meyerweb.com

Skip to: site navigation/presentation
Skip to: Thoughts From Eric

CSS Search

This morning I got word in my RSS feeds that Google has launched what they call “customized search engines” through Google Co-Op.  As a test, I created a CSS search engine.  Go ahead, try it out.

       

There are two ways to configure a custom search engine.  One is to search the whole web but emphasize the sites you list.  The other is to search only the sites you list.  While the second might seem to be overly restrictive, the first doesn’t really seem very useful, at least for a CSS search engine.  When I compared the “CSS search” to “Web search” results, they really didn’t differ all that much—in some cases, having the same ten results on the first page, but in a slightly different order.  On occasion, the “Web search” ordering was actually more useful.

So I set up the CSS search to be restricted to the sites I listed, which I thought seemed relatively useful.  Only whenever I run the search from meyerweb instead of within Google, I get the “whole Web” search instead of the “only my sites search”, which either means I’m doing something wrong or I’m just too early an adopter.  Hopefully it’ll work as intended for you.  (Update: it seems to be working as intended now.)

Anyway, I’m not about to pretend that the six sites I included constitute the entirety of sites with useful CSS information.  Thus, I’ve set up the CSS search to be open to any volunteers.  If you have a Google Co-Op account (which I think is just any old Google developer account, such as you might have created for Google Maps) or want to create one, you can add sites to the ‘approved’ list without any say-so on my part.  Though I do have the power to boot sites that aren’t relevant, or too far out of date, or that look at me cross-eyed, or whatever.  To do so, I think you click the “Edit this seach engine” link on my CSS Search home page and then click on “Collaboration” to volunteer.  Or you might be able to go directly there.  I have to accept volunteers, so kindly be patient if it takes me a day or three.  And I’m going to simply reject any anonymous volunteers—sorry if that’s you.

For those that don’t have or want a Google account, feel free to suggest sites in the comments here.  In terms of getting them actually added, you’ll be at the mercy of my free time; but then again, so am I.

26 Responses»

    • #1
    • Comment
    • Tue 24 Oct 2006
    • 1419
    Dominik Dröscher wrote in to say...

    Only whenever I run the search from meyerweb instead of within Google, I get the “whole Web” search instead of the “only my sites search”, which either means I”m doing something wrong I”m just too early an adopter. Hopefully it”ll work as intended for you.

    Do you have another content language than “en” set in your browser? I experienced the same problem when trying custom search on a browser set to accept German as the preferred language. But then, if the search works fine on Google’s result page itself, that shouldn’t be the problem.

    The most interesting feature of this custom search is the ability to set “Refinements”. If you want to have a search option on your meyerweb custom search, to only search the w3c for instance, all you need to do is to set a refinement, and add it as a tag to the w3c page.

    Macworld makes great use of this.

    • #2
    • Comment
    • Tue 24 Oct 2006
    • 1523
    Link wrote in to say...

    I got this up and running for my site earlier today and so far I’m mildly impressed. I went with the second option (only sites I pick) and results seem pretty good. My biggest problem is the lack of real customization they offer. There’s an option to display the results inside your site, via an iframe, but other than choosing colors your options are limited.

    • #3
    • Comment
    • Tue 24 Oct 2006
    • 1606
    Keith wrote in to say...

    There’s three of them now.

    1. This one.
    2. My one
    3. Skuer

    • #4
    • Comment
    • Tue 24 Oct 2006
    • 1615
    Rijk wrote in to say...

    I’ve found the same problem when trying this – so it looks like a problem on Google’s end.

    • #5
    • Comment
    • Tue 24 Oct 2006
    • 1622
    Rob L. wrote in to say...

    This sounds quite a lot like Rollyo; have you used it much, and what were your impressions, if any?

    • #6
    • Comment
    • Tue 24 Oct 2006
    • 1737
    PurplePenny wrote in to say...

    I tried it earlier from your site and I got the “my sites” results.

    I only got results from two sites so how do I know what the other four are? (Answer to self: try a different search term… one that turns up more results.)

    • #7
    • Comment
    • Tue 24 Oct 2006
    • 2054
    pauldwaite wrote in to say...

    If you have a Google Co-Op account (which I think is just any old Google developer account, such as you might have created for Google Maps) or want to create one, you can add sites to the “approved” list without any say-so on my part.

    Cool. Er, how?

    • #8
    • Comment
    • Tue 24 Oct 2006
    • 2125
    Bertilo wrote in to say...

    I get the same problem. I searched for “cell”, and I got results from sites that are clearly not about CSS, like e.g. “www.cell.com”.

    No, I don’t know, why this doesn’t work. But sometimes Google just doesn’t do things right. That’s probably it.

    • #9
    • Comment
    • Wed 25 Oct 2006
    • 0234
    Wilco wrote in to say...

    Wow, that’s pretty nifty actually.

    • #10
    • Comment
    • Wed 25 Oct 2006
    • 0236
    Wilco wrote in to say...

    Ok, sorry for double posting, I just had a thought. http://www.NaarVoren.nl Dutch web design site worth checking out for all Dutchies out there.

