it
into your custom search engine in–within 24 hours. So that’s a very powerful feature.
And we have had fantastic feedback once we launched this because people really found
that, you know, they wanted that kind of control over their own site search. Features, several
features are available that you may or may not be aware of. We have features like Labels,
and I’ll talk about that; Synonyms, you have the ability to actually add synonyms for your
domain specific sites. You know, this is very important because synonyms on a worldwide
basis may actually not apply or maybe–you may actually have very specific synonyms on
top of what, you know, people normally use for acronyms for your specific business or
industry or specific, you know, terms that you use in your–on your website. Date-Biasing,
we actually have the ability for you to actually control the ordering of results by date in
addition to the other Custom Search, you know, boosts that we have provided. And you have
the ability to promote specific results. So, for example, if you’re a travel site–I’ve
heard of, you know, some questions about travel sites–you might actually want to promote
specific things right on top for specific queries, right? So this, we have the ability
for you using KeyMatches to actually promote specific things for a specific queries. And
this may not even be URLs. This may just be information that you might want to provide.
As I said, you can monetize with relevant ads. And when I say relevant ads, we’ve actually
added some features by which you can actually add keywords to your search engine. So, for
example, if it’s a travel site or a travel search engine, you can actually add travel-specific
keywords, travel flights, hotel, et cetera. And those might actually help you tune your
ads to the topic of your search engine. We have advanced APIs, customization, various
branding options. I had a question today at lunch. Somebody was asking me, you know, “How
can I adopt Custom Search but actually have control over the branding because it’s my
company and I want actually have control of the branding?” We actually have offerings
around the Custom Search platform which gives you control of the branding and further customization.
You can actually get your results in XML format. You can do much more presentation control
over that, and we have tech support as well with the site search. The Google site search
product is effectively built on top of the Custom Search platform. And, very important,
last but not the least, it’s integrated with the Google platform. As I said, the relevance,
the goodness of, you know, search quality that we heard about this morning actually
comes, too, right away in Custom Search. So, it’s integrated with Google Search on top
of the Google platform, but also with Webmaster Tools and Sitemaps. So when I talk about Enhanced
Indexing or the On-Demand Index, the Sitemaps is the mechanism that we basically use to
get the information in as to what URLs do you think are high priority, what URLs do
you want to index in the next 24 hours for On-Demand Indexing. The same sitemap mechanism
is offered to you. And you just do this once. You go to Webmaster Tools, you submit the
sitemap, and you indicate to us which sitemap you would want to use for On-Demand Indexing.
You don’t have to do additional work and submit anything specific for Custom Search. Okay.
So I want to spend a little bit of time around context because I want you to think about
what context makes sense for when you’re trying to create a website or a search experience.
So I think of this as kind of going from a small sphere of influence to a much larger
sphere of influence, so, you, your community, and your world. So what else? Like, I have
a blog, I have my–but I–when I think about my personal world, I think of, you know, my
blog, my bookmarks, my search history, my friends, their sites that they’re interested
in, and potentially some searches also that I might have bookmarked, et cetera. So that’s
basically my world and I can create a search experience around this that actually features
in Custom Search specifically a feature called Linked Custom Search Engines which allow me
to actually dynamically create a search engine that changes over time. So I talk about that
when I talk about the Blogger Widget. But, basically, you can actually create a search
engine around the bunch of links that actually can change over time, and the system can actually
update it for you automatically. So that’s one sphere of influence. If you go to the
next step, you’re talking about enhancing or expanding that sphere of influence. So
what are the topics of interest? So, for example, I’m a big soccer fan–a football fan, and
so I like to, you know, find out information about what’s happening across the world of
football. So I actually have created a little search engine that, you know, searches across
a bunch of, you know, high quality football sites. And so that’s kind of my topic of interest,
if you will. It’s a little beyond me, but, you know, I can actually share it with friends
who actually are also interested in football. Communities can create these kinds of search
engine experiences. There are lots of communities that have actually done this. And I’ve talked
about one of them, which is very powerful, which is the Adobe Help Community. Groups,
when you have different groups of people, you know, they can collect information. A
very good example of this was actually during the earthquake in China. A bunch of Googlers
actually got together over two days, and they spent a lot of time to put together a bunch
of sites and created a search engine around them to be able to find lots, you know, they
have lots of bulletin boards, et cetera, that were coming up, but people were just looking
for information about their, you know, their family and friends. And they just put together
search across these sites. And even if that helped a few people over those, you know,
over the next week, I think they had, you know, hundreds of thousands of hits on that
search engine, and maybe that resulted in a few people finding, you know, more information
about their families. I think that was an outstanding effort in terms of communities
and groups. And, of course, as you deliver your products and services to customers, they
are your communities. So, as a business, as an organization, as a government, you actually
have a much larger community that you’re catering to. In fact, there are several government
sites that I’ve seen in India which have a lot of content and no search box. It’s just
mind-blowing that we don’t have search boxes on some of these very heavy content sites.
