Google Site Search: important news



Over half a million businesses across the globe use Google Site Search. This paid-for product allows business owners to benefit from the powerful Google search technology on their own website.

With Google Site Search, customers can search and quickly find what they’re looking for within a website. It’s not a ‘one size fits all’ product – website owners can effectively customize Google Site Search to their requirements. Pricing is based on monthly query volumes and it’s very affordable. However…


Google Site Search will soon be no more

If you already use Google Site Search, you should have received an email from Google’s Enterprise Search Team. If not, here’s what you need to know:

  1. Renewals will no longer be possible after April 1 this year
  2. You will continue to receive customer and technical support for as long as your license remains
  3. For anyone considering installing Google Site Search for the first time, this will not be possible from April 1

Google has provided some assistance for those whose license expires shortly after April
1. Here’s what they say: “For GSS users whose contract expires between April 1st and June 30th, 2017, we are providing a free 3-month extension with additional query volume to allow more time for them to implement the necessary changes to their site.”

Time for Custom Search Engine?

At the end of your license, Google Site Search will automatically revert to the free version: Custom Search Engine (CSE). This provides similar search capabilities, but has a number of key drawbacks. Most importantly, CSE does not allow you to remove ads. You cannot disable Google branding, and there’s no email support, just the user forum. There’s full information about the differences between Google Site Search and CSE here.

Naturally, the vast majority of businesses will be looking for a paid alternative that allows them to remove ads and customize the search engine to the look and feel of their own websites.

Google Site Search completely shuts down from April 1, 2018 (and sooner depending on when your license expires, as explained above). So, what are the alternatives?

There are a number of options, each with their own benefits and potential drawbacks. Cloud Search from Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Bing from Microsoft Azure are powerful cloud-based solutions offering similar functionality to Google Site Search, but they can be tricky to implement.

Server-side options are easier, but only really suitable for websites with low traffic and limited search requirements.

We’re currently helping our customers transition from Google Site Search to an alternative. If you’re unsure about which way to turn, don’t hesitate to get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.

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