Each Rollyo, as the personalized search engines are known, is accessed through the Rollyo Web site, and then scours up to 25 Web sites of your own choosing.
Rollyos can be made for private use, or opened to the general Internet public should you so choose, according to details Pell has made available since Wednesday when a Beta version of Rollyo was released.
"The site is about enabling people to search the sites they already know and trust and to help them find useful search engines created by others with a passion and/or expertise around a topic," Pell wrote in an e-mail to eWeek.com. "This was a tool that we wanted to use ourselves and it looks, so far, like others are sharing our enthusiasm."
Building your own Internet search engine is not a new concept; in fact, major search providers let users do essentially the same thing by limiting inquiries to specific Web sites. But to do so involves a familiarity with the language of search inquiry most people dont possess.
Rollyo front-loads all that work; the only heavy lifting for consumers is finding, then listing, all the Web addresses they want to search.
"Its kind of like building our own Google," said Gary Price, news editor of the Searchenginewatch.com Web site.
But Price and a bevy of search Webloggers note that Rollyo has drawbacks. For one, each Rollyo scours the database of just one search engine, in this case Yahoo Inc.s, for its search results.
"Right now, we are very pleased with our relationship with Yahoo," Pell said in an e-mail to eWEEK.com. "I dont have any specific plans to add more search engines in the near term."
And it remains to be seen whether people will take to searching other peoples favorite Web sites for information. Would you, for instance, want to scour Splendora, a style forecaster thats part of a style-seeking Rollyo contributed by Debra Messing, star of the television show "Will & Grace"?
Another negative is Rollyo does not search beyond a Web sites first page, so sub-layers go unexplored.
"It is perfect? No," Searchenginewatchs Price said during an interview Friday. "But its a great concept."