In a recent statement sent out to customers and partners, Google has confirmed their decision to discontinue support for Google Site Search. Originally introduced in 2008, Google Site Search allows users to power their internal search engine using Google’s search technology. As a paid product, Google charges customers based on the volume of searches made each year. With this pricing model, smaller sites or blogs that could expect around 20,000 searches a year would pay $100, while larger, higher-traffic sites may choose half a million queries for $2000. Companies that needed searches beyond that number had to contact Google for pricing quotes.
As part of the discontinuation, Google will stop selling licenses and renewals as of April 1, 2017. By the fourth quarter of 2017, however, the company will completely end support of Google Site Search.
For those who rely heavily on Site Search for their websites, Google has recommended an alternative, directing those customers to their new Cloud Search or their free custom search engine. In their statement, however, a Google spokesperson assured current customers that, though they are winding down the service, they will provide technical and customer support throughout the duration of the license agreements. For those whose contracts end between April 1 and June 30, Google will be providing a three-month extension at no additional cost. This is to allow those customers the time they need to make changes to their site and implement an alternative.
The discontinuation of Google Site Search shouldn’t necessarily come as a shock to those who are familiar with other past Google products. Just over a year ago, Google announced similar plans to wind down Google Search Appliance – a product introduced in 2002 that allowed companies to use Google’s search technology internally to search documents by name, dates and other data. Looking to shake things up, Google appears to be separating its ad-based technology from it’s G Suite-based, enterprise technology. G Suite is Google’s collection of productivity tools that includes a word processor, spreadsheet and email app. The service competes directly with Microsoft Office and requires a monthly fee.