I have created a rudimentary Custom Google Search Engine for searching major Canadian law firm websites. As many of you know, there are often excellent newsletters and other bulletins on the law firm websites, especially on new or recent areas of law or important court decisions.
Readers of SLAW are encouraged to try it and provide feedback (make it a “Favourite” or a “Bookmark”). If anyone is willing to work on improving it, let me know and I can “invite” you as a contributor. Ideally, one of our colleagues in an academic law library in Canada would take ownership of this type of customized search engine since Google search engines customized by Universities are eligible for “ad-free” sites (the foregoing link includes Google ads as part of the search results, something which I would prefer to do without).
I have tried experimenting with some of the advanced features to “tweak” better results but have instead reverted to having the search engine search the entire law firm website. The disadvantage of searching the entire website, however, is that you get law firm marketing material in some of your results. However, I found when I tried limiting the search to only the publication pages of law firms, the search results were too narrow and the advanced customization features were initially too daunting for me since I don’t have a lot of time right now to learn these advanced features.
I chose larger law firm websites based on Lexpert rankings.
I debated including Canadian law society websites or Canadian law school law library websites. What do people think? Is it worth including all of these in a single search engine or would you keep them separate?
If this posting motivates anyone to new and better ideas, feel free to take over my initial efforts.