Friday, March 21, 2008 and Google Custom Search is a a leading provider of information about mortgages in the UK. We recently asked Peter Walker, their CTO, about their experience using Google Custom Search Business Edition.

Google: Tell us about why needed a search engine.
Peter: Buying a home for the first time, moving house or refinancing your existing mortgage are some of the biggest financial decisions the average consumer makes, and we want to get it right. The web has revolutionised the way we research and transact when we travel, insure a car or buy a new gizmo.

The problem we all face is how to turn the mass of data out there into useful information to help us all make informed choices, and search for the heart of the answer. Here at, we don’t believe in best buy tables, long lists of options, or pushing a viewer into making a choice.

We have over 3,500 pages of the latest news and information (growing daily) to help our visitors increase their knowledge and become better informed, with real people standing by to provide advice and guidance.

The problem we faced, with such a vast amount of content, was how to help the viewer to find the information they needed and find it quickly. We needed a search engine for our site.

Google: What technology did Custom Search Business edition replace and why?
Peter: We tried the search / index solutions that come with Microsoft IIS web server. We also tested costly specialist search software, but then we found Google Custom Search Business Edition.

Google: What benefits have you derived from using CSBE?
Peter: The results of using Google Custom Search were instant. Viewers who had been grappling with the depth of content on our site could suddenly jump directly to the information they wanted, displayed in a way they knew and loved. Page views per visitor have increased by as much as 8%, and conversions per visitor are up by as much to 16% since visitors are finding what they need.

Google: What features of CSBE do you appreciate most and why?
Peter: The setup could not have been easier. We also appreciate the simplicity and that search results show the viewer - the most important person to us - results in a way they are already comfortable with.

Google: What's been the overall impact of using Google CSBE on your website?
Peter: It's been terrific, we would not have expected changing something as simple as search would have such a positive impact on use of the site.