Using Google Custom Search

GoogleApps_July21_CAs businesses increasingly move online, the amount of content produced and viewed is growing exponentially. Some companies produce so much content that it can be tough for visitors to find what they are looking for on your website. One solution to this lies in Google’s Custom Search, which allows you to create your own search engine for your site.

What is Google’s Custom Search?

Google Custom Search is a tool you can add to your website that allows people to search on your website. The best way to think of this feature is that it allows you to add a customized search engine to your site. This search engine uses Google’s core search technology to help your users find the content they are looking for on your site.

While at first glance this feature looks exactly like a Google Search bar, it does offer some customizable options, including:

  • The ability to apply your site’s theme and feel to search results.
  • The ability to enhance user experience through auto complete suggestions, refinements, and promotions.
  • An understanding of user behavior through Google’s powerful Analytics.
  • Google’s AdSense, which could help your company create revenue through ads.
  • The ability to set which sites are searched and see certain content and results emphasized over others.

While you get Google’s powerful Search tools on your site, the results won’t include Google Web Search features like individualized results, timetables, calculator, etc.

Creating your very own search engine

If you would like to create your own personalized search engine you can do so by:

  1. Going to the Google Custom Search homepage (www.google.com/cse/).
  2. Clicking on Create a custom search engine.
  3. Entering the Web address of the site, page, or domain that you would like to search to be applied to.
  4. Naming the search engine under Name of the search engine. Note: Try to keep the name as short as possible and be sure to refrain from names that are copyrighted e.g., Google.
  5. Clicking Create.

Working with your new search engine

Once you have created your search engine, you should see the control panel with the engine listed when you go to the CSE homepage (www.google.com/cse/). You will see your search engine listed on the page, and clicking it will open more advanced options related to your new search engine. These options are:

  • Setup - Edit the details of your search engine, add more sites to search, connect AdSense, change indexing options.
  • Look and Feel - Pick the theme and layout of your search engine. You can pick from preset options, or manually pick the colors if you want to match them to your site.
  • Search features - Improve the effectiveness of the search engine with autocomplete, synonyms, and refinements (e.g., give preference to one page or to specific search terms).
  • Statistics and Logs - Track the statistics related to your search engine and set up integration with Google Analytics.
  • Business - Options for business users who have paid for CSE. You can change things like ownership, and access APIs (Application Programming Interfaces).

In the setup screen, under the Details section are two important buttons:

  • Public URL - This will give you the URL that you can share or type in the URL bar of your browser to get to your search engine.
  • Get code - This will give you a snippet of HTML code that you can put into the code of the webpage you would like to place the customized search engine on.

If you are going to be putting this search engine onto your website, we strongly recommend that you take the time to set up the different options and themes before copying and pasting the code into your page.

This Google function could prove to be useful for businesses of all sizes, especially those who produce a lot of digital content. If you would like help setting this up, or would like to learn more about this, and other useful features, contact us today.

Posted in Cloud – Google Apps, General Articles C | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments closed

Google’s Custom Search engine

GoogleApps_July21_BAlmost every business has a website these days and many create content on a regular basis. The result of this can be growth to such an extent that some visitors may struggle to find the information they are looking for. One solution you could implement is Google’s Custom Search, which allows you to put a search bar into your site.

What is Google’s Custom Search?

Google Custom Search is a tool you can add to your website that allows people to search on your website. The best way to think of this feature is that it allows you to add a customized search engine to your site. This search engine uses Google’s core search technology to help your users find the content they are looking for on your site.

While at first glance this feature looks exactly like a Google Search bar, it does offer some customizable options, including:

  • The ability to apply your site’s theme and feel to search results.
  • The ability to enhance user experience through auto complete suggestions, refinements, and promotions.
  • An understanding of user behavior through Google’s powerful Analytics.
  • Google’s AdSense, which could help your company create revenue through ads.
  • The ability to set which sites are searched and see certain content and results emphasized over others.

While you get Google’s powerful Search tools on your site, the results won’t include Google Web Search features like individualized results, timetables, calculator, etc.

Creating your very own search engine

If you would like to create your own personalized search engine you can do so by:

  1. Going to the Google Custom Search homepage (www.google.com/cse/).
  2. Clicking on Create a custom search engine.
  3. Entering the Web address of the site, page, or domain that you would like to search to be applied to.
  4. Naming the search engine under Name of the search engine. Note: Try to keep the name as short as possible and be sure to refrain from names that are copyrighted e.g., Google.
  5. Clicking Create.

