Google Site Search Retires, Now What?

google site search retirement

Displayed on Google’s Enterprise Search site: On April 1, 2017, Google will discontinue sales of the Google Site Search. All new purchases and renewals must take place before this date. The product will be completely shut down by April 1, 2018.

So, the question is why is Google forcing Site Search into early retirement? Rumors span from Google no longer wanting to provide support for a paid intra-site search service to the fact that the free service, called Google Custom Search—which will not be discontinued—is actually better for the company’s financials because they’ve added sponsored ads to it.

My guess is the latter because everything comes down to money. Rather than the $100/month that most sites pay for the Enterprise version of Site Search, Google makes a lot more on AdWords ads that now appear within intra-site search results on the free custom version.

What Google Site Search Retirement Means For Your Site

If you use the paid enterprise version of Google Site Search, you will no longer have that option so you’ll need to find an alternative. If your site currently uses the free version, find an alternate immediately because your competitors’ ads could be appearing on your site as we speak. Here’s an example:

google site search

Alternatives to Site Search and Custom Site Search

AddSearch (addsearch.com)—$269/year for up to 1200 webpages; Automatically re-crawls your site, no ads, social site integration and SSL support.

Algolia (algolia.com)—$49/mo, after free trial; Simple set-up especially on WordPress, accepts JSON feed of search records.

Apache Solr ( lucene.apache.org/solr )—FREE; Runs on your own web server, which means your team needs to have access to install it directly on your server.

Author: Kelly Campbell
Kelly Campbell is an Agency Growth Consultant based in New York. A former digital agency owner for 15 years, she helps creative and tech agencies transform—focusing on people, positioning, pipeline and profitability. Kelly is also an IA/SEO consultant to Facebook and NASA. She writes for Website Magazine, speaks at digital marketing and agency growth conferences across the U.S., and has been featured in The New York Times, Woman Entrepreneur and Forbes. She is the host of THRIVE: Your Agency Resource, a bi-weekly video podcast sponsored by Workamajig that helps agency owners navigate growth.

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