And, of course, your have business, you want to actually be able to offer your services
and have people find them. That’s your community. And then you go to the next kind of set, which
is your world of information, right? This can be, you know, based on country, for example,
you know, a bunch of Bollywood sites that, you know, are relevant to, you know, a much
larger community in the country or by language. You can actually go across countries, but
by language. So, for example, Spanish is spoken in several countries, but you can actually
have Spanish-related custom search engines that actually span geographical boundaries.
What I’m trying to make here is that you should think about what your services are, who your
communities are, and what kind of search experience you want to create. It does not have to be
restricted to the specific site that you are, that you managed or that you are on. So, for
example, you might have sister sites. You might have partner sites. You might have,
you know, a conglomerate that actually has multiple brands. So you can actually very
easily crate a very comprehensive search experience once you know the communities that you’re
catering to. So just to drive home the fact, here are some examples. So where I’m claiming
that, you know, Custom Search gives you the tools necessary to create a very contextual
search. So, during the Beijing Olympics, these are slightly dated screenshots, but they make
a point. So, if you did a search for “Bolt”–this was around the time of the Olympics–there
was exactly one result. I think the last one here on Usain Bolt, who was obviously, you
know, huge at the Olympic Games, but that’s what I would call a generic search result.
Now, this is not irrelevant because at that point in time people who are looking on google.com,
you know, this is their–over time based on, you know, what people are looking for, the
feedback and the log analysis, et cetera, et cetera, page rank, et cetera. Those are
really the relevant results that the algorithms have determined. But if you look at somebody
who is coming to the Olympic site, right? They are really looking, they are already
directing their context, right? You know, that they are at the Olympic site and they
are looking for a specific set of information. So what Google did at that point in time was
they also had a landing page for the Olympic Games. And on that landing page, we have created
a custom search engine. And on that search engine, if you did the same search for “Bolt,”
you can see very easily that, you know, it basically filters right into the topic of
interest, which is all about Usain Bolt. A similar example was during the elections,
just prior to the elections. If you did a search on google.com for nuclear power, you
get a very high quality search results of, you know, general information about nuclear
power. But, again, Google had a landing page for the elections, and when you did a search
for nuclear power on that specific landing page, you actually got some very interesting
editorialized kind of content about the policies of, you know, across the different candidates
around nuclear power–so, what was Obama thinking about nuclear power, what was McCain thinking
about nuclear power. So, that gives you a much quicker answer because you know you’re
on a specific topic of interest and that’s the context. Now, what they have also done
is they added this–these are the Labels that I was talking about. So, very simply, you
can actually annotate the specific, you know, websites or patterns. Actually, Custom Search
uses patterns. You can actually identify specific labels with these patterns so then you can
then drill down. So, for example, if I’m interested in, you know, what’s happening at the conventions
around nuclear power, are there any rallies being held, you can just drill down into that
specific label and restrict your search by that link. So that’s another interesting feature
that you might want to think about because if you organize or categorize your content,
you might be able to provide that categorization information to your users. Oops, that wasn’t
me. So that’s actually what context means for you. So, a few examples of Custom Search
in India, whenever I come to India I love to catch up on the latest, you know, in terms
of Bollywood as well as sometimes, you know, try to see how the Cricket Team is doing,
because whenever I watch they lose. It’s kind of amazing. Of course, I did watch the two
Pathan Brothers do that wonderful innings a couple of weeks back. But here’s a search
engine which actually gives you information about guitar chords. They’ve actually conglomerated
across a bunch of music sites, so if you search for, you know, information on specific songs,
you get lyrics and information as well as chords information around specific songs.
