Google will cease sales of its Google Site Search product on April 1, 2017. Current customers will still be able to use the product on their sites throughout the remainder of their license. The product is set to be completely removed from the web by April 1, 2018.
This news was delivered via e-mail to Google Site Search customers:
“We are winding down the Google Site Search product over the next year, but will provide customer and technical support through the duration of license agreements.
“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. GSS customers may also take advantage of our Custom Search Engine solution, an ads-supported model that offers similar functionality.
“We continue to build out new functionality and invest in new technology that make enterprise search a great experience for our customers. Just recently, we introduced the general availability of Google Cloud Search for G Suite customers.”
Alternatives to Google Site Search
Regardless of how long the rest of your license is set to last, if Google Site Search is a product you value having on your website it’s best to start looking into some alternatives now before Google leaves you in the dust.
Google Custom Search
Google has not revealed plans to do away with Google Custom Search any time soon, so for now it is still a viable alternative. Google Custom Search can be described as an ad-supported version of Google Site Search, albeit with some limitations.
Some of the key differences involve Custom Search searching the entire web, as well as pages on your own site. There is no option to remove Google’s branding, and it comes with no tech support from Google. With that being said it is completely free to use, whereas Site Search was $100/year minimum.
Google Cloud Search
Google Cloud Search comes bundled with the Business and Enterprise editions of G Suite, and is currently one of the best alternatives at the moment for internal search. It’s capable of searching through the entire G Suite to find what you need, including Gmail, Calendar, Docs, Sheets and Slides
If you don’t mind using the services of another search provider altogether, there’s always Amazon CloudSearch. CloudSearch can best be described as Amazon’s answer to the soon-to-be defunct Google Site Search. It’s a scalable search solution for your website or application, with support for 34 languages.