Working with your new search engine

Once you have created your search engine, you should see the control panel with the engine listed when you go to the CSE homepage (www.google.com/cse/). You will see your search engine listed on the page, and clicking it will open more advanced options related to your new search engine. These options are:

  • Setup - Edit the details of your search engine, add more sites to search, connect AdSense, change indexing options.
  • Look and Feel - Pick the theme and layout of your search engine. You can pick from preset options, or manually pick the colors if you want to match them to your site.
  • Search features - Improve the effectiveness of the search engine with autocomplete, synonyms, and refinements (e.g., give preference to one page or to specific search terms).
  • Statistics and Logs - Track the statistics related to your search engine and set up integration with Google Analytics.
  • Business - Options for business users who have paid for CSE. You can change things like ownership, and access APIs (Application Programming Interfaces).

In the setup screen, under the Details section are two important buttons:

  • Public URL - This will give you the URL that you can share or type in the URL bar of your browser to get to your search engine.
  • Get code - This will give you a snippet of HTML code that you can put into the code of the webpage you would like to place the customized search engine on.

If you are going to be putting this search engine onto your website, we strongly recommend that you take the time to set up the different options and themes before copying and pasting the code into your page.

This Google function could prove to be useful for businesses of all sizes, especially those who produce a lot of digital content. If you would like help setting this up, or would like to learn more about this, and other useful features, contact us today.

Posted in Cloud – Google Apps, General Articles B | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments closed

A look at Google’s Custom Search Engine

GoogleApps_July21_AIn order to have a successful website you need to be active. One of the best ways to do this is to create content like blog articles, videos, images, and even new pages. The problem with this however is that you will eventually get so much content that it may be a challenge for users to find what they are looking for. A great solution to this problem is Google’s Custom Search.

What is Google’s Custom Search?

Google Custom Search is a tool you can add to your website that allows people to search on your website. The best way to think of this feature is that it allows you to add a customized search engine to your site. This search engine uses Google’s core search technology to help your users find the content they are looking for on your site.

While at first glance this feature looks exactly like a Google Search bar, it does offer some customizable options, including:

  • The ability to apply your site’s theme and feel to search results.
  • The ability to enhance user experience through auto complete suggestions, refinements, and promotions.
  • An understanding of user behavior through Google’s powerful Analytics.
  • Google’s AdSense, which could help your company create revenue through ads.
  • The ability to set which sites are searched and see certain content and results emphasized over others.

While you get Google’s powerful Search tools on your site, the results won’t include Google Web Search features like individualized results, timetables, calculator, etc.

Creating your very own search engine

If you would like to create your own personalized search engine you can do so by:

  1. Going to the Google Custom Search homepage (www.google.com/cse/).
  2. Clicking on Create a custom search engine.
  3. Entering the Web address of the site, page, or domain that you would like to search to be applied to.
  4. Naming the search engine under Name of the search engine. Note: Try to keep the name as short as possible and be sure to refrain from names that are copyrighted e.g., Google.
  5. Clicking Create.

Working with your new search engine

Once you have created your search engine, you should see the control panel with the engine listed when you go to the CSE homepage (www.google.com/cse/). You will see your search engine listed on the page, and clicking it will open more advanced options related to your new search engine. These options are:

  • Setup - Edit the details of your search engine, add more sites to search, connect AdSense, change indexing options.
  • Look and Feel - Pick the theme and layout of your search engine. You can pick from preset options, or manually pick the colors if you want to match them to your site.
  • Search features - Improve the effectiveness of the search engine with autocomplete, synonyms, and refinements (e.g., give preference to one page or to specific search terms).
  • Statistics and Logs - Track the statistics related to your search engine and set up integration with Google Analytics.
  • Business - Options for business users who have paid for CSE. You can change things like ownership, and access APIs (Application Programming Interfaces).

In the setup screen, under the Details section are two important buttons:

  • Public URL - This will give you the URL that you can share or type in the URL bar of your browser to get to your search engine.
  • Get code - This will give you a snippet of HTML code that you can put into the code of the webpage you would like to place the customized search engine on.

If you are going to be putting this search engine onto your website, we strongly recommend that you take the time to set up the different options and themes before copying and pasting the code into your page.

This Google function could prove to be useful for businesses of all sizes, especially those who produce a lot of digital content. If you would like help setting this up, or would like to learn more about this, and other useful features, contact us today.

