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Can we build a data finder with google?

Google has announced a new service, that might make it possible for the data community to collaborate to build a customized data-finder. The service is the Google Custom Search Engine (CSE).

Similar in some ways to Rollyo, a service that has been around for some time, the Google CSE has several nice features:
  • Limit results of a Google search to specific sites.
  • Exclude sites from search results.
  • Collaborate on the selection of the sites to search and exclude
  • Customize the search results page
  • Add "refinements" that make it easy for users to refine search results
  • Eliminate Google ads if hosted by a university, government agency, or non-profit
There is a story about the service on eWeek: Google Copies Rollyo's Business Plan, Inserts AdSense (October 24, 2006 4:01 AM) by Steve Bryant. There will surely be lots more in the news soon.

Has anyone else started experimenting with this? I'd be interested in working with a small group to start experimenting. If you are already doing something or would like to start, let me know. (jajacobs at

- Jim Jacobs


I tried this very quickly

I tried this very quickly yesterday and I think it has potential. I was able to load all the sites from my own database pretty easily and they make it very easy to add new ones. You can make category labels, although they would need to be rather broad (and I'm not 100% sure how they are implemented). You can see what I did at vs my own database I'm definitely in on this one!

If you come up with something

If you come up with something that could be hosted on the IASSIST website, that would be great. We could put it under Tools and Training,

i played a bit with rollyo

i played a bit with rollyo when it first came out. i was looking for an easy federated data searcher. i experimented by using 11 web sites, but the results were not that helpful at the time so i lost interest. fyi, here's the rollyo thing that i created (just made it public): i think a data searcher would have to have some aggregated categories of data to search (if this is possible). a collective try to make google work is worth the effort. so count me in on this jim.

I'd be interested in

I'd be interested in participating.

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