Google Site Search Launches

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Google Site Search, a rebranded and updated version of the company's Custom Search Business Edition, launched this week. Hosted by Google, the updated, advertising-free product allows businesses to add customized search functionality to their Web sites.

New features include enhanced index coverage and a custom synonym dictionary, as well as date and top results biasing.

“Google already indexes a lot of content on the Web, but in some cases, we may not be indexing all of the pages on a given Web site,” explained Nitin Mangtani, lead product manager for Google enterprise search. This new offering provides better index coverage, he said.

The new “date biasing” feature allows site owners to give a higher ranking to a product data sheet that was authored yesterday vs. one authored six months ago, Mangtani said. And “top results” biasing enables site owners to specify which sections of their sites they want to appear at the top of search results, he said.

Another new feature allows site owners to add their own custom synonym dictionary. So they can specify if they want “CD” to mean “certificate of deposit” or “compact disc,” Mangtani said.

Mangtani added that Google Site Search, which costs $100 a year for sites with up to 5,000 searchable pages, can also be an important tool for identifying trends and understanding the market and customer needs. For example, companies can see if their customers are searching for products or services that they do not offer.

“It helps them improve sales and conversion rates and helps them identify trends,” he said.

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