How to Build a Travel Search Engine
By Eric Duncan
Creating a travel search engine is accomplished by using a search engine company's Custom Search Engine capabilities. Using a CSE enables you to select criteria and specific websites to be searched. The results can be displayed on a separate website, delivered as an RSS feed or a unique link to the search engine company's website where your customized search is displayed. By creating a search engine with only travel-related websites, your search results will only be from those sites.
Direct your browser to google.com/cse. Click the "Create a Custom Search Engine" button.
Give your unique search engine a name, such as "Travel Search Engine." Write a brief description of the search engine if desired, and select the language the search engine will use.
Define the search by adding the websites you wish to search. If your travel search engine is going to be used primarily to find flight and hotel information, include sites such as Hotels.com, Orbitz.com and Expedia.com. If your search engine will be used to find adventure travel opportunities, include sites such as iexplore.com and adventure.travel. Add the desired website URL addresses to the "Sites to Search" box, pushing the "Enter" key after each address. Click the check box to agree to Google's Terms of Service, and click "Next."
Choose how you want your search results to be displayed. Google gives you six customizable styles to choose from. After you have chosen your style, try your new search engine by using the Custom Search Bar at the bottom of the page. The results will be displayed on the same page. If you are satisfied with the results, click "Next." If you want to make changes to the search engine, click on the "Back to step 1" link.
Capture the code to use on your own website or blog by copying and pasting the code Google provides in the Custom Search element box. If you do not wish to post the search engine on your own website, you can use the search engine via Google by clicking on "My Search Engines" on the My Account page. This link can be copied and shared so others can use the search engine.
Direct your browser to au.alpha.yahoo.com. Alpha has default information sources, the websites it is searching, preloaded onto the form. These are customizable as well. If there are sources that you do not wish to use in the Info Sources box, simply uncheck them and they will not be displayed in your search results.
Click and drag Alpha's modules to rearrange the way your search results will be displayed. The modules are displayed in the right column of the page.
Customize the websites Alpha will search by clicking on the "Add Custom Info Source" tab. Name the module and add the URL to the website you want added to the search criteria, then click "Next." Alpha will display a sample search engine return and give you the choice of adding the source or changing it. When you are satisfied, click "Yes, add this new source." Your source will be displayed in the right column of the Layout page. Each source must be individually entered.
Capture the RSS feed code by clicking on the "Create site search" link in the right column of the Layout page. Choose the style of search box you want to see displayed, copy the code and paste it into your website or other page that accepts RSS feeds.
Direct your browser to bing.com/siteowner. Click on the "Get started" button below the Advance Search Box paragraph.
Add the websites you want your custom search to use. Type in a display name for the search engine and the first URL to be included. Click the "Add more sites" button to add multiple websites to the search criteria. When you have added all the websites, click "Next."
Customize the search box by choosing the language, color and size of the search box to be created. Preview your search box, then click "Next."
Copy the code generated by Bing into your website or blog.
- Google will save your CSE and is the only site that allows you to access it through Google. Google will also generate the code to place the search engine on your own website or blog.
- Alpha allows you to create customized searches that can be displayed on an RSS feed to your website, blog or other page that accepts RSS feeds.
- Bing enables you to create a customizable search engine box to be displayed on your website or blog.
Eric Duncan is a military veteran and a professional in the safety, travel and aviation industries. Duncan has been writing since 2002 for magazines, newspapers, local business literature and on such websites as Singletraks.com. He has earned his Bachelor of Science in professional aeronautics and his Master of Business Administration.