Yahoo is offering Web publishers a new service that lets them design a search engine tailored to the focus of their site or blog.
Yahoo Search Builder lets publishers hand pick the Web sites they want included in their search engine's index, the company announced Monday.
If publishers don't want to assemble the index manually, they can also tune the main Yahoo search engine to focus on the topic of their choice.
Yahoo expects the service will appeal to publishers that want to attract visitors by offering specialized search engines that limit results to a specific area. For example, the publisher of a baseball blog could build a search engine that only returns results from sites devoted to the sport.
Yahoo will also provide publishers with statistics about their search engine, such as the most popular queries and the overall usage level.
The move extends Yahoo's efforts in the area known as social search, which many consider the next major evolution of search engine technology. People are at the center of social search sites, not the mathematical algorithms and automated Web crawlers that have powered search engines traditionally.
By letting people participate in the discovery, categorization and sharing of indexed Web sites, social search sites attempt to deliver search results that are more relevant and targeted.
More information about Yahoo Search Builder can be found at http://builder.search.yahoo.com.