Google is shutting down Site Search, a service enabling website owners to deliver Google-like search on their sites.
Google describes Site Search as “the same search technology that powers Google.com to your website, delivering relevant results with lightning speed.”
All sales of the nine-year-old product will be discontinued as of April 1, meaning both new purchases and renewals must take place before this date. Site Search will be shuttered completely by April 1, 2018.
According to a report from Fortune, once a customer’s account runs out, it will “automatically convert” to the company’s free Custom Search Engine (CSE). CSE offers an almost identical service to Site Search, but it is ad supported.
Obviously, the ad-supported CSE is more lucrative for Google than Site Search subscriptions. For instance, blog owners paid a $100 fee annually for 20,000 queries, while medium-sized businesses paid $2,000 each year to support 500,000 queries. Advertisers certainly would be paying far more than that each year. And the more people and businesses that use CSE, the more ads Google will be able to sell.
Whether the change will be appreciated by Site Search customers, however, remains to be seen. It is likely these webmasters and businesses chose Site Search because it did not inundate their customers or readership with annoying ads.
Google told Fortune that Site Search customers should “study the differences between the two products and that those who do not want to move to CSE can remove their existing search engine.”
Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.