    • #11
    • Comment
    • Wed 25 Oct 2006
    • 0342
    Goulven Champenois wrote in to say...

    Roger Johansson has very good information and tutorials about CSS, alongside his papers on accessibility, technology, etc.
    See for yourself.

    • #12
    • Comment
    • Wed 25 Oct 2006
    • 0915
    trovster wrote in to say...

    @pauldwaite – I tried to post this yesterday but the permalink was broken. Here is the link to the Google Coop CSS Search page – http://google.com/coop/cse?cx=011981465838016726163%3Amxtopuyuges

    • #13
    • Comment
    • Wed 25 Oct 2006
    • 1042
    Chris Hester wrote in to say...

    Eric, please consider adding my humble site to your list. Many thanks.

    http://www.designdetector.com

    • #14
    • Comment
    • Wed 25 Oct 2006
    • 1435
    Paul Martin wrote in to say...

    On a lark, I typed in “inheritance”. The google search itself did very well, providing a number of relevant links. The Adsense ads, on the other hand, interpreted the search term in a financial context. Google has some work to do if this is going to make any business sense for them.

    • #15
    • Comment
    • Wed 25 Oct 2006
    • 2241
    Bertilo wrote in to say...

    Now it seems to work. A search for “cell” gives only CSS-related material. Did you change something?

    • #16
    • Comment
    • Thu 26 Oct 2006
    • 1217
    steve wrote in to say...

    Add everything linked here, and you’re all set.

    http://dezwozhere.com/links.html.

    • #17
    • Comment
    • Thu 26 Oct 2006
    • 1620
    Tim Wright wrote in to say...

    autocomplete="off"
    will take that pesky drop box off a form field
    if google lets you mess around with the form, i’m not sure, i haven’t tried it yet.

    http://blogs.lib.ncsu.edu/page/cadence

    • #18
    • Comment
    • Fri 27 Oct 2006
    • 0549
    Philip Withnall wrote in to say...

    I think Google need to get the usability of Co-op together before they can peel off the beta tag. I couldn’t find any way to add a site, and in the end just ended up volunteering to help. :-P

    • #19
    • Comment
    • Fri 27 Oct 2006
    • 1513
    Tom Lehman wrote in to say...

    Any ideas on what caused CSS Search to be limited to just the five sites, when it started out searching the Web?

    I just set up a Google custom search, and it’s searching the Web, not just the sites I specified.

    • #20
    • Comment
    • Sat 28 Oct 2006
    • 1654
    Eric Meyer wrote in to say...

    Rob: I never did try Rollyo, so I can’t compare the two.

    pauldwaite: you know, I couldn’t figure that out either, though trovster did. Maybe it’ll become more clear as the service moves into later, more stable “beta”.

    Paul Martin: excellent point! I hadn’t even considered that, since I literally don’t see the ads any more, but it’s definitely something they’ll have to work on.

    Bertillo (and others): I didn’t change a thing, so it would seem Google’s changed something.

    steve: great suggestion. Thanks! Even better would be to add them yourself, via the volunteer mechanism… if you can find it. (I couldn’t, but see the comment from trovster.)

    Philip Withnall: I couldn’t agree more.

    • #21
    • Comment
    • Sat 28 Oct 2006
    • 1702
    Eric Meyer wrote in to say...

    pauldwaite: upon further reflection, I realized you were probably asking how to find the CSS Search pages to volunteer. Duh me. I added some information along those lines to the post.

    • #22
    • Comment
    • Sun 29 Oct 2006
    • 1417
    pauldwaite wrote in to say...

    @Trovster: super, many thanks.

    @Eric: Thanks for updating the post, it all seems to point in the right direction now.

    Looking forward to seeing how this works out.

    • #23
    • Comment
    • Wed 1 Nov 2006
    • 1047
    PurplePenny wrote in to say...

    This is weird! The CSS search worked correctly for me from the very first day that you posted it on here: I got seven results from two CSS sites. A plain vanilla search for the same thing resulted in thousands of hits.

    • #24
    • Comment
    • Wed 1 Nov 2006
    • 2333
    Ben Tremblay wrote in to say...

    I just checked out your volunteer page …
    … if you would: peek my del.icio.us CSS lanks (41 in total); I’d be glad to sift through them if you think any there are of interest to you.

    cheers

    p.s. it’s sure nice to have a Preview function when including HTML.

    • #25
    • Comment
    • Wed 20 Dec 2006
    • 0218
    Evgeniy wrote in to say...

    456berea’s article with one suggestion.

    • #26
    • Pingback
    • Mon 17 Mar 2008
    • 0532
    Received from 16 kereső webfejlesztők számára |

    […] CSS Search: Css sablonok, css programozási leírások keresésére. […]

Leave a Comment

Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address required but never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>



Remember to encode character entities if you're posting markup examples! Management reserves the right to edit or remove any comment—especially those that are abusive, irrelevant to the topic at hand, or made by anonymous posters—although honestly, most edits are a matter of fixing mangled markup. Thus the note about encoding your entities. If you're satisfied with what you've written, then go ahead...


October 2006
SMTWTFS
September November
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031  

Sidestep

Feeds

Extras