Set the Context in your Custom Search Engine

Last week the Google Custom Search blog posted about a couple of Custom Search Engine updates. One of these is a change I have been asking about for a long time, and it's great to see it.

Now the keywords that you program in the Basics tab of the control panel have a stronger effect on results. In a sense, they allow you to assume a context. Here is the example they provided in their post:

Compare the results on this yoga search engine when looking for a "mat" with and without the keyword "yoga" -- with keywords:

without keywords:

The reason that this is a really important change is that users get set in the context of the site. When they are on a yoga site using a yoga search engine, they don't expect that they will have to type in "yoga mat". The data I have seen shows that they want to type in "mat".

Every time you force a user to redo something because of a mismatch between their expectations and what you provide, some of them lose interest in going further and leave. This is not a good thing, but now you can address it with Google Custom Search Engines.

About the author

Eric Enge is the president of Stone Temple Consulting, an SEO consultancy with offices in Massachusetts and California.