Rollyo and Swicki feel the giant’s breath

Update:

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?

shark

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?

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About mathewi

I'm the chief digital writer at the Columbia Journalism Review in New York, and a former writer for Fortune magazine and the Globe and Mail newspaper.

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