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Google Custom Search vs Site Search: Which One is Better?

Generally, when website owners hear about Google Custom Search and Site Search, they feel that both are the same. However, here they are making mistakes. They integrate Google’s on-site search solution without giving a second thought and realizing there are noteworthy differences between the two of them.

These differences can create a significant impact on the UX, user engagement, user retention rate, and the bottom line. Therefore, if you want to understand the difference between GCS and GSS, then this blog is for you.

In this blog, we will shed light on how Google Custom Search and Google Site Search is different from each other, along with their advantages and disadvantages.

Therefore, without further ado, let us get started – Google Custom Search vs Site Search.

What is Google Custom Search?

Google Custom Search, which is also known as Programmable Search Engine these days is a Google service that lets website owners integrate a custom search box to their website. GCS was initially launched in 2006 and was renamed to Google Programmable Search Engine.

The main aim of Google Custom Search is providing an improved browsing experience to website users. In Google Custom Search, the website users do not need to leave a site when they want to run a query. The Google Custom Search function you can add to any types of websites from intranet to blogs.

Advantages of Google Custom Search

  • In GSS, users who perform a search query usually get high-quality results. It is because GSS relies on Google’s core search technology.
  • This platform is fully customizable. You can customize it entirely from its functionality to appearance.
  • If you use this platform’s pre-built themes, then its set up is relatively straightforward.
  • If you want to collect the user behaviour data, then you can connect GCS to Google Analytics.
  • You can filter out your competitor’s ads.

Disadvantages of Google Custom Search

  • In GCS, you cannot remove Google branding.
  • You will not get any technical support.
  • When you use GCS, you will not get XML API access.
  • In GCS, JSON API has daily limits.

What is Google Site Search?

Google Site Search is the same as the Google Custom Search, but in it, website owners can include a search bar on their website. In it, users cannot search the entire web. The main benefit of Google Site Search is that you can get an additional option for ad-free results. However, you need to pay for it.

Benefits of Google Site Search

  • In Google Site Search, a user can do an image-only search.
  • You have an option to remove ads.
  • You will get unlimited JSON API access.
  • In GSS, you can make money with AdSense.
  • If you want to remove Google branding, then you can easily do in Google Site search.
  • You can transfer the ownership.
  • When you use Google Site Search, you can get the technical support through the support forum and email.

The drawback of Google Site Search

  • In GSS, the user cannot search the entire web.

Why is Google Shutting Down Site Search?

Do you know how much Google is charging from the site owners for Google Site Search? 10$ per month. Yes! You read it right. Don’t you think it is quite a low amount? If you compare this amount to the ad-words that Google serves on the search results, then you will realize that Google can easily make this amount in just two clicks.

Also, by shutting down its Site Search facility, Google is trying hard to force you to use its ads version. It is because, through it, Google can effectively gain some advertisement space on your website.

Fueling-up search facility for websites is a profitable business. And, when it comes to showing ads, Google believes that it is even more lucrative. So, Google Site Search is shutting down soon, and all Google Site Search accounts will be converted into Google Custom Search.

Who is the Winner?

The answer to this question is simple – It depends on your preference. If you have no problem with Google’s ads, then you can go for Google Custom Search. Of course. Google Site Search is shutting down, so moving to it is not an option.

However, if you want to stay with a Google product, then GCS is available for use at 0 costs. However, it does not provide a customization option; therefore, if you want to get more control over your search platform, then multiple third-party options available like Algolia, Cludo, and Swiftype.

So, what are your views on this article? Please share with us in a comment section below.

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