Rollyo created a decent amount of buzz back in 2006 when it launched as the place for “custom search engines” — letting users create their own custom search engine by inputting their own URLs and letting them customize it. Topicle looks to have another shot at the concept creating a community around it and focusing equally on the user-searching aspect as they do on the user-creation.
As they state, you can do three things on the website: Search, Contribute, and Create.
As an ordinary user, you can go through the community’s search engines by organizing them by popularity or recency and conducting a query on the search engine that you want to. As of this post, some of the most popular search engines include ones for GPS tracking, recipe blogs, and Warcraft 3.
You can also contribute to Topicle by rating the URLs — or the indexed sources in a particular search engines — improving the overall ranking of results for queries in that search engine.
Obviously, the other and most important aspect is creating. In a very easy step, by providing the “search engine name” and a “few suitable URLs.” After that, you can enter additional URLs and just like that, you’ve created your first serch engine.
Topicle is undoubtedly a neat idea, as is its predecessor Rollyo, but I still fail to see how these types of services are supposed to create a dent in the search space. With millions and billions of dollars invested, Google and others have the market nailed, and unless the fundamentals of the web change — I’m not sure we’ll be seeing a lot of people using these kinds of services. Of course, if you’re a site or blog owner and you want to put up a widget of a search engine in your field with your selection of URLs on the sites, that’s another thing and in those cases, Rollyo and Topicle will deem as extremely useful.