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What Does the End of Google Site Search Mean For Your Website?

Death of Google Site Search

For many people, Google is synonymous with the internet. Whether we’re performing searches, sending email, storing and sharing documents, watching videos, or taking part in any number of other integral parts of our online lives, Google plays a major role in what we do.

One way that Google’s influence extends beyond what we are often aware of is through the use of Google Site Search (GSS). Many organizations use this tool to implement Google’s powerful search technology within their website, ensuring that their users will be able to find the information they are looking for.

With so many sites relying on Google Site Search, the recent news that Google will be discontinuing support for this service has caused considerable consternation for many site owners. GSS will no longer be available for sale after April 1, 2017, and the product will be discontinued completely on April 1, 2018. However, Google will continue to offer their free Custom Search Engine, which provides similar functionality while retaining Google’s branding and including ads in the search results that it provides.

With the discontinuation of GSS, many organizations are wondering whether they should switch to another site search provider. We wanted to take a look at the options that are available for site owners who are using best of breed CMS platforms to manage their website:

Ektron

Episerver

HubSpot

Since HubSpot’s default search provider is Google, the discontinuation of GSS is a problem for any organization that uses the HubSpot Website Platform. It will still be possible to use the Google-branded Custom Search Engine as mentioned above, and there are also a variety of search providers available, such as Swiftype.

In order to fill this need for HubSpot users, WSOL has developed a native integration of the Fess Search Server for HubSpot that coalesces search results from a site and any existing subdomains. This integration uses ElasticSearch-based indexing and offers either cloud-based or on-premises hosting options. If your HubSpot site is currently using Google Site Search, this might be the solution for you; please contact us for more details.

While the end of Google Site Search might cause a shakeup in how your website handles search, there are plenty of options available to ensure that your users are able to find what they are looking for on your site. If you need help figuring out which of these options is best for you, please contact us, and we’ll work with you to implement your ideal search solution.

About the Author

Chris Osterhout
Chris Osterhout
Chris rose through the ranks of website development, ASP.NET architecture, project management and team leadership, to overall digital solution strategy management. As VP of Business Strategy, Chris helps clients understand the entire digital spectrum and guides them toward successful online solutions. Chris is a recognized expert on the Ektron / EPiServer CMS platforms and publishes, speaks and provides general thought leadership to clients and the greater web development community alike.
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