Google site search discontinued; Time to take back control of your search

An alternative for Google; no ads, no query limits, no branding constraints

Nearly one year ago to the day, Google announced the discontinued support for the Google Search Appliance (GSA).  This month, users of the paid-for Google Site Search (GSS) service are being advised that this product is also being discontinued.

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We’ve always been proud to distinguish our product from our competitors in several key ways namely, security, support, capabilities, and extra features. A sampling of Funnelback offerings that ex-GSS customers will appreciate include:

Security - We are and always have been an Australian developed product, but we also have never felt the commercial pressure to host any of our services overseas. If you are an Australian customer, your data lives in Australia, if you are a UK customer, your data lives in the UK, and if you are a US customer, data lives in the US.

Support - Similarly, our team of experts know the challenges specific to your region because they live and work within your community. You can be sure that we never have and never will outsource support or implementation to third party consultants. In addition to this, you can also “self serve” support through Funnelback Community, where our knowledge base, resources for developers and user forum live.

Capabilities - We have an ‘open’ approach to our software, which means ranking control and the ability to configure capabilities is in your hands, if you want it. Developers familiar with the GSA’s JSON and XML APIs will enjoy familiar RESTful requests and responses from Funnelback’s own Public APIs, whilst search administrators will enjoy access to an easy-to-use Marketing Dashboard for tracking several search success metrics and influencing search behaviours over time.

Beyond expected product features such as synonyms, faceted search, simple auto-completion, search administrators can also take advantage of:

    • > 20 results displayed per response
    • Advanced boolean search syntax (not just OR)
    • Full control over zero results screens
    • Refinement styles beyond links and tabs
    • Tailored result collapsing signatures to prevent near-duplicates
    • Promotions inside auto-completions
    • Curated triggers and actions
    • Tailored result ranking profiles
    • Parallel searches
    • Structured annotations via external metadata
    • Contextual navigation for disambiguation
    • Facet counts
    • Recommender APIs
    • Admin APIs

Happily, our CMS has a partner product called Funnelback, which is a kick-ass search engine (originally developed by Australia’s CSIRO, who also invented Wifi), so when the GSA comes to end of life we’ve got a ready switch. Even now, we use Funnelback to construct pages in our CMS dynamically based on metadata and the level of control is excellent. If you’re looking for a ‘real’ search engine - 9/10 would recommend.

Andrew Harris The University of Melbourne

If you're looking for flashy

If you're looking to move beyond the basics, each and every day our dedicated R&D team works on improving our product with innovative capabilities designed to boost your customer experience and make your business more efficient. A couple of examples are:

  • Search Powered Content; build dynamic web pages or sections of pages with Funnelback to keep your visitors up to date with all your latest content automatically.
  • The Concierge; a multi-stream auto-completion tool that bypasses the search results page and sends your user directly to the right content.
  • The Curator; targeted and timed promotion of results that can be personalized based on known user details and history.
  • Search Sessions; a ‘shopping basket’ type favouriting system where user's can save their recent searches for easy comparison next time.
  • Social Media integrations; incorporating posts from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Flickr, You Tube (with Instagram, SoundCloud and Vimeo coming) that are relevant to the search query.
  • The Content Auditor; as part of our Auditor Suite, the Content Auditor helps you understand and control all of your content through one interface. Select from our proven set of audits or customise your own.

Added extras

Funnelback also ships with lots of extras that promote better insights to help our customers align their design and content with their strategic business objectives. The best bit is, with a Funnelback licence, all these products are included in your one annual fee.

Migration considerations

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Funnelback’s flexible templating engine and user interface hook scripts support the rapid deployment of XML/JSON requests and responses that replicate the GSS XML DTD.  This approach will allow developers to ‘lift and shift’, but prevents administrators and end-users from taking advantage of enriched Funnelback functionality. It also enables quick turn around times on deployments, meaning you keep your the continuity of your search service.

Migrate and extend

Naturally, Funnelback’s default ranking algorithm will vary from other vendors’, but the Search Tuning Dashboard provides content owners an opportunity to drive a human-assisted approach to machine learning for search optimization, giving you a set of weighting parameters tailored to your users, your content and your business goals.

Tapping into Funnelback’s powerful gathering and filtering pipelines will also allow you to take advantage of content that lives separately from your website, or content that might not exist in web-crawlable formats.  Take control over cleaning and enriching your content as part of the migration exercise to break out of the traditional ‘black box’ search mentality.

Conformance, compliance and SLA's

Funnelback’s experience in delivering and supporting large-scale, tailored search solutions without compromising on conformance and regulation requirements makes us well suited to organizations looking for low-maintenance, fast-deployment, high-quality platforms.  Uptime and performance for your site search should be as important as the rest of your website.

Our hosted search clients enjoy the benefits of running regularly-upgraded versions of our core software - new features and functionality in stable builds can be made available to hosted customers within very short timeframes.

Chat to us about migrating your service!

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