Create a Bing Custom Search

I detailed in a previous article how I had created a custom search:

A dedicated Microsoft Cloud Search Engine

The benefits were that I could target it to a specific set of URL’s to search through when producing a result. It also eliminated many of the commercial elements you see in common search engines. This makes it much cleaner and faster.

The good news is that you too can easily go and create your own custom search. Before you do so however, you will need to have an Azure subscription as there are generally costs that are incurred depending on the functionality you desire. the Custom Search capability is found under Cognitive Services in Azure. However, the easiest way to start creating your own custom search is to visit:

https://www.customsearch.ai/

and sign in with your tenant credentials.

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You’ll come to the above screen first. Simply select I agree and then the Agree button below to continue.

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You can go through he Welcome messages if you wish.

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Next, select the Create new instance button at the bottom of the page.

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Give your instance a name (here Demo) and select Ok.

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You’ll then end up on the above page where you can input the URLs you wish to have be part of your custom search.

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Just keep adding the URL’s you desire. As you do you’ll notice a yellow banner appear at the top of the page as shown above. This is a reminder that you need to Publish your results for them to be visible to others.

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When you do elect to publish you will see the above dialog. Press the Publish button to continue.

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You should begreeted with a successful result, as shown above. You can return and keep editing the environment or you can select the Go to production environment option.

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In the production environment, if you now select the Host UI menu option on the left, the windows on the right will show you a dialog box towards the button as shown above. Copy this URL.

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If you Paste this URL into a new browser window, you should see your custom search engine as shown above.

Pretty easy to get going right?

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If you navigate to the Azure portal and search for Cognitive services you should see your new Bing CustomSearch as shown above, along with any other services that utilise Cognitive Services (here a Q and A bot).

You can go in here and customise different aspects of your Custom Search, which I’ll cover off in up coming articles. However, hopefully, you see how easy it is to get started creating a Custom Search in Azure. Remember, you can always test out what I have created using this here:

https://bit.ly/ciasearch

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