Google Site Search Wind down, what’s next.


How can I migrate from Google Site Search

As Google intimated their customers, Google Site Search (abbreviated as GSS) or the Paid version of Custom Search is going to get wind down in March 2018. So, what are the available options or alternatives for GSS? What can be done to make sure that your search engine is up and running even after the downgrade.

Before you hop in please see the differences between GSS and CSE.

Here are some things you need to go through :

1. My Paid search engine or GSS is expired, what happens now?

One your search engine is expired it can get downgraded to Free CSE in few days. Once it is a Free CSE, it will show ads in your search results. There is no need to make any changes in the code that you have implemented in your website as the Custom Search Element code is capable of working on the fly. Any changes done in the GSS Control Panel will take effect automatically with out making any changes in the GSS Custom Search Element code again.

If you are using XML or JSON Code, please see the 3rd point below.

2. I do not want ads on my search engine.

Please note if you do not want to have ads on your search engine, there are two ways, either you should be a non-profit/under 501(c)(3) tax exemption or use Custom Search JSON API from Google Cloud Console.

If you come under non-profits or tax exempted 501(c)(3) as mentioned in this link, you are eligible to disable ads on your free CSE. All you need to do is to select the second option in GSS Control Panel > Business > Settings tab. Google might ask you to display proofs of you being a non-profit or an organization exempted under 501(c)(3).

Click here for the Eligibility guidelines for being non-profit country wise.

3. I am using XML API, what happens when GSS wind down happen?

Please note that Google Site Search has in-build XML and JSON APIs. These are connected with GSS and will get wind down along with GSS. So, the alternative is to migrate your XML to Custom Search JSON API available in Google Cloud Console. This JSON API is almost similar to the JSON API available in the GSS. The documentation related to this Custom Search JSON API is the same that is for the GSS JSON API. The major difference between using this and the Custom Search Element code from Free CSE is that, this API will not display any ads.

The only difference is the API Key. In Google Site Search, you can find the JSON API Key in the GSS Control Panel. But for using Custom Search JSON API, you need to get the key from Cloud Console. To get the key, just navigate to this page and click on “GET A KEY” button.

Here is the sample JSON URL to get the JSON response:

You need to replace the “key” and “cx” with your own key and cx id in the above URL.

If you need help with this implementation, please write to us and we can help you out.

4. Are there any other alternatives to Google Site Search.

As of now Google do not have any other product and the only alternative is the Free CSE. But, you can visit their partners who can help you in finding any similar search solutions.

So, there is nothing to panic about Google Site Search going away, we have alternatives as mentioned above.
Need more help ?? Comment below.

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