Sunday, October 14, 2012

Comparing "Search Box" and "Customised Search" for Blogs

One of the biggest takeaway from the SG GAFE Summit and the GTA is about Customising Search Engine for a website.

The key is to enable the visitor (or the user) to carry out targeted search - whether is in the site where they are visiting, or to narrow down to specific websites for their work.

In Blogger, there already exists the "Search Box"

that allows us to 'customise' the scope of search:
From the option, we would notice the limitations - which is could be 'narrow', yet pretty general. OK, I know it sounds oxymoron. Let's take a look at this illustration.

I inserted this gadget in my class Maths blog:

Here's the search outcome with the "Search Box":

  • Under "This Blog": Only limited posts (in this case, only 3) were surfaced to meet the key word entered into the search box
  • Under "Link from here": It goes through the external links that were placed in this blog to check if it presents 'topic' that maps the key word entered into the search box.
  • Under "The Web": I guess it's similar to the search results if we enter the key word into the (general) Google Search engine.
On the other hand, when I attempt creating my own "Google Custom Search" (, the engine goes through the entire blog and surface all the posts that comprises of the key word entered into the search box, which is very thorough, I thought.

In addition, it allows us to define the 'specific' websites that the search is to be conducted, which I thought it is very helpful :).

BTW, we can do more customisation, which includes consolidating and presenting the search results on a separate "Search Results" page.

Click HERE to view Youtube video "Google Custom Site Search Tutorial". The creation is put across in a pretty easy-to-understand manner.

What's the Potential of the Custom Search... in a blog?

Prior to introducing the custom search engine, "Labels" is one of the good organisers in the blog that enables us to tag our posts so that posts under the same label (scattered all over the blog) can be filtered very easily and efficiently. The only drawback is, it depends on the 'discipline' of the user - who would diligently add the label to the post.

On the other hand, the custom search will list out all the posts that contain the key word entered (as the word, "search" implies it will sieve out anything under the sun as long as it consists of "key word").

If we examine carefully, "Labels" and "Custom Search" - each serves a different purpose; and each has its own merits! So, it would be great to have both included in the website (in particular the blog).

No comments: