Friday, February 02, 2007
Finally, after reading SEO Book's piece on custom search and it's potential as a trusted link indicator and hearing it mentioned again on WMR this morning, the penny dropped. After a heated couple of hours work I know have my own subject specific search portal using the custom search feature.
Online Bingo Seek is pretty basic, but making it was quick and easy and gave me a lot of ideas. It literally took no time to put together - and now it allows me to create a search that allows me to add sites I trust in the field (not just my own) into one search.
Now, the area of online Bingo is one full of spam and poor quality content, so this site only features sites that I've approved. There are obvious marketing and control overtones, but let's face it - I couldn't have done this myself and now in a matter of hours I have a search portal on a subject area that interests me.
With my basic site building skills I can add sections around the search like headlines, offers, shop, blog etcetera - as I see fit or just have a simple search site. The results can't be spammed in the same way an open search engine can, and anyone who's interested in the subject matter should get some relevant results - it's a win-win situation for niche content producers and Google who get to sell advertising off it.
Not only is it a great idea, but think of the future potential. If affiliate suppliers could find some way of plugging into this, there could be some big money earnings as content publishers add these custom searches to their site. If I could submit a link to the custom search engine that tagged me as an affiliate, then any searches made via it on those affiliated sites could potentially earn me a referral fee.
There are loads of potential niche related custom search engines waiting to be built and marketed. I can see loads of potential for this as both a user and a publisher. And given the ease of implementation, it can be implemented and exploited very quickly.
Currently, you can also plug it into your AdSense account, enabling you to earn money from it that way (like the old AdSense for search). If it's Google starts to use the human edited nature of the custom searches as a ranking factor, the other potentials for gain as well. I'm only sorry I didn't try this earlier, as to be fair it a real no-brainer. The only real problem and threat resides in Google's willingness to keep the service up and running, but as long as they're making AdWords money off it, there's no reason not to.