I had lunch today with Dan Appleman who, back in the early 1990s, wrote the most important Visual Basic programming book: all about using the Windows API with Visual Basic, among others. He’s the kind of guy Microsoft used to care about flying into see its latest developer initiatives. He didn’t go to Las Vegas yesterday. I wondered why and he told me he’s been helping his sister do Web consulting for a variety of companies. Says he’s seeing a whole new world outside of the Microsoft fence and that he’s most excited about Google’s custom search engine. Even built one for .NET developers called “Search DotNet”.
It, indeed, is pretty cool and lets people build search engines with very little noise.
Here, compare a search for “Silverlight” info.
Dan’s custom search brings back a much higher percentage of great results — and his results are solely focused on developers, while Google’s main results have lots of other results that have nothing to do with Microsoft’s Silverlight. He says that such custom engines are much more “SEO proof” than other approaches, because he decided which sources should be included in the result set. So, you are mixing an algorithmic approach with a human approach of someone who is highly expert and trusted.
Anyone notice how much faster Google is indexing sites lately? I do. It used to take weeks to get into Google’s engine now results are showing up in less than 24 hours.
He recently talked with .NET Rocks about site discoverability and the Google Custom Search engine too.
UPDATE: Just saw this come through my feeds: Charles Knight of Read/Write Web writes about the top 100 alternative search engines.