Mountain View, California-based Google has added several new features to its custom search engine that create new opportunities for search engine optimization (SEO).

Custom search, which businesses can use to search only a set range of data – a company website, for example – will now include an integrated Wikipedia search, allowing users to narrow down the results they receive from a custom search. The new functions should drastically enhance convenience, since custom search boxes also appear next to participating websites in standard Google results.

More fully-featured custom search could be especially advantageous for search engine optimization (SEO) professionals working on large websites with a lot of content, according to experts. Custom search could improve the ability of users to get straight to the content they want without clicking through an intermediary home page. Custom search will also offer improved layout options, including single- and double-column layout.

Custom search is not the only Google product to see upgrades in recent days, as the company rolled out music search and similar image search for its flagship search engine.

Katherine Griwert is Brafton's Marketing Director. She's practiced content marketing, SEO and social marketing for over five years, and her enthusiasm for new media has even deeper roots. Katherine holds a degree in American Studies from Boston College, and her writing is featured in a number of web publications.