Here’s another site that one of my colleagues alerted me to. This is an opening site in
India. And here, again, you can get great reviews around the latest movies. And, so,
I was actually interested in this movie, Delhi 6. I’m not sure what the cool way of saying
it is. But, unfortunately, I didn’t have the time to actually catch the movie, but I’ll
do it back home. And Cricbuzz, which is one of the cricket sites in India, also provides
and actually uses the Labels as well that I talked about, you know, a bunch of cricket
sites information around cricket. So this should give you an idea of some of the things
you can do. But think about what you are trying to offer to your users and where Custom Search
could play a role. Okay. So now, I’m just going to kind of step in to more of the product.
Custom Search, I keep referring to the Custom Search Platform and that’s–the reason is
that it really is a platform. We’ve actually delivered Custom Search in various ways to
customers, and I’ll talk about some of these various spokes. And as I do that, instead
of talking about specific product features, I try to highlight some of the features of
the product or how you can do things with the Custom Search Administration Console and
show you in the context of these specific implementations. So the platform, as I said,
is offered in various ways. So think of, you know, it being available to users, individuals,
webmasters, bloggers; a lot of bloggers are actually, you know, adopted Custom Search.
And you have universities, non-profits, governments. Actually, some pretty large governments actually
have adopted–when I say large governments, state governments in the U.S. are also pretty
large entities. Many of them have actually adopted Custom Search and there’ll be some
announcements on that as well including some national government organizations. Then we
have this category of syndication partners. These are the large publishers and large publishing
houses, which actually, you know, send a lot of traffic to Custom Search, but they actually
want more customization, more presentation controls, and they typically get the results
in XML format and these are the people who also typically monetized their traffic very
heavily. So they are really AdSense partners if you will. So that’s a category of, you
know, for example About.com, IDG, New York Times, they actually use Custom Search as
well. And businesses and governments, most of these entities typically don’t want to
show ads. They want to have more banning controls and they typically go into the Google site
search product offering. And, so for example, the UK Parliament, NASA, eHealthInsurance,
which is an insurance company in the U.S., basically use site search product and, as
I said, they have much more controls and also get tech support. New class of applications,
search-enabled applications, for those of you who are not aware and I’ll talk a little
bit more about this, but Adobe has actually adopted Custom Search in a very, very innovative
fashion and I’ll talk about that. I have some screenshots as well. And then, eventually
application developers; a lot of our developers actually do very innovative things with Custom
Search. So if you look at companies like Topicle and Lijit, they actually offer again, you
know, take advantage of some of the cutting edge features of Custom Search like Dynamic
Search Engines, which, you know, creating basically a sphere of influence around you
and creating a search engine around you for your friend, you know, using your friend’s
links, your blogs, your Facebook accounts, et cetera. They’ve done some very interesting
things around Custom Search. So what I’m going to do now is I’m going to go back to these
examples and I’m going to show and highlight. I’m not going to go through an exhaustive
list of features. You can go to the website and you know, you know, get familiar with
it and get a lot of information there. But let me just highlight a few things that might
be of interest. So here’s my personal blog and the point I wanted to make here is that,
you don’t have to write a line of code to actually get a customized search experience
on your blog. So specifically what happens is we have a blogger widget that you can configure
with a couple of clicks. And what that offers is a specific gadget–oops, if you’re going
to click the…>>[INDISTINCT]
>>MUKHERJEE: The stop button in the bottom. Sorry about that guys. Okay, so…Okay. No,
there’s something wrong with it. In line using the AJAX Search API and you can just, you
know, cross them out if you don’t want to search results and continue reading the blog.
Now, the point of this is that, it’s again, very, very easy to configure this. So this
is the search box widget that is available for bloggers to use on blog on Blogger.com,
and it’s very easy. There is no code to be written. It’s just, you know, click two clicks
and you’re off and running. This, again just to reiterate, this uses a very advance feature
of Custom Search which is linked Custom Search Engines. What–why is it–the advantage is
that, you’re not just searching your blog post but you’re actually automatically searching
the Custom Search actually extracts all the links that you’ve created–Universities, the
Colorado State University is an example of a university that adopted this. And what I
wanted to point out here is the customized look and feel. If you have certain brand colors
on your site, you can very easily in minutes offer the search results in the specific,
you know, colors of your site. And the way you do this is a very [INDISTINCT] kind of
editor. You just select, you know, the specific colors and you see the changes right away,
and you preview and you’re done. It just takes seconds to do this. Again, information on
Custom Search in general, google.com/cse, you’ll get all the information about the features
as well as pointers to various resources. And the resource site that these–that these
folks have put up for the search–what is the site search, India SearchMasters?
