Google Custom Search Engines (CSEs) have a new tablet-centric Control Panel. It’s not good news. As usual with such tea-boy tinkering, it’s a big step backwards and not just in the user interface. It removes absolutely vital features needed to manage a CSE of any size.
There are two major problems with the new Control Panel.
1. A key and vital feature of the old Panel was the ability to quickly check (‘Filter’) what you had in your URL list, before adding a new URL. You’d paste or type in part of an URL, and instantly see if you already have it in the list.
This vital feature has been removed in the new Panel. There is no longer any ‘Filter’ option, anywhere.
2. I’ve also looked all over the new Control Panel, and it appears that Google have shut down the ability to export your URL list to an .XML file. This is what you had before…
This is another vital feature, which is now nowhere to be found anywhere in the new Panel.
Regrettably, the notice today is that: “The legacy Control Panel is still available but will be removed in the future.”
Thus, back up your CSE’s .XML annotations (i.e. the URL list) now, before it’s too late.
Without the vital “Filter” option, having a local .XML of the URLs will be the only way to quickly check what’s in your CSE. Indeed, it will be the only way to see the whole of what is in your CSE at all.
With the removal of these two vital features, Google is effectively set to “freeze” all larger Google CSEs. Because old URLs in a large CSE will no longer be able to be found and updated. They can’t be re-found for fixing, even if you know they’re in there (because you have the .XML spreadsheet with the full list). Thus, your CSE can no longer be maintained over time.