silhouette of person waving goodbye
Sales of Google Site Search will stop April 1. PHOTO: deargdoom57

Google Site Search — the widely deployed tool designed to bring the power of Google’s search engine to any website — is on its death bed.

Google confirmed sales of Google Site Search (GSS) will stop April 1, 2017 and the product itself will disappear on April 1, 2018.

In the meantime, existing customers can keep using GSS for the life of their current license.

Google Informed GSS Customers

Google broke the news in an email to its 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.”

Interestingly, this isn’t the first search product to get the axe from Google in recent memory. In Feb. 2016, news broke of Google’s decision to discontinue Google Search Appliance.

Google Site Search Alternatives

Although Google is giving users time to grieve over GSS before they finally pull the plug, evaluating the best Google Site Search alternatives is a task worth doing sooner rather than later.

As the product nears the end of its life, Google are encouraging Google Site Search users to migrate to two of their other offerings: the ad-powered (and thus free) Google custom search engine, or the newly released Google Cloud search product which comes bundled with G Suite.

Google’s custom search engine solution is free, and delivers many of the same benefits found with GSS. As the name suggests, developers can craft a custom search engine with its own design and features. However, it forces the use of display ads, which is often a deal breaker for enterprises.

Google Cloud Search on the other hand is Google’s solution for internal searches. It’s capable of sifting through an entire deployment of G Suite, including Gmail, Calendar, Docs, Sheets and Slides, to find whatever it is you may be looking for.

Google Cloud Search is available to companies using the Business and Enterprise editions of G Suite, and boasts its own mobile app that helps keep you in the know about upcoming meetings, updated documents and new emails.

If you’re considering a move away from Google search products altogether, the following products are worthy options to consider:

  • AWS CloudSearch: Amazon’s answer to GSS is managed via the AWS Cloud and supports over 30 languages out of the box
  • SwiftType: aims to simplify searches for data across services like Salesforce, G Suite, Office 365 and Dropbox
  • SearchBlox: an enterprise search solution seen by many as a replacement for the late Google Search Appliance
  • Cludo: another enterprise site searching solution with an analytics engine baked in