A very important and time consuming aspect of a corporate lawyer in India is to find information made available on the different websites run by the Central and State governments of India and the various regulatory bodies like the RBI, DIPP, IRDA and the like. Government websites are known to be badly designed and structured and do not make it easy to find something unless you know exactly what you want. Because they are equally unfriendly to search engines, many-a-times, one has to go through pages of search results from other independent websites before spotting the PDF or publication directly from the government.
The Google Search Engine as we know it (available on www.google.co.in) indexes and shows all the websites that allow the search engines to crawl and index their pages. What if you could tell Google that you only want it to display results from a particular set of websites – a list of websites you often visit for specific information or a particular type of websites and specifically include websites which you know have no value to your research but somehow, still manage to find a place in the search results?
While I am sure many would already know about the Google Custom Search engine and are using it for faster and smarter research, I hope some of you find this article helpful.
Here’s a step by step guide on how to create your own Google Custom Search Engine:
1. We start with logging in to our Google account and going to https://www.google.com/cse/.
2. Clicking on Create a custom search engine will take you to a simple form where you can start entering the list of websites which you want your search engine to include. Here, we are creating a search engine that searches all websites managed by the National Informatics System (all websites ending with nic.in) and the Government of India (all websites ending with gov.in). To do that, we use the wildcard character * before nic.in and gov.in. We give it a name that describes the search engine (especially useful if you are making more than one custom search engines).
3. Once you are done with this, simply click on Create and you will be taken to a screen which will give you a public URL for your search engine – something I would advise that you bookmark in your browser for easier access later or you can get the code for the search engine to embed it on your webpage.
Here’s the URL for the NIC & GOV Search Engine that we just created using Google: www.ashisharun.com/nic-gov-search. As you can see, the search results now include only the websites which we asked the Custom Search Engine to include.
Feel free to use this or create your own. If you need any help with creating your own search engine, do let me know and I will be happy to help – and remember to share this article with your friends and colleagues who you think might benefit from a quicker and faster way to run online searches.