Simple. In order to add it on my site, I have to fill out a survey to help Google understand what sort of content my site contains. Well, that's not quite true. I'm just selecting from a list of categories that will be included as a hidden form field in the HTML used to submit the search request to Google.
Why do I have to do any of that?!?!
Google's AdSense program is already reasonably good about looking at a page and deciding what sort of ads to display there. What I exepected when I first read about this was an automated customized search. All you'd do is tell Google "this is my site... please customize search results." Then Google would do that. After all, they've already crawled your site if they're doing their job. (Intranets and firewalled stuff are a special case, of course.)
To me, this says their technology is less advanced that some (including me) expected. I figured that they bought Kaltix to build such a service, but I guess they're there yet.
As John Battelle says:
It seems a pretty blunt instrument for now (not instantly updated, categories are pretty general) but that will change with time.
Until that and automation happen, it's really not interesting...
I realize that automation won't be perfect, but it seems to me that Google should be doing the work here and then letting webmasters tweak things if Google guesses poorly. Instead, web publishers are doing all the guesswork.
Posted by jzawodn at June 20, 2004 04:22 PM