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Kiss Your Website's Ad-free Google Site Search Goodbye

Kiss Your Website's Ad-free Google Site Search Goodbye

If your website uses Google Site Search (GSS), there’s a big change you need to know about.

Starting April 1, 2017, Google will discontinue sales of Google Site Search and instead offer Custom Search Engine (CSE). GSS will completely go away by April 1, 2018.

What’s Google Site Search?

Google Site Search allows you to add a site-specific Google search engine to your website.

There are currently two options available—a free version and a paid version. The paid version is popular because it gives you the option to remove ads and Google branding.

(We always recommend clients use the paid version because the ad-free search results look more professional.)

Google Custom Search ResultsAn example of Google Site Search results

What’s changing?

Your website will automatically convert to Custom Search Engine when your subscription expires or your search quota is exhausted.

  • The good news: Custom Search Engine is free.
  • The bad news: You no longer have the option to remove ads or Google branding.
  • Even worse: Your competitors’ paid advertising could appear in search results on your website.

What else is changing? Compare the old GSS to the new CSE.

What are my on-site search options now?

If your website is affected by this change, you have four options:

  1. Use Custom Search Engine. Hey, it’s free and requires no changes to your site!
  2. Try a cloud-based solution, such as Amazon CloudSearch or Bing Web Search.
  3. Use your content management system’s built-in search function.
  4. Remove search from your site completely.

The best option for you likely depends on the goals of your website, the platform on which your site is built (e.g., Sitefinity, Wordpress, Joomla, Squarespace, custom, etc.), and, potentially, on the capabilities offered by your website company.

Do you need help deciding which search option is best for your website? Reach out.