If you own a Web site, you might use Google’s Custom Search Engine to help visitors find stuff on your site. I’ve always found it to be pretty accurate, but Google is adding more improvements to custom search in the form of better sort and filter results.
The Custom Search Engine now has support for UI-based results sorting. You can enable this option in the Basics tab under the Custom Search control panel. This will add a “sort by” button to the top of the results page.
The sorting feature by default goes by date and relevance. You can change this by going to the control panel and specifying additional “sort by” keys. There are a lot of ways you can use this to your advantage especially when it comes to getting the right content into the hands of the user. Google uses the example of marking up pages for product rich snippets so that you can enable search based on price.
The second change is the introduction of compact queries for filtering by attribute. The current query for showing pages with a product-description attribute that contains both the words “search” and “engine” looks like this:
Whereas with compact search queries, you can reduce that mess down to this simple line:
It’s worth noting that the comments on this particular blog post point out that the save button under the Basic tab to turn on these new features isn’t working properly. The last comment verifying that the button wasn’t working was made this morning at 6:15. Perhaps you will have better luck getting it to work, but I’m sure Google is already fixing whatever the issue is.