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Using a Google Custom Search Engine (CSE)

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  1. Using a Google Custom Search Engine (CSE) Sally Kuhlenschmidt January 9, 2009

  2. In this session you will: • Explore ideas for using a Google custom search engine (CSE), including one successful example. • Get an overview of how to create your own CSE.

  3. What is a CSE? • a tailored search using Google's technology, • which restricts search results based on websites you specify, • Sample:

  4. Why bother? • Narrows search to a subset of the Internet that you choose. • E.g., benchmarks, field specific • Most “hits” are valuable. • Assures a particular quality in websites searched • E.g., only peer-reviewed, only HBCUs, member

  5. Instructional Uses • Provide quality websites in your area for students to use • Instruct students on “quality.” • Have students create their own custom search • Contrast “good” CSE w/ ”bad” CSE • Select “Case” websites for investigating issues, e.g., Fortune 500 businesses

  6. Professional Uses • Search your personal bookmarks • Search benchmark institutions • Research on websites (e.g., X vs Y type of sites) • Alumni or advisee websites • Professional organization—websites of members

  7. Fund raising— • W/permission from local authorities • A student group or unit may set up a CSE and permit advertising. Proceeds go into the unit’s “pot” or into a charity.

  8. Steps for Simple CSE • Google Account • Create CSE • Enter formatted URLs • Use is only you – by accessing your Google Account

  9. 1. Google Account • Try various browsers if one doesn’t work. (Mozilla had some problems). • • Sign In (upper right)…Create an account.

  10. Add CSE to your account • Upper left: More ….Even More….Custom Search. • Option to create new one or manage current (in small print under Create New…)

  11. 2. Create CSE • Complete the 1 page form. Do a simple one first, 4-6 URLs. *Read the Tips on Formatting URLs. Documentation is to the left.

  12. 3. Enter formatted URLs • No “http://” Add * •* to get everything beginning with • only gives that single page.

  13. Excluding • You can exclude subparts of websites • See formatting rules.

  14. Returning later • Login…Upper left: More ….Even More….Custom Search. • Option to create new one or manage current (in small print under Create New…) (My Search Engines)

  15. Managing Your CSE • Options • Statistics • Delete– destroys the whole CSE • Control Panel -(change settings.) • Aka Edit this Search Engine

  16. 4. For you only • Who can access? • Only you right now and only from your Google Account.

  17. Collaboration • Volunteer (contacts you) • Contributor (you invite) • Max 100 invites. No limit on # contributors • They need a Google account

  18. Considerations of Collaboration • The websites Cr “sites” are tied to Cr’s account but use your key identifier. • If Cr uses same refinement label as you—it gets added in that category. • If Cr quits, Cr websites go too. • If Cr rejoins, I think you get the websites back. • VERY easy to quit collaborating-one click. There is No“Are you sure?”

  19. Sharing Your CSE w/the World Place code in a website • Control Panel…Code • Copy code for Search box • Optional: Copy code for Search results • Problem: Internet Explorer security question with each page • Paste in your page

  20. Blackboard: Add item. Select html button, Paste in code and Submit. • Results are flush left.

  21. Review • Purposes for CSE • Creating a simple CSE • Formatting of URLs & the CSE • Collaboration issues • Sharing it via BB or other website

  22. What if my collection of URLs gets really big? • And if I’d like the user to be able to “refine” his/her search in specific subcategories?

  23. Steps for Large CSE • Plan • Decide on objectives, criteria • May need alias email for account • Gather, organize, & format URLs in Excel or Access • Create CSE (Google account) • Place ‘CSE label’ into URL file • Upload URLs to CSE

  24. 1. Plan: a. Objectives • Write your objectives • Write your criteria for including a site. • Major subcategories? (refinement labels) • Do you need an alias e-mail? Might you “hand over” this CSE to another?

  25. Plan: b. Gather organize & format URLS • Goal: .txt file (tsv or tab delimited) with the URL’s • How? • By hand in Notepad – not recommended • Excel or Access, passed through Notepad • XML, OPML format is also possible.

  26. 2. Create CSE Once you have your URL file, create your CSE and upload a txt version of that file—see subsequent notes. Make the CSE available as above and enjoy!

  27. The next 6 slides in the presentation provide A link to a website with template URL files for you and a link to a utility for converting Favorites to txt, and Specific suggestions and advice on using the files with Google CSE.

  28. • Save “Excel” txt file to desktop. • Open Excel. • Open text file • Options: Tab Delimited, Text qualifier {none} • Save as simplest txt file.

  29. In Access (more control) • Sample • Work from the Query (no primary key). Enter URLs etc. • File Export… ‘As Text File’ • Options: Delimited, tab, Field names 1st row, Text qualifier {none} • To Notepad: • Change field names to Label (not Label2)-first row, don’t lose tabs. • Don’t “clean” data even though it looks messy.

  30. URL File Explained • First label is the CSE label (e.g., _cse_sm5wromxy3). • Other labels are “refinements” (next slide) • Score means how much weight to give a page. 1.0 is top. • Comments – notes to yourself. Just DON’T use tabs in those notes or you throw off the file. • Date format: 20060504 (Doesn’t show)

  31. Refinements • Second and later labels can be “refinements” aka “refinement labels” or “labels” • Short • Keep total number relatively small, 4-10. • *After you have uploaded your file, • go to the Refinement tab and “add” each label (yes, even though you uploaded the file with them).

  32. CSE Control Panel…Advanced • Upload your file. • All CSEs for an account are in the same file • The CSE label in your file (e.g., _cse_sm5wromxy3 found at the Advanced tab) is what sorts URLs into different CSEs. • Can upload multiple files if different file names (e.g., different terms of a class) • Can Download a copy too.

  33. What about later “uploads”? • Each upload is treated as a “new” thing. • Includes everything in the file—even if it is an exact duplicate of a prior website. • Deleting • If you delete the sites individually under the Site tab, the file still displays under the Advanced tab. • You can delete the uploaded file under the Advanced tab & start fresh. • In the Sites tab, sites seem to be listed by order of file uploaded and then alphabetically. I never use the Site tab. I always work from my Access file and replace the old.

  34. Summary • Example • Simple CSE • Large CSE • Planning • Excel vs Access

  35. Thank you