Google has released Google Co-op, a customized search engine that allows webmasters to pick their favorite sites to extract search results on every search query. Therefore, even as search results aren’t exactly predictable, at least the sites that they originate are.
Webmasters can customize this through naming the search engine with your choice, predefine a set of keywords that could be used as search queries and more importantly the domain names you’d like to extract your results.
I am sure there are people who will try to brag about their top ranking using this tool even if the Google Custom Search will appear conspicuously. What’s interesting is that if someone will pick sites that about hatred or racism and get unchecked. In section 4.2 of its Terms of Service it explicitly mentions that the site where results shall be served should not constitute defamation, libel or obscenity. Furthermore, it should not contain adult content, promote violence, illegal activities and user must be at least 21 years old. This should address the issue on having Google’s logo appear next to overly sensitive list of search results. It would definitely put off users from using Google services if they see such type of search results. Google’s brand is going to take a beating.
This release should reinforce Google’s foothold in the search world. Let’s remember that there are two type of searches: web search, in which visitors have to go to search engines and type www.yahoo.com or www.msn.com to find something. The other is site search which is restricted to a certain web site. This is the kind of search Google is just embarking now with this Google Co-op offering.
An interesting scenario to be considered is when you consider having an SEO experiment and limit results to say, three different web sites. One of which can have specific property such as shorter page title and the other can have rich anchor text while the third has numerous good quality backlinks. Once they are put together, which will Google prefer to rank on top?
Real Climate‘s example had technical problems when I tried it.