Earlier this year we found out that PicoSearch, a subscription website search service, was ending service after 17 years. It’s been a good search engine to plug into a site for years, but Google and others have conquered this service niche. They stop service as of June 30, 2014. We have a few clients still today that use PicoSearch. So what to use next?
The long answer, as it usually is on the web, is “it depends”. But for a client that cannot use a search engine built specifically for their CMS, there are two options we generally use for site search:
This is usually for smaller sites where we do not want advertising showing up in the search results, we want to control when the content collection occurs for purposes of the search engine, and we want to include various kinds of files beyond the web pages within the search results. Price is low. We’ve been happy with this plug-in site search.
Of course, after seeing what has happened to PicoSearch, we imagine market pressure is pretty tough from Google on other players such as Spiderline, as well.
A little more expensive and you pay by the number of searches that are made on your site. But… it’s Google quality.
As mentioned before, a web site’s CMS often has the ability to run site search over the content in the CMS. Note of caution: content NOT within the CMS – such as all files that are essentially linked to but do not have their content within the CMS database (such as PDFs, spreadsheets, powerpoints, etc.) are usually NOT within the CMS search. If you want those files included, you need to look for another solutions that is more “server” based.