Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Google Site Search Discontinued

Barb Darrow (Hacker News):

This spring, Google plans to discontinue Google Site Search, a product it has sold to web publishers that wanted to apply the industry’s leading search technology to their own sites.


Once a customer’s allocation of search queries is exhausted, the account will “automatically convert” to the company’s Custom Search Engine, or CSE for short.


CSE is a free, advertising-supported version of Google’s search technology, that provides similar features and functions to GSS, according to the email.

This is disappointing. The e-mail that I received seemed to suggest that I should look into Google Cloud Search, but that’s a totally different product. To provide a search engine for my Web site, I would need to switch to CSE. Years ago, I switched from CSE to GSS because I wanted a better user experience and no ads. CSE devotes much more of the page to ads than a regular Google search; on my 30-inch display, the actual search results from my site start more than halfway down. Now, Google apparently would rather show ads than let me keep paying for GSS.

I’m not sure yet what I’ll do. I have been using DuckDuckGo’s search for this blog, but when I tried it on the C-Command site the results were much worse (less relevant and incomplete) than Google’s. However, that was a while ago, so perhaps it’s better now.

See also: Barry Schwartz.

Update (2017-02-22): There are also changes to CSE.

Update (2018-07-20): Google (via John Gordon):

We are excited to announce an expansion of our Custom Search Engine offerings. We offer the following implementation options for Custom Search Engine.

2 Comments RSS · Twitter

I wish Google would give people the option of paying for their services. I know I would pay $100 a year just to know my Gmail, Calendar, Contacts, Voice Number, etc were in it for the long haul. And to not sell my info to other companies or show me ads. Google has a reputation of just canceling products out of the blue –– see: Google Reader.

I strongly assume the answer to this is "no", but does this mean Google is also EOL'ing manual site searches done by end-users?

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