In this article we will talk about Google site search, why it was in existence, and how it compares to expertrec given that google site search is coming to an end shortly. We will also discuss what are the other available options- of course, expertrec is not the only option, (we are not going to ask you only to use expertrec) and we will end up with why at expertrec we have a great alternative for your google site search. We will answer any questions in the comments section below.
Why Google site search is a great tool?
If in case you are reading this article, I’m sure you must have had some experience using the google site search. This section is just to make sure that we are all starting on the same page.
No coding: One of the great things about Google site search is that it enables you to add a search engine on your website just by adding a snippet of code to your website.
Crawler: Google’s crawler will identify data to crawl according to the index. you need not spend time building your own crawler.
Simplified UI: Once you add the code snippet to your website, it is just a matter of choosing a pre-built layout from your control panel.
Where does Google site search fall short?
Navigation – When you go to Amazon, you might have found a lot of facets and price sidebars to help drill-down and refine your search results. This is not available in Google site search
Content update– You cannot control the refresh rate of your website search. You could go to the google search console and do a fetch as Google, but you can do this only a limited number of times. Some customers even have complained of having to wait 24 hours for the indexing to complete.
Relevance– The ranking algorithm used is the same across websites. Relevance rules might change across domains and businesses. GSS lets u tune relevancy using keywords and scores, but it is pretty limited. Every business might want to promote results by signals that they think are important.
Credits-Running out of credits and having to top up was also one of the main pain points amongst customers.
Coming to an end: So Google has announced no new subscriptions as of April 2017 and GSS to be completely shut down as of April 1st, 2018.
Options for replacing GSS:
While looking for alternatives- you might want to look while looking for GSS alternatives-
- Upfront costs and running costs.
- Hidden costs
- Ease of Use.
- Technical skills for integration
Google custom search the free option? Results are polluted with ads and UI is pretty low in features.
Hosted site search: Swiftype, search box, etc (see my article here for more options)
Search API providers: Powerful and flexible.
Open source solutions: Solr, Elastic search, etc. You have to build everything from scratch, but obviously, the sky is the limit and you can build whatever you want. Of course, this depends on your in-house resources and project timeline.
The Expertrec Alternative
Expertrec is a hosted search engine with a core focus on
- Great search UX for end-users.
- (Search relevance, speed, and ease of use).
- Ease of integration on any device (mobile, desktop, tablets)
- Robust infrastructure (99.99% SLA uptime ).
Expertrec’s google site search alternative strengths:
- Real-time updates (show fresh content to users)
- Visual dashboard (easily fine-tune and optimize relevance)
- Easy to implement API (Developers can easily get a search up and running).
- Custom crawler capabilities.
- API based implementation (keep control of your data).
- Quickly build site search (business owners with no coding skills can easily set up search as well)