A new Google Apps tool has been released that is designed for small- to medium-sized businesses, and now you can have a Google search box on your website that allows visitors to access search results from the website, or websites, that you choose. It is called Google Custom Search Business Edition, and it provides an alternative between the “already existing Custom Search Engine, a free, ad-supported service, and Google Appliance, a hardware device selling for prices starting around $2,000 which customers manages on themselves”. Since your website does NOT have to be running Google ads to use the Business Edition application, you have the ability to turn off the ads produced by the Custom Search Engine service, and you can also customize what your visitors are looking at, similar to Google Appliance.
Google hopes that with this customizable search, your website will yield higher conversion rates, improved usability, and reduced support inquiries since you can choose from where your search results are coming.
Being able to customize feels good! If that were not enough, there is no hardware or software installation. All it takes to get started is a $100 annual fee (that allows a maximum of 5,000 websites for your visitors to search through on your site), a 3-minute set-up wizard to choose your websites, and then copy and paste a line of code onto your website. If you would like to index more than 5,000 websites to your customized search, you can shell out $500 a year to have a maximum of 50,000 websites for your visitors to sort through on their search.
Nitin Mangtani, a product manager in Google’s Enterprise division, said in an interview, “If you have a website, we already crawl your website. Now we are saying you don’t have to manage search within your site.”