Posted in Cloud – Google Apps, General Articles A | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments closed

10 popular virtualization terms

Virtualization_July14_CVirtualization, often defined as the act of moving physical systems to a digital environment, has become one of the most sought after tech improvements, especially for small to medium businesses. While virtualization is popular, it is still complex and has many potentially confusing terms associated with it. To help, we have created a short glossary of 10 popular virtualization terms.

1. Virtual Machine (VM)

You will often hear virtualization experts bandy about the term VM. What they are talking about when they say this is the Virtual Machine. The VM is essentially a virtual representation of the computer on your desk. It can do everything a physical machine does, only everything is virtual and usually delivered over a network connection.

Because VMs are software based, you can often run more than one VM on the same physical machine. This could equate to having say two separate versions of Windows running at the same time, or even running a different operating system, say Windows on your MacBook.

2. Virtual server

A specific type of VM, in this case a server, that is running in a virtual environment. A common setup many offices employ is to have one physical server on premise. This server then hosts separate virtual servers that in turn host different services like email, networking, storage, etc.

Other businesses choose to rely completely on virtual servers. This is where another company hosts the servers which are delivered to you over the Internet. To the computers and users it appears the servers are there on your network, and can be interacted with normally when in truth, the servers are actually virtual.

3. Virtual desktop

Much like the virtual server, the virtual desktop is a specific type of VM. In this case, it is a virtually delivered version of an operating system like Windows, Linux or even OS X.

Since the advent of virtual desktops, the idea that companies have to stick with one type of operating system has started to become irrelevant. For example, if you own a Mac and need to access a Windows only program, one solution is to use a virtual version of Windows. If you have access to one, you will be able to run Windows from your Mac without having to physically install it on your computer.

4. Hypervisor

The hypervisor is essentially a small operating system that enables virtualization. Its job is to take physical hardware resources and combine them into a platform that is then delivered virtually to one, or many different users.

5. Host system

The host system, also referred to as the parent, is where the physical hardware and software is installed. These physical components are then copied by the hypervisor and delivered in a virtual state to the user. If you are creating a virtual desktop environment, then the host system will have the desktop’s OS installed on it, along with the necessary software.

6. Guest system

The guest system, also referred to as the child, is where the VM is accessed. To carry the example on from above, the OS that is installed on the host machine is replicated by the hypervisor and the copy is then delivered to the user.

The user can interact with the OS just as they would with the physical host machine, because the guest system is an exact copy of the host. The only difference is, the guest machine is virtual instead of physical.

7. Virtual Infrastructure

When you combine a bunch of different types of VMs together into one solution, including hardware, storage, desktops, and servers you create a virtual infrastructure.

This can then be deployed to businesses who are looking for a completely virtualized solution. The easiest way to think of this is that your whole IT infrastructure is combined into one solution and virtualized. Many companies look for a solution like this because it reduces the need for on-premise hardware, while making it easier for an IT partner to manage.

8. P2V

P2V, or Physical to Virtual, is a term used by IT experts to refer to the act of migrating a physical system to a virtual one. The most common example of P2V is the merging of physical servers into a virtual environment that is hosted on one server.

9. Snapshot

A snapshot is an image of the state of the virtual machine at a specific point of time. This includes all of the data, configurations, and even windows or programs open at that time. Snapshots are used kind of like the Save button on video games – it saves your progress. When you next load up the VM, you will get all of your data, programs, and configurations back.

Snapshots are also kept in case something goes wrong with the VM. You can easily revert back to an older snapshot, one that was taken before the problem.

10. Clone

The action of taking one VM and creating an exact copy that can then be used by another computer or user.

If you are looking to learn more about virtualization, contact us today to see how we can help.

Posted in General Articles C, Virtualization – General | Tagged , , , , | Comments closed

Virtualization: 10 popular terms

Virtualization_July14_BVirtualization is the act of moving a physical component or bit of software from a physical environment to a digital one that is normally delivered over a network. This concept has become one of the most sought after tech improvements of the past decade, especially among small to medium businesses. The only problem is, virtualization is complex and carries with it some confusing terminology. To make things easier, we have created a glossary of ten common virtualization terms.

1. Virtual Machine (VM)

You will often hear virtualization experts bandy about the term VM. What they are talking about when they say this is the Virtual Machine. The VM is essentially a virtual representation of the computer on your desk. It can do everything a physical machine does, only everything is virtual and usually delivered over a network connection.

Because VMs are software based, you can often run more than one VM on the same physical machine. This could equate to having say two separate versions of Windows running at the same time, or even running a different operating system, say Windows on your MacBook.

