Google has launched its personalized search tool (but it’s not called Google Co-op as Mike Arrington says at TechCrunch, it’s just one of the things that falls under the Google Co-op banner). The tool allows anyone to build a CSE or customized search engine and then not only share it — and make money from Google AdSense on the search pages — but allows them to continually update it by using a toolbar bookmarklet called the Marker.

Matt Cutts has a good breakdown of how it works, while Om says Google should be compensating CSE creators with more than the usual AdSense dosh.

Original post:

According to a report in the Financial Times, Google will be launching a customized search tool on Tuesday, one that can be embedded in a webpage and will search inside websites you specify. Not only that, but you can apparently add new sites to your custom search index as you surf, by tagging pages with a keyword. This is something that Google sleuth Garrett Rogers hinted at not long ago, after poking around in Google’s code.

When I read the headline of the FT story, the first thing I thought of was Rollyo.com, and the second thing I thought of was Swicki.com. Both are services that allow you to produce — or “roll your own” — customized search engine. I have tried and like both tools, which have some differences (Swicki lets you create a tag cloud of search terms and Rollyo has a built-in site search) but I removed them both for a variety of reasons. Are their days numbered now that Google has appeared on the scene?


Some might recall that this discussion has occurred before, with a Web-based calendar called Kiko. When Google Calendar appeared, Kiko quickly decided it wasn’t worth going up against a $130-billion behemoth — a decision Paul Graham said was the right one and David at 37signals implied was the wrong one — and sold itself on eBay (and was eventually bought by Toronto’s own Tucows). Will Rollyo or Swicki be making the same decision?

About the author

Mathew 2430 posts

I'm a Toronto-based senior writer with Fortune magazine, and my favorite things to write about are social technology, media and the evolution of online behavior

11 Responses to “Rollyo and Swicki feel the giant’s breath”
  1. Rollyo and Swicki feel the giant’s breath via Mathew Ingram: mathewingram.com/work October 24th, 2006 at 04:02

  2. [IMG] Rollyo and Swicki feel the giant’s breath

  3. A do-it-yourself search engine service has appeared… from Google. Google’s Custom Search Engine is part of Google’s Coop, which launched in May. Web site owners can connect a Coop search with Google’s Adsense. Several such services currently exist, including Rollyo.

  4. and benefits to high-end clients, I anticipate this move by Google will dramatically change the landscape of this niche by broadening the number of publishers who can participate in it. I think it’s a great move by the Google juggernaut. Related: Matthew Ingram wonders what this means for services like Rollyo. I’m a fan of Rollyo (here’s my Magazine Resources Rollyo search engine, for instance). There’s a social networking aspect of Rollyo that probably won’

  5. I’ve heard that other than search, Google has never attained number one status in any of the forays its journeyed into.

    Maybe that’s not their goal — but I think it says something for the survivability of the rollyo and its pals.

  6. […] Everyone on the Internet fears the day that Google will enter their market. Today the fear was tangible for Rollyo and Swicki. The Financial Times reported that Google will launch tomorrow (Tuesday) “…a customisable search engine that users can carry on their own blogs and other websites…” and compares the new service to Rollyo. Matthew Ingram carries the photo of a shark on his post about this development. Ingram points out that when Google entered the calendar market, competitor Kiko gave up and sold themselves. He asks whether or not this was the right decision — pointing to Paul Graham’s post at the time “Google Does Not Render Resistance Futile.” I find myself agreeing with Paul and Rex Hammock puts his finger on it when he writes: There’s a social networking aspect of Rollyo that probably won’t be a part of the Google product, however the Google product will likely offer publishers, including bloggers, an instant way to monetize narrow search in the Adsense program they’re already participating in.For all of the things that Google has done right in technology, they have done very little well in the category of social. It isn’t too late for them to learn but if history is any guide, they will miss the importance of the social network in search as well.And frankly having a strong competitor forces you to do the two things which you most need to do in any case when you are a small business — innovate constantly and be 500% better than your larger competition. Then Google can educate the market about why the market needs your product and then you can deliver on the market’s expectations. That is what YouTube did. […]

  7. Upon checking this out, three features stood out:
    1) You can exclude sites that you do not want in the results
    2) You can easily do so using the Google Marker
    3) Anyone can volunteer to help

    So we decided to throw up an experiment to encourage everyone to mark spam sites to be excluded from search results.

    Working together as a community we may be able to radically improve the quality of the search results (or perhaps just get in a blacklisting war?)

    The result is Putch – http://www.putch.com

  8. […] Ingram thinks Google’s soon to be released custom search tool will masticate Rollyo and Swicki. Chomp or hype?. […]

  9. […] (FT, Search Engine Journal, Search Engine Watch Blog, TechCrunch, Matthew Ingram, Google OS, Blogoscope, Problogger, Slashdot) […]

  10. […] Update: Mathew Ingram got in on this one before me. See also Matt Cutts and Om Malik. […]

  11. […] WordPress Will Apple pay you to share your headphones? » « Nick Carr is right this time (cringe) Rollyo and Swicki feel the giant’s breath […]

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