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Running Your Own Search Engine
Article by: Peter Go

Approximately 90% of web surfers use search engines to find what they need. This is why sites like AltaVista, Goto.com and Yahoo! are so flooded with gazillions of visitors every day. Wouldn't any web site owner want a small portion of that 90%? I know I would.

Brand-Specific Search Engines
Most major search engines like AltaVista now offer web site owners a way to partner with them as affiliates, and integrate their search technology into the affiliate's web site. Here's an example of AltaVista's integrated search:

 Find this:

The nice thing about these types of partnership is that they also offer the web site owner the potential to earn some money. Such programs usually offer pay-per-search packages. Hence if you sign up, not only do you get an integrated search engine on your site, you also earn revenue every time someone uses it.

Meta or Multiple Search
Everyone.Net is a company that allows domain name owners to offer meta-search capabilities using their domain name. For example, if you own yourdomain.com, Everyone.Net allows you to sign up with them and have an integrated meta-search engine on your site using a sub-domain like search.yourdomain.com. This gives web surfers a feel that you have your own search engine on your web site.

With Everyone.Net's Plug-in-Search, your visitors can get results from the web's best search engines without ever leaving your site, which translates to more page views for you. This technology lets you give your web site visitors the ability to conduct advanced Internet searches without leaving your web site. Instead of searching a single search engine, this service allows you to query multiple sites and search engines by category and returns a comprehensive list of relevant sites. You can choose from over 30 search engine categories including the web, sports, news, investing, etc. that target specialized search engines that fit your site's theme. Your visitors get relevant search results at their fingertips, and you get incremental page views from every search and results page that translates into revenue. You can easily add the Everyone.Net Plug-in Search for free, and customize it to your brand and site.

Your Very Own Search Engine
For the more advanced and web-savvy webmaster, there's the Open Directory Project (ODP). The ODP is a conglomeration of thousands of volunteers from around the world called "experts" who are each managing his/her own category. Thus you have a huge categorized directory of links managed by people who are considered authorities in their respective fields. For example, the links to Graphics Artists is being managed by a graphics artists who has volunteered to manage this category. The setup is non-automated hence each link that is submitted goes through a real human "expert" for scrutiny. The result is a directory of links that are pertinent to the category. The setup foils search engine spammers from monopolizing their positioning through multiple entries.

Netscape owns the copyright to the compilation of these links. But they have also made the Open Directory available for anyone to use under the certain agreement terms and conditions. The ODP database may be downloaded for integration into any web site. Mind you, the database dumps are quite huge so be prepared for a long download.

An alternative to downloading the entire ODP database is to use a 3rd party product that queries the ODP database remotely and presents the results on your web site. One such product is developed by Anaconda! They authored a CGI program that allows any web site owner to integrate the ODP contents into his/her web site very easily. The product is not free but it may be worth the investment for the serious webmaster.

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About the Author:
Peter Go owns and operates Icthus.Net Communications. CGI City is one of several web sites developed by Icthus.Net Communications.

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