For the past several years we here at Zipline Interactive have been heavy users of Google Site Search. With the recent death of Google Site Search, we have been testing other search solutions to try to determine which will be our preferred solution moving forward. For many customers, the price is a major factor so this list of Alternatives to Google Site Search is ranked based on value/ease for the dollar.
We are going to start with Google Custom Search Engine because it is fairly easy to transfer from Google Site Search to Google Custom Search Engine but we aren’t ranking it because it is a different, ad-supported product that won’t work for the majority of businesses due to its ad-supported nature.
Google Custom Search Engine
Google Custom Search Engine offers very similar functionality to the Google Site Search but comes with a major disadvantage: ads. If you’re not a nonprofit or school then you’ll be stuck with ads. On the plus side, you can monetize the ads by connecting your Adsense account, but you’ll still likely be advertising for competitors.
(Free – $899/month | https://www.algolia.com/product) Algolia is a powerful search engine with a number of great options and a robust developer API. It boasts a number of features including typo-tolerance, geo search, synonyms, language-agnostic, filters and facets, advanced language processing, custom ranking, and personalization. Algolia offers a free version that supports up to 10,000 records and 100k ops per month, but it comes branded for Algolia.
2. Site Search 360
(Free – $99/month | https://sitesearch360.com/#features) – A fast and flexible site search that offers complete CSS customization to integrate seamlessly with your website. With customizable search results and an easy integration, Site Search 360 is a good choice.
($79/month+ | https://swiftype.com/site-search) – Swiftype Site Search is a powerful website search engine that is built on an advanced search algorithm. In tests, it delivers good results for even complicated queries and includes useful features like spelling correction, bigram matching, stemming, synonyms, and phrase matching.
4. Apache Lucene Solr
(Free | http://lucene.apache.org/solr/features.html) A very powerful search tool trusted by some large brands. Offering full-text search, support for high volume, data import via XML, JSON, and HTTP, comprehensive administration interfaces, scalability, geospatial searching, and near real-time indexing. Solr is a great solution but it requires you to have access to a Solr server. You can set one up or add Solr to an existing server, or there are a number of hosted options. I found one here https://opensolr.com/solr_manager/ordering that has an index for as low as $10/month.
5. Amazon CloudSearch
(Use based – $50/year+ | https://aws.amazon.com/cloudsearch/) – Amazon CloudSearch is an extremely powerful search engine with a major disadvantage. As of now, it does not come with a built-in crawler. This means that you will have to supply all of the data that Amazon will search from in XML or JSON. This will require a developer and a fair amount of effort. A newer option is to combine Cloud with the open source crawler from Norconex. (https://www.norconex.com/an-open-source-crawler-for-amazon-cloudsearch/)
6. Google ElasticSearch
($35/month+ | https://console.cloud.google.com/launcher/details/click-to-deploy-images/elasticsearch) – Built on Apache Lucene, similar to Solr, ElasticSearch is a robust solution for distributed real-time search and analytics. Setup is a bit more challenging than with many of the SASS providers but it does a great job.
7. Expertrec Search Engine
($5/month+ | https://expertrec.com/) – A powerful search tool with real-time cloud-based predictive search, product recommendations, spell correction, synonyms, machine learning, and analytics.
($29-$499/month | http://www.addsearch.com/features/) – AddSearch is a decent replacement for Google Search Engine, especially for smaller websites. For $29/month you can support up to 1000 pages of content. The search is fast, installation is easy, and statistics are available.
($199-$399/month | https://www.cludo.com/en/features/) – A customizable search engine complete with spell check, search as you type, analytics and much more.
(Free? | http://zoomd.com/) – We haven’t been able to find reliable information on the exact pricing and integration of Zoomd online. We tested the demo on a website I own and it seems very promising and easy to setup. It appears to have an ad supported system with revenue sharing, but we’ve ranked it near the bottom due to lack of information.
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