A couple of days ago I received an email from Michael Cohn telling me he had used Google's Co-Op service to develop a custom Google search engine of independent film reviews. (A section of my blog is devoted to my occasional movie and DVD reviews.) Here is the link he supplied, which will take you to a page he calls "The Independent Film Reviewer Search Engine":
I decided to try this myself, so I copied a list of links of the web sites of the members of the Social Media Collective to create this search engine; instead of creating a separate page I embedded the code here which Google supplies:
The hardest thing about the process was reading Google's Terms of Service, where you learn that when you use this service you agree not to post competing search engines on your site. The above search engine may therefore be short lived for this blog as I experiment with different things from time to time. Also, I checked the "no ads" box since, as far as I know, the Social Media Collective is not a commercial endeavor.
I can see the advantage of "custom" search engines like this -- being able to index a group of related web sites would be useful, although, this would tend to deprive the user of the value of a web-wide search in many instances.
What do you think?