2. Virtual server

A specific type of VM, in this case a server, that is running in a virtual environment. A common setup many offices employ is to have one physical server on premise. This server then hosts separate virtual servers that in turn host different services like email, networking, storage, etc.

Other businesses choose to rely completely on virtual servers. This is where another company hosts the servers which are delivered to you over the Internet. To the computers and users it appears the servers are there on your network, and can be interacted with normally when in truth, the servers are actually virtual.

3. Virtual desktop

Much like the virtual server, the virtual desktop is a specific type of VM. In this case, it is a virtually delivered version of an operating system like Windows, Linux or even OS X.

Since the advent of virtual desktops, the idea that companies have to stick with one type of operating system has started to become irrelevant. For example, if you own a Mac and need to access a Windows only program, one solution is to use a virtual version of Windows. If you have access to one, you will be able to run Windows from your Mac without having to physically install it on your computer.

4. Hypervisor

The hypervisor is essentially a small operating system that enables virtualization. Its job is to take physical hardware resources and combine them into a platform that is then delivered virtually to one, or many different users.

5. Host system

The host system, also referred to as the parent, is where the physical hardware and software is installed. These physical components are then copied by the hypervisor and delivered in a virtual state to the user. If you are creating a virtual desktop environment, then the host system will have the desktop’s OS installed on it, along with the necessary software.

6. Guest system

The guest system, also referred to as the child, is where the VM is accessed. To carry the example on from above, the OS that is installed on the host machine is replicated by the hypervisor and the copy is then delivered to the user.

The user can interact with the OS just as they would with the physical host machine, because the guest system is an exact copy of the host. The only difference is, the guest machine is virtual instead of physical.

7. Virtual Infrastructure

When you combine a bunch of different types of VMs together into one solution, including hardware, storage, desktops, and servers you create a virtual infrastructure.

This can then be deployed to businesses who are looking for a completely virtualized solution. The easiest way to think of this is that your whole IT infrastructure is combined into one solution and virtualized. Many companies look for a solution like this because it reduces the need for on-premise hardware, while making it easier for an IT partner to manage.

8. P2V

P2V, or Physical to Virtual, is a term used by IT experts to refer to the act of migrating a physical system to a virtual one. The most common example of P2V is the merging of physical servers into a virtual environment that is hosted on one server.

9. Snapshot

A snapshot is an image of the state of the virtual machine at a specific point of time. This includes all of the data, configurations, and even windows or programs open at that time. Snapshots are used kind of like the Save button on video games – it saves your progress. When you next load up the VM, you will get all of your data, programs, and configurations back.

Snapshots are also kept in case something goes wrong with the VM. You can easily revert back to an older snapshot, one that was taken before the problem.

10. Clone

The action of taking one VM and creating an exact copy that can then be used by another computer or user.

If you are looking to learn more about virtualization, contact us today to see how we can help.

Posted in General Articles B, Virtualization – General | Tagged , , , , , | Comments closed

10 Important virtualization terms

Virtualization_July14_AVirtualization – the act of moving something physical to a digital environment, normally delivered over a network connection – is one of the most beneficial tech concepts, especially for small businesses. For many business owners and managers however, this is a vastly complex concept, that carries with it some confusing terminology. To help, we have come up with a glossary of 10 virtualization terms every owner, manager, and employee should be aware of.

1. Virtual Machine (VM)

You will often hear virtualization experts bandy about the term VM. What they are talking about when they say this is the Virtual Machine. The VM is essentially a virtual representation of the computer on your desk. It can do everything a physical machine does, only everything is virtual and usually delivered over a network connection.

Because VMs are software based, you can often run more than one VM on the same physical machine. This could equate to having say two separate versions of Windows running at the same time, or even running a different operating system, say Windows on your MacBook.

2. Virtual server

A specific type of VM, in this case a server, that is running in a virtual environment. A common setup many offices employ is to have one physical server on premise. This server then hosts separate virtual servers that in turn host different services like email, networking, storage, etc.

Other businesses choose to rely completely on virtual servers. This is where another company hosts the servers which are delivered to you over the Internet. To the computers and users it appears the servers are there on your network, and can be interacted with normally when in truth, the servers are actually virtual.

3. Virtual desktop

Much like the virtual server, the virtual desktop is a specific type of VM. In this case, it is a virtually delivered version of an operating system like Windows, Linux or even OS X.

