Treat Your Site Search to to Some Customization this Halloween

Monday, October 18, 2010 | 11:49 AM

(Cross posted from the Google Enterprise Blog)

If you’ve been to a grocery store or even switched on your television this week, you may have noticed that Halloween is here – a telltale sign that the holiday season is approaching. And since holidays mean more shopping, here at Google our Commerce Search team has been working very hard to help get your retail websites ready for the business boom.

For most retail businesses the holiday season can be the busiest time of the year, and we want to help you get excited about it. We’ve been listening to your feedback and noticed that many of you desire a greater ability to customize your site search so that it’s exactly the way you want it. Today we are pleased announce that we are giving you your holiday gift early, and in the form of three new customization features.

1. Control over auto-completions. Query auto-completion leverages the machine learning of Google to automatically provide a relevant list of suggestions every time a user types a search query on your site. While this eliminates the need for manual entry of query suggestions, many of you still wanted administrative control.

With this feature, users can now control their auto-completions. Let’s say you are an online candy reseller and typing “ch” triggers “cherry cough drops” and not “chocolate covered almonds,” your most popular treat.

You can add “cherry cough drops” to your list of exclusions and “chocolate covered almonds” to your list of inclusions to display the auto-completions you prefer. For more extensive customization, you can even upload inclusions and exclusions in bulk, so you don’t have to enter the query customizations line by line.

2. Easier Facets. We have made it easier to build navigation features by auto-populating the options based on what we know about your specified attribute. So, if you want to build a facet around “shirts,” options for price, color, size, and any of your own particulars will be listed automatically. This makes it simple to customize search results.

3. Improved Documentation. Now you can find information about how to customize your search with improved documentation and code samples. These can be found at the GCS code page.

These new features can be activated today by visiting your GCS control panel, and we hope that while you’re eating Halloween treats you’ll utilize them to prepare your e-commerce site for the holiday rush. If you are new to Google Commerce Search, visit for more information or to sign-up now.