• http://www.stonetemple.com/blog Eric Enge

    Great post. It’s a great example of how complicated search marketing is getting. There are those who think that search will become distributed broadly, and that the vertical search sites will decline in importance.

    If so, Custom Search Engines, and those products offered by other parties, will become increasingly important. So how do you get in? You develop relationships and earn the trust of the people who are building them.

  • http://www.seo-theory.com/ Michael Martinez

    I’m not so sure I agree with your advice. I’d rather not be inundated with yet more gratuitous link requests from hopeful Webmasters.

    When you run a hand-edited directory, you usually solicit those link requests and we do accept them for our hand-edited directory.

    But my Google Custom Search engines represent my personal choices for quality content and I will not for any reason tolerate a link request from any Webmaster who has not been included in those CSEs.

    A CSE is not a substutite for a hand-edited directory and they should not be promoted as such.

    Rather, people who want to included in such directories should create their own and then enhance their existing content by adding more content.

    There are less annoying ways of creating visibility for one’s Web site than sending unsolicited link requests. That behavior is no better than spam now.

    People can create blogs and write about their Web sites on those blogs and submit the RSS feeds to various distribution services and get the links and attention they want from people who are seeking content for specific topics.

    While that may entail more work than sending spam emails, it’s more Internet-friendly than sending spam emails.

  • http://dallas-seo.blogspot.com/ Kimber Cook

    Great post, Eric! You inspired me to create a CSE for one of our clients. I’m excited to see what kind of benefits we will be seeing in the future for this.

    As I just created my CSE, I found a bug in the Google Co-op for statistics in my account and wondered if you were seeing the same thing. I referenced your blog in my post about this bug where my statistics are showing the date as Jan. 1970. Anyone else seeing this? or is it just me?

    Google Custom Search – The Future of Search? Or is it the Past?

  • eric_ward

    Michael – I admire your work greatly, and agree with so much of what you write, but on this one how about if we agree to disagree? Not every CSE is created just for use by the individual who created it. Many are created for the public to use, and anyone running a CSE for public use would be foolish to believe they alone are perfect arbiter/selectors of the best content for the niche served by their CSE. Maybe if your CSE is about a topic so nichy that only a few sites are worthy of inclusion…That said, I would NEVER NEVER NEVER encourage anyone to spam anyone else, and I’m pretty vocal in that regard, having also consulted to the FCC on spam related issues. I despise spam.

    What I was trying to convey is that if you have created a CSE about disc golf, and if you as the editor of that CSE are told about a truly exceptional disc golf site that you have not included in your CSE, then as editor you would likely be glad to take a look at that site and if you found it worthy, include it.

    I can see where people might take this to the extreme, and submit sites that are not worthy. This happens every day, as my own inbox will attest :)

    There are also private CSE’s, like the one I created about hearing loss, which I use for highly personal reasons. Nobody knows this CSE exists but me, and I want it that way right now. Thus nobody can submit a site to me. Yes, I might miss some good ones, but I have ways of finding them. If by chance someone reading this comment sent me an email to tell me about a hearing loss site I had not included but which was truly exceptional, I’d add it in a heartbeat, and I wouldn’t consider the sender of that URL to be a spammer.

    Some folks who run Google CSE’s even seek submissions. Have a look

    Thus while I agree with your assessment that CSEs could encourage spam, for those of us who are selective with the content we represent and equally selective with the sites we submit to, everybody wins, and nobody gets hurt.


  • Lucky

    Hey Eric, may I suggest that you style your search button instead of letting it be the usual incongruous gray.

    Pl see:




  • http://www.seo-theory.com/ Michael Martinez

    “Some folks who run Google CSE’s even seek submissions.”

    In such cases, my objections would not apply, naturally. I just want people to be more selective and considerate when seeking links. Many boundary lines have been drawn but people in their endless quests for links often ignore those boundaries.