Refinements are labels that you apply to web sites in your search engine index to help your users more easily find the information they are looking for. When a user clicks a refinement label, sites that you have annotated with the label are either searched exclusively or given priority in the results—you choose.

For example, say you've created a search engine about primates. Some of the sites you've added are specifically about chimps, and some are about gorillas. You can use labels to categorize the content on your site so that users can filter search results. For example, say your Monkeys search engine includes content about gorillas and chimps. With labels, you can:

  • Annotate search results (for example, by labeling a result "Chimps" or "Gorillas"). Other useful labels might include "blog" and "official website".
  • Enable users to prioritize or filter search results according to label.

To enable refinements in your search engine, you'll first need to create a set of labels, and then apply those labels to sites you've included in your search engine.

Create a label:

  1. On the Custom Search home page, click the search engine you want.
  2. Click Search features, and then click the Refinements tab.
  3. Click Add.
  4. Type a refinement term. This term will be added automatically to the user's query. (Tips for creating useful labels.)
  5. Click Add.
  6. Specify if you want to search only sites with this label.
  7. Click OK.

Apply labels to your site:

  1. On the Custom Search home page, click the search engine you want.
  2. Click Setup, and then click the Basics tab.
  3. In the Sites to search section select one or more site(s), click Label, and select the label(s) you want. (You can label multiple sites at once, and you don't need to label every site.)