>>India SearchMasters.com.>>MUKHERJEE: IndiaSearchMasters.com actually
has a resources site page, which has a bunch of links that you can also look at. So in
terms of Syndication Partners, many of these partners actually, as I said, monetize, so
I wanted to focus on a couple of things here. So here you have, of course, IDG owns Macworld,
which is a very, very powerful brand around Mac and Apple products. And obviously they
use ads and I wanted to talk about ads and keywords, but also labels. So they’ve used
effectively their–very, very effectively they have used labels. So they’ve created,
for example, you know, various views on what’s popular. So iPhone and iPod for example are
very popular categories, so they’ve created those categories on the–at the top level.
But also otherwise, you know, reviews and blogs, et cetera. So they can actually direct
users to what they are looking for. So in terms of ads, to actually configure ad–if
you have–already have an AdSense account, configuring that AdSense account into a custom
search engine is trivial. You just go into the Make Money Tab and you just associate
your AdSense account with your custom search engine, and from that point in time, you know,
your searches are monetized and you get a rev-share with Google on these clicks, on
these ad clicks. In terms of refinements, again, it’s a very simple interface. You create
a refinement, you define the patterns that map to that refinement, and you can manage
these refinements. Now for those of you who are interested in more details on ads and
AdSense for search, you can go to Google.com/–and by the way, you can go to google.co.in, as
well. For–it’s an equivalent URL, /adsense/afs. AFS, standing for AdSense For Search, as opposed
to AdSense For Content, which is typically content ads. Businesses, Governments typically
use custom–I mean, use Google Site Search. And one feature that I wanted to point out
here and this is eHealthInsurance, which is a Site Search customer, but one of the features
that they have adopted is–oh well, let me talk about a few of them. So, as I said, branding
is optional with the site search product, so if they wanted to drop the Google Custom
Search Branding or the Google Branding, they are able to do so. And they typically license
the product and there’s a whole bunch of pricing options that I can talk about. Ads optional,
so they can actually drop ads because they don’t want users potentially to leave their
site, they want to stay, you know, keep them on their site. KeyMatches, KeyMatches is what
I was talking about when I said promotions. So specifically when you’re looking for things
like a long-term insurance or health insurance, they might want to promote specific products
right to the top of the search results and that’s what we refer to as KeyMatches. And
with site search, you actually get the results back in XML format, so then you’ll have more
control over how you might want to actually deliver the results. And in fact, NOL that
was also referred to by Adam, NOL also uses Custom Search and you can see that their results
are very, very highly customized, and they provide a lot of metadata and mappings on
the rendering site. And again, creating these KeyMatches is pretty trivial. It’s, again,
a very, very simple editor. You basically define the keywords that you want to trigger
on. And I’m trying very hard not to hit the red button. And you have the title that you
want to provide and specifically the lines of text or the summary, or snippet that you
want to provide, as well as an optional URL. So, as I said, it doesn’t even have to actually
be a page that you drive people to, although that’s typically, you know, what we recommend.
