It’s the end of an era at Google. If you’ve been using the company’s “Site Search” service—beware— it’s shutting down. Google has already stopped selling new licenses and renewals for the service, will stop supporting it by the end of the year, and the product will completely shut down April 1, 2018.
Here’s what you need to know:
Google Site Search (GSS) allowed users to apply the power of Google’s search technology to your specific site. It’s being phased out for Google’s Custom Search Engine (CSE).
What Do I Need to Know About CSE?
CSE is a free service that will search the entire web for what you’re looking for, and users will also see ads (maybe even your competitors’ ads!) pop up between search results. There are other significant differences, too, so CSE may not suit your needs.
What Are My Options?
You’re free to use GSS until the spring, or until the search queries you’ve already paid for run out. When you do run out, your account will "automatically convert" to CSE.
However, if you are not keen on waiting for your site to break or potentially showing your competitor’s ads within search results, it’s time to switch to a new search technology. (While it may work for smaller websites, forgoing search on your site is not a good option if you have a website that is more than a few pages or have already invested in inbound marketing. Search functionality is an important element of a well-designed website that provides a good user experience.)
Kuno did the homework for you and found Site Search 360 is one option that offers many of the same advantages GSS. Pricing varies, but for $39.00 a month you get 10,000 searches per month, 3,000 pages indexed and sitemap support, among other features.
Dave uses the skills that won him three Emmy Awards as a television news producer to create compelling content for our clients. Dave honed his email, blog and social media writing skills in the Corporate Communications Department at Cleveland Clinic.