Since the advent of virtual desktops, the idea that companies have to stick with one type of operating system has started to become irrelevant. For example, if you own a Mac and need to access a Windows only program, one solution is to use a virtual version of Windows. If you have access to one, you will be able to run Windows from your Mac without having to physically install it on your computer.

4. Hypervisor

The hypervisor is essentially a small operating system that enables virtualization. Its job is to take physical hardware resources and combine them into a platform that is then delivered virtually to one, or many different users.

5. Host system

The host system, also referred to as the parent, is where the physical hardware and software is installed. These physical components are then copied by the hypervisor and delivered in a virtual state to the user. If you are creating a virtual desktop environment, then the host system will have the desktop’s OS installed on it, along with the necessary software.

6. Guest system

The guest system, also referred to as the child, is where the VM is accessed. To carry the example on from above, the OS that is installed on the host machine is replicated by the hypervisor and the copy is then delivered to the user.

The user can interact with the OS just as they would with the physical host machine, because the guest system is an exact copy of the host. The only difference is, the guest machine is virtual instead of physical.

7. Virtual Infrastructure

When you combine a bunch of different types of VMs together into one solution, including hardware, storage, desktops, and servers you create a virtual infrastructure.

This can then be deployed to businesses who are looking for a completely virtualized solution. The easiest way to think of this is that your whole IT infrastructure is combined into one solution and virtualized. Many companies look for a solution like this because it reduces the need for on-premise hardware, while making it easier for an IT partner to manage.

8. P2V

P2V, or Physical to Virtual, is a term used by IT experts to refer to the act of migrating a physical system to a virtual one. The most common example of P2V is the merging of physical servers into a virtual environment that is hosted on one server.

9. Snapshot

A snapshot is an image of the state of the virtual machine at a specific point of time. This includes all of the data, configurations, and even windows or programs open at that time. Snapshots are used kind of like the Save button on video games – it saves your progress. When you next load up the VM, you will get all of your data, programs, and configurations back.

Snapshots are also kept in case something goes wrong with the VM. You can easily revert back to an older snapshot, one that was taken before the problem.

10. Clone

The action of taking one VM and creating an exact copy that can then be used by another computer or user.

If you are looking to learn more about virtualization, contact us today to see how we can help.

Posted in General Articles A, Virtualization – General | Tagged , , , , , | Comments closed

RTO & RPO for continuity

BCP_July14_CMetrics are used in nearly every business process, including disaster preparedness and any business continuity plan (BCP) you might have at the ready. Businesses who are looking to ensure that their company will make it through any disaster successfully need to have an effective BCP with metrics like RTO and RPO in place.

While both RTO and RPO are important elements of continuity plans, and they both sound fairly similar, they are actually quite different. In this article we define RTO and RPO and take a look at what the difference is between the two concepts.

RTO defined

RTO, or Recovery Time Objective, is the target time you set for the recovery of your IT and business activities after a disaster has struck. The goal here is to calculate how quickly you need to recover, which can then dictate the type or preparations you need to implement and the overall budget you should assign to business continuity.

If, for example, you find that your RTO is five hours, meaning your business can survive with systems down for this amount of time, then you will need to ensure a high level of preparation and a higher budget to ensure that systems can be recovered quickly. On the other hand, if the RTO is two weeks, then you can probably budget less and invest in less advanced solutions.

RPO defined

RPO, or Recovery Point Objective, is focused on data and your company’s loss tolerance in relation to your data. RPO is determined by looking at the time between data backups and the amount of data that could be lost in between backups.

As part of business continuity planning, you need to figure out how long you can afford to operate without that data before the business suffers. A good example of setting an RPO is to imaging that you are writing an important, yet lengthy, report. Think to yourself that eventually your computer will crash and the content written after your last save will be lost. How much time can you tolerate having to try to recover, or rewrite that missing content?

That time becomes your RPO, and should become the indicator of how often you back your data up, or in this case save your work. If you find that your business can survive three to four days in between backups, then the RPO would be three days (the shortest time between backups).

What’s the main difference between RTO and RPO?

The major difference between these two metrics is their purpose. The RTO is usually large scale, and looks at your whole business and systems involved. RPO focuses just on data and your company’s overall resilience to the loss of it.

While they may be different, you should consider both metrics when looking to develop an effective BCP. If you are looking to improve or even set your RTO and RPO, contact us today to see how our business continuity systems and solutions can help.

Posted in Business Continuity – News & General, General Articles C | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments closed
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