Now for information on pricing options and what site search offers you in terms of, you
know, the XML results format, et cetera, the Ads Optional Branding options, et cetera,
you can go to google.com/sitesearch. That should be pretty easy. Applications. And as
I said, Adobe has done some very interesting things and I’ll talk about that. So, go back
a bit. Okay. So, what Adobe did was–how many of you here are familiar with Adobe applications,
developers? Okay. So, that’s quite a few of you. So, Adobe as you might know actually
has very powerful graphics tools and authoring tools, but also they have a fantastic community
of developers. So, a lot of Adobe sites, developer sites actually have very rich content in terms
of designs, in terms of tips, cheap cheats, tricks, templates, et cetera. So what Adobe
did was that they created this Adobe Community Help site. And what they did there was they
actually took, you know, thousands of their top developer sites and they actually created
a search experience around these developer sites. So in addition to the Adobe.com content,
they actually also, you know, offer you all these developer content and–through this
community help feature. What they then did was really exciting, was that they took this–they
took the search experience and they actually embedded this in the Adobe applications in
Creative Suite 4. So those are few who actually upgraded to Creative Suite 4 will actually
see these–I don’t know if this is–is visible on the screen, but on the right hand side
you see these embedded search boxes. And when you search within the application itself,
you are actually taken to this very customized, very developer rich, you know, you might find
your tip that you’re looking for right there, type of experience. This is what I mean by
contextual. This is very, very contextual within the application. They know you are
in an Adobe application. They know you are in Flash. So they know what you are looking
for and they give you very, very targeted information around this community help search.
And they’ve done this with the Dreamweaver and all the applications in Creative Suite
4. So this is Illustrator. So if you have a publishing platform or an authoring content
management platform that you work with, then this is a great, you know, vehicle for you
to provide your communities and your users an embedded search experience that makes sense
for them. The AJAX API is actually a very powerful API and showed you an instance of
that on the blogger widget, which is the inline experience. But the AJAX Search API actually
gives you a lot of customization. If you really want to create a very customized search presentation
model around the search results, then the AJAX API is something that you might want
to look at. And the AJAX API allows you to basically create a very, very highly configurable
look and feel around the results and also a very, very Web 2.O-centric kind of experience
around search. So, as an example, this is Lijit, which is a kind of blogger, a kind
of application as well around Custom Search. But they use the AJAX Search–the AJAX Search
API to create this kind of tabbed look and feel. So, you can actually click on the tabs
or the refinements on the labels, so you can actually create a tab per label. And then,
you can actually drill down. Your drill down is immediately reflected by a click on the
tab. And so they offer JSON APIs and JavaScript objects, and you can also monetize using ads.
So, if you are looking for a very highly configurable presentation model with, you know, a lot of
interactivity and the AJAX API offers this. And AJAX API has already got Custom Search
built into it. All you need to provide is the ID of the search engine that you are trying
to access. So I’m sorry I’m throwing a lot of stuff at you, but what I’m trying to kind
of get across is that there are lots of options and lots of offerings. And you might need
to figure out what is right for your organization. In terms of APIs, everything–all the information
on APIs is available on code.google.com and there’s APIs for AJAX Search as well as for
Custom Search. Now, developers actually, as I said, have done very interesting things
with custom search. And I want to talk a little bit about the community aspect of Custom Search,
because this is something that, for example, if you have a Bollywood type site, you might
actually want to bring people in and discuss and, you know, create a community where people
are contributing, you know, information around the sites. So this is specifically a company,
I believe it’s in Germany, that offers their users the ability to create, you know, Topical
Search Engines. And so, you can see the whole bunch of search engines have been created
and the search engines themselves are being rated. So now the search engine has become
an entity on their site. And so that’s one aspect of the community. But there’s also
another aspect of community that I wanted to focus on, which is that built into Custom
Search into the platform itself is the ability for collaboration. So, by definition, you
as an organization can get, you know, multiple people in your organization to contribute
to the search engine. So, for example, if you have a business and you have multiple
departments, you can have, you know, a few people from each department actually create
and update their search engine for their department. So that’s a feature that you might want to
think about exploiting. So very quickly to recap what I’ve just told you. This is more
