Google introduced their Custom Search Engines (“CSEs”) to the world in 2006. Since then, they’ve received relatively little corporate love or promotion, which is unfortunate, because they frickin’ rock.
On the 10th anniversary of CSEs, I decided to build this site as a tribute to their awesomeness. I've tried to make them easier to create, more intuitive to use, prettier for mobile and web, and, most importantly, more discoverable. I also gave them a cooler name, Blades, because they’re a sharp, useful tool to cut through the clutter of using Google proper when you’re wanting to search only on a single topic or only one or more specific websites. Basically, I just pretended to be a Google employee, and decided this is what I’d spend my 20% time on.
Anyone can sign up and create unlimited Blades. If you already have a CSE over on Google, you can list it here by creating a blade and simply entering the "search engine ID" you will find there under Setup > Basics > Details. If you don’t already have a CSE, or if you don’t even know/care what a CSE is, you can create a Blade here in about 30 seconds.
Upcoming features I’m planning
- Add more configuration options to Blade creation here, to approach feature-parity with Google’s CSE configuration tools. (For now, if you want advanced configurations like synonyms, autocompletions, and promotions, use Google’s interface to edit your CSE and just enter your Search Engine ID here.)
- Make Blades easily embeddable on other sites.
- Make personal searches easy to save and re-run.
- Give you custom reports of Blade queries and usage over time.
- Add tutorial content to help you create super-useful Blades.