Web Accessibility Google

Google have launched customised search engines via Google Co-op, a new (beta of course) corner of the Google empire.

It's a potentially powerful tool. Here's a quick web acessibility search engine I setup to test it:

It's restricting searches to just 4 domains, and yet produces pretty decent results for any accessibility issue you care to throw at it. With a bit of time, care and attention it's going to be possible to create fantastically targetted search engines. Even better there's a community element, since anyone can suggest sites to add to the search engine, and if the engine owner deems them suitable they can be easily added.

Throw some accessibility-related terms at it and see how it fares. And if you've got suggestions for sites to add to the list just follow the 'Volunteer to contribute to this search engine' link (if you've got a Google account) and do your stuff.

You can also access this engine at its homepage.


Since I don't like Google, I've been very interested in Microsofts search, particularly since its still the only (X)HTML compliant search engine, and provides RSS feeds directly (no fussing with API's and licencing). They have a somewhat similar feature called Macros

I easily created a search for all gov.uk sites sith the simple macro "site:gov.uk". Direct Gov what now? ;)

I just think its so cool that out of the box these search results can be accessed by their RSS feeds, in particular how about a search with the macro "linkfromdomain:www.blether.com" where results are not only from your site, but sites you link to? An easy way to extend your own search results where one might expect adwords :)

Posted by: Doug at October 25, 2006 1:52 PM

Sorry, I should have risen to the challenge of proving the comparison:

Posted by: Doug at October 25, 2006 1:56 PM

lol, you're absolutely right about DirectGov, although of course Directionlessgov beat you to it. I guess the point is how easy it is now for us to customise that incredible wealth of data for our own purposes.

I think I have the same problem with Microsoft that you have with Google. :-)

It's interesting to compare the results from your macro search on Windows Live and my co-op search on Google. I did a couple of tests, one for "placeholder text" and one for "skip links", and given the results my prejudices remain!

Out of interest which domains is your macro searching, and is there any way of finding that out?

Posted by: Dan at October 25, 2006 6:38 PM

I used the same sites you used according to the search page you link to.
MS can be evil, but I consider Google New Evil; the infinite cookie, google analytics, scanning books, indefinite data retention, email they never delete, aol research data, desktop search which sends data to google - evil with a thick sugar coating, and I can't justify pushing visitors to my sites to them. And honestly, I don't buy into conspiracy theories, I just dislike the practices I see.
It just looks to me like more people hold MS to account than anyone cares to with Google, and in recent times it appears MS are responding. The licencing terms for their Live products is far more open than Yahoo or Google, and they get little to no credit, cos hey, they're MS.
The results returned is always going to be a personal preference, but I far prefer the MS URL and the RSS access to the Google effort (which is playing catch up here). And in the end, the RSS functionality is killer, if not for my server-side development then for the integration with the latest browsers and aggregators.

Posted by: Doug at October 25, 2006 11:11 PM

That's pretty cool. Very focused. I signed up to contribute. You can probably guess the first domain I will offer.

Posted by: Mike Cherim at October 26, 2006 5:05 AM

@Doug: I do appreciate your views on Google, and personally all I use Google for is searching the web. No GMail or Desktop Search for me. But their search results rock. I agree about the URL (Google's is horrible, MS's is spot-on) and RSS - it is good to see MS picking up points on Yahoo! and Google - as with politics we need at least a third major player in the game to stimulate innovation and competition.

@Mike: Google co-op actually sucks at the moment (this time it really is beta). I can see two co-op members who have volunteered to contribute, but since Google allow you to sign-up without completing *any* profile information I can't tell which one is you. They are both entirely anonymous. So I've accepted them both. :-/

Posted by: Dan at October 26, 2006 6:09 AM

I went to the page and couldn't figure out what to do lol. I could see any interface what so ever, yet I was logged in. I don't get it, though I do see Accessites added which was what I was going to do so that's cool.

Pretty strange.

Posted by: Mike Cherim at October 27, 2006 4:16 AM

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