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Google Plans To Discontinue Yet Another Product

February 21, 2017, 8:28 PM UTC

This spring, Google plans to discontinue Google Site Search, a product it has sold to web publishers that wanted to apply the industry’s leading search technology to their own sites.

Google (GOOGL) disclosed its plans to customers and partners via email on Tuesday, but the news has not been announced publicly. The product has been around since 2008.

Existing customers can keep using GSS for the life of their current license, but Google will stop selling new licenses and renewals as of April 1, according the email viewed by Fortune. Once a customer’s allocation of search queries is exhausted, the account will “automatically convert” to the company’s Custom Search Engine, or CSE for short.

A Google spokesman noted via email that the company is “winding down the Google Site Search product over the next year, but will provide customer and technical support through the duration of license agreements.”

He added that for GSS users whose contracts expire between April 1 and June 30, 2017, Google will provide a free three-month extension to their service with an additional queries.

CSE is a free, advertising-supported version of Google’s search technology, that provides similar features and functions to GSS, according to the email.

Google recommended that GSS customers study the differences between the two products and that those who do not want to move to CSE can remove their existing search engine.

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Google charged GSS customers based on the number of searches made annually. A small blog, for example, would get 20,000 searches per year for $100. A larger company might opt for 500,000 queries for $2,000 annually. Companies that wanted higher volumes of searches had to contact Google for pricing.

The news of GSS’s discontinuation comes just over a year after Google announced similar plans to phase out Google Search Appliance, which bundled Google search into a piece of hardware that ran in companies’ own data centers.

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“It appears that Google is decoupling its technology that is ad-based from its enterprise technology which is G Suite based,” said one GSS customer who requested anonymity because he did not want to irk Google.

G Suite, is a popular set of desktop word processing, spreadsheet, and email applications that competes with Microsoft (MSFT) Office.

While G Suite’s predecessor, Google Apps was once a free product, users now must pay for G Suite.


February 21, 2017 (4:00 p.m.) This story was updated to add a comment from Google.