of a–sort of a platform, sort of a figure–I don’t want to confuse you. It’s not very technical,
but the point I want to make here without pointing with the red button is, you have
the Google Custom Search platform, which is built on top of the Google index, which is
on the left hand side. In addition, we have the Custom Search Index, which gives you deeper
and enhanced coverage and also the On-Demand Index, which gives you more control over how
frequently, you know, specific assets are crawled by the Custom Search sort of indexing
pipeline. On top, you have these various offerings, you have site search for business, you have
AdSense for monetization, and you have the AJAX API and the CSE APIs, which give you
more control of a presentation. On the right hand side, you have the integration with Webmaster
Tools. So specifically, Sitemap, which we’ve heard about the XML Sitemaps, is something
that I strongly encourage you all to look at. Not just from a point of view of getting,
you know, google.com to understand more about your content, but also as you develop custom
search engines, this is the mechanism that we recommend by which you get information
into the custom search engines, indicate to us what’s important, what should be crawled
right away, and we have some controls that we offer you to make that possible. So, Sitemaps
come into Webmaster Tools, no difference, no change in what you do normally, and you
just indicate to Custom Search, you know, what specific Sitemaps you want us to look
at for On-Demand Indexing. And things should work, you know, hopefully, as designed and
things would be up and running on your website search within a matter of 24 hours. So, again,
just too quickly reiterate what I just talked about, we have site search, which is typically
targeting businesses where ads are optional, branding is optional, you have XML result
sets, and you have technical support. You have–for people who want to monetize their
search, you’re really talking about the AdSence/AFS product, basically the AdSence product. We
have, typically, publishers who have very rich content, who want to monetize that search
experience, this is where keeping your users on your site being able to find the information,
the pages that they’re looking for, the content they’re looking for is very, very vital in
terms of both your revenues, as well as, you know, maintaining traffic on your–to your
site. And here you basically get a rev-share if you have associated your AdSense account
with the custom search engine. It’s immediate, and you start getting–sharing in the revenues
on the ads as well. So there’s a strong monetization model built into you–introduced for you.
And you can create, you know, your results– typically, many of them use the iFrame model,
which is that you just embed the iFrame with the look and feel changes on to your site.
But if you are a large partner, you can also get direct results in XML format. And then,
for developers, again, you might want to focus on some of these APIs that we offer as well
as the capabilities, like link to custom search engines or dynamic custom search engines that
we offer. So, you have customize–API/custom search, API/AJAX search, which might be very
useful for you to play with, create some fantastic applications. And if you do that, you know,
please let us know on our user forums. We actually have a link right to my website on
the custom search website, as well as on the resources page. Please, let us know if you’ve
created some interesting applications or if you have some challenges that we can help
address. So, before I finish, I just want to kind of run through a customer experience.
This is eHealthInsurance and this talks to, you know, why search is so important in terms
of the navi–as a navigational tool.>>JOHN CELONA: Hi, my name is John Celona,
Vice President and Product Manager of eHealthInsurance.com. EHealthInsurance.com is the leading online
source of health insurance for individuals to families and small businesses in the U.S.
Our domain was the first one that created online shopping experience for health insurance
[INDISTINCT]. We were an early doctor at Google Site Search, because we knew that Google Site
Search is a product that consumers have come to expect to find when shopping online. So,
not having it was potentially costing our business. To demonstrate, here are two [INDISTINCT]
website visitors, Chris and Austin. Those costumers who want to know if short-term health
insurance includes dental-vision benefits. Chris likes to look and view our website and
wants to navigate through the links to get his answer. Austin on the other hand, seeks
the search box right away and doesn’t waste any time. Let’s get there. Three seconds and
Austin has his answer. With Google Site Search, our costumers can really find their products
and have access to relevant information. At the same time, with Google Site Search, we
have been able to get our feedback from our costumers. This feedback has been a great
help to us to design our product roadmap. Chris is still navigating. Chris has also
now found his information after 32 seconds. Pretty [INDISTINCT] but certainly coming close
to the efficiency of Google Site Search. I hope you enjoy our demo. Test it out with
your site and notice the difference.>>MUKHERJEE: Let’s skip that one. Let me
quickly talk a little bit about monetization and keywords. So this is some data from a
specific large costumer of ours, where they did a case study. What I wanted to focus on
here was a feature that we have in Custom Search that we have, you know, called keywords.
