Category Archives: search engines

Search the Gator Nation or The ChompRoll

My Google Custom Search experiment focused on solving an ongoing problem I’ve had following the Gators. When the Gator’s stomped the Buckeyes in football, I wanted to read about it over and over again. When the Best TEAM Ever was deciding about the NBA, I was scrambling for every possible angle. When Billy D broke my heart and then stitched it back together, I needed up to the minute updates.

I wanted something more intimate and personal than ESPN or CNN. Each time I jumped from Google, to Technorati, to Bloglines, to Digg and everything in between. What a waste of time.

The Gator Nation can do better, so I created the Gator Search Engine you see below. It includes official Gator sites, unofficial Gator sites, blogs about the Gators and blogs written by Gators.

Search the Gator Nation

Add to Google

In creating the Gator Search Engine, I also compiled The ChompRoll — a Gator blogroll of all the sites included in the search engine. I know I missed some good Gator sites so please recommend others in the comments to this post and I’ll add them. I’m looking for sites that cover the Gators or are written by Gators. It doesn’t have to be sports-related — for example, some of the sites I’ve included stem from UF’s growing startup and venture network.

The ChompRoll

Whether you’re a Gator nut or not, I hope you find something of interest via the Gator Search Engine and ChompRoll. Help me make them better…

Related images: gators, gator football, gator basketball, gator baseball, billy donovan, urban meyer, uf, university of florida

Search Engines: It’s the Economics, Stupid

I’ve been meaning to play around with Google’s custom search for awhile and a recent prod to try Lijit Search was enough to push me over the top. I’ve also been using Swicki at FVB for some time. Each of the services have their pros and cons, and none of them have everything I want, yet.

Instead of a full rundown of pros and cons for each, I’ll just summarize what type of person might be best served by each.

Swicki: Best if you treasure customization of look and feel, including pre-populated tag clouds, open-ended color options and voting on search results.

Lijit: Best if you like the focus of social media search, across your various properties and social networks.

Google Custom Search: Best if you like standardizing with a player most likely to include all bells and whistles over time, including the best site-based results prioritization and labelling.

Google ties in AdSense from the start — sharing revenue produced from sponsored results alongside your search results. Swicki hints about future sponsored search potential. I haven’t seen a direct sponsored search claim from Lijit, but any business in the search space will ultimately have to offer sponsor revshares.

I think this last part is the most important for any new search entrants. The reason Google is so powerful in web search is not because they have the best technology. It’s because they have the best distribution and the economics that distribution partners cannot walk away from for a “better” search engine. As such, Google only has to be “good enough” in search to keep their distribution.

However, blogs offer a growing distribution channel that isn’t already addicted to Google rev shares. The new entrant that gets blogs addicted to a revenue stream stands the greatest chance of challenging Google in web search.

Is that crazy talk? What are your experiences? What new search engines should I be watching?

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