So, with every custom search engine that you define, you actually have the ability to provide
specific keywords, keywords that are on topic of your search engine. So, for example, if
your search engine is about football, you can actually, you know, in terms around football,
soccer or football, goal, et cetera. And that defines the overall sort of set of keywords
that define the topic of your search engine. What we–Specific CSC, we actually use those
keywords as hints, to actually either narrow down the topicality of the ad–of the ads,
or even look at other ads that might be–that might be viable in the option. So this study–and
I’ll just go over a couple of these interesting kind of data sets that we’ve gotten from this–from
this specific case study. The first thing is that, when they implemented–so they had
a proprietary search solution that they had built in-house, and they switch that to Custom
Search. So that’s the context. Now, the moment they did that, the first thing they saw was,
with CSE they saw much shorter query lengths. So, the query length actually was immediately
shorter. Sixteen percent, you know, shorter than–well, 16 percent longer with, you know,
with the proprietary solution. And the reason probably for that was, I mean, and the reason
that they came up for this was, they actually were able to find things faster with shorter
keywords. I think–they just found–the search engine was behaving better in terms of relevance
and finding the pages faster. And this was not that they were trying to do more queries,
because actually what they found was, that the total number of clicks on the results
also went up. So, earlier, not the number–the total number have actually–we also measured
not just clicks, but also good clicks. So there are ways to measure, you know, the total
number of engagements of the user with the results, but also whether the user actually
found the results or not. The second aspect was the ads in the higher revenue. So what
they did was they added keywords. So they did the test with and without keywords and–so
the first one was just, you know, proprietary was a CSE and the second part was CSE keywords
plus ads. So they had the CSE without keywords and the CSE with keywords and what they noticed
was when they added these–the appropriate keywords and these are hand-tuned keywords.
They actually had 8.5 percent greater coverage in terms of the ads, as well as much higher
faster click, that is the ads were actually more relevant potentially to their users,
and the RPM went up significantly by about 23 percent. So they were ecstatic when they
actually did this test. And the point of this is that, when we add the keywords, it may
actually, you know, give you the option to actually provide much better monetization,
if you already have a CSE. So for those of you who actually have CSEs on their sites,
you might want to look into this feature and see if, you know, if it actually helps with
your revenues. So, I have a few questions to wrap up and then, I can take questions.
I just wanted to ask, how many of you in this audience do not have any type of search on
your site? I don’t believe this, because I’ve seen lots of sites and lots of, you know,
lots of the–lots of the people who actually, you know, entered questions into the–into
the spreadsheet, you know, actually had–I went and checked out the sites and they didn’t
have search on their sites. Now, let me clarify one thing, some people have structured databases
and in terms of their applications and they have a very structured search. So, for example,
I think the site we saw today, the travel site, actually has search on their site, absolutely.
So, they have like, the city that they’re traveling from, the city they’re traveling
to, and so it’s a structured search. So I’m not talking necessary only about data application.
I’m talking about free-form search as well. So as an example, if you look at Orbitz.com,
which is a very popular travel destination in the U.S., they have their structured search,
but they also have a little search box on top, which allows people to just enter free-form
queries. So you can actually just go in and type Hawaii, you might not, you know, type
in–you might not know, for example, that you’re actually traveling from place A to
place B on so and so date. So you’re not engaging yet with the application, but you might want
to just search for, you know, what’s so special on Hawaii, right? And so, they have actually
created this search experience which is a combo search experience, both the–the application,
which is their application that they are actually providing, but also specific search as a navigational
tool. So let me ask the question again, how many of you have a free text search box on
your site or don’t have a free text search box on your site? Okay, a few more hands.
How many of you don’t have–don’t have Custom Search on your site? I think people are asleep.
Okay, let me ask you again. How many of you don’t have Custom Search on your site? All
right, good. So, for those of you who don’t have search on your site, all who don’t have
Custom Search on your site, I have a request, a homework assignment for you. How many of
you have five minutes? Oh, come on, come on. How many of you have five minutes? You spend
two hours traveling to this conference.>>We have five hours but we don’t have five
minutes.>>MUKHERJEE: You don’t have five minutes
because of the travel. Okay, no, no, come on. Let me ask you this question. How many
of you have five minutes to spare? Okay, great. So you have a homework assignment, go look
up custom search engine, create one for yourself. Whether it’s just for fun, you know, for your
own, you know, topic of interest, your, you know, your favorite Bollywood sites or, you
know, all your special topics of interest or your universities. In fact, go and check
out your universities that you went to and see if they have search on their site. And
that’s–that’s an interesting feedback as well. And I’d love for you to play with it,
look up the features, and you know, see if it makes sense for you, and you might–you
might see that, it’s great for your personal use or for your company’s use. And in fact,
if your company site doesn’t have search on their site, you know, you should really be
asking the questions as to why they don’t have navigation–I mean, search as a navigational
tool.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *