App Search is Now Generally Available

Note: The full App Search GA post is available on the Elastic blog.

We’re excited to announce that the Elastic App Search Service (powered by Swiftype) is moving out of Beta today and into General Availability. Since announcing App Search at Elastic{ON} in February, we’ve had the pleasure of interacting with a large number of our early adopters, hearing about their experiences with the product, and incorporating that valuable feedback into this latest release. We’re confident that App Search is ready for production deployments now, and as the first major release since Swiftype joined forces with Elastic last year, our team is thrilled to see what the Elastic community builds with App Search.

Powerful new search product built for developers

For those of you who missed our initial launch announcement, App Search is a search-as-a-service solution designed to simplify the process of building rich, user-facing search experiences. We leverage the incredible power of Elasticsearch and focus it squarely on powering search experiences in software applications of every kind — from ecommerce websites, to SaaS applications and mobile apps.

Elastic App Search key benefits

Developers using App Search are able to build search experiences much faster, due to three key factors:

  1. Simple Implementation: features such as schemaless indexing and built-in typo tolerance, in conjunction with a library of first-party API Clients, enables developers to be up-and-running in minutes.
  2. Cloud-Based SaaS Model: no need for on-premise deployment, infrastructure provisioning, or long-term maintenance. Simply create an account and get started immediately.
  3. Seamless Scalability: App Search is designed to scale seamlessly and painlessly as your usage increases.

Getting started

To learn how to get started with App Search, read our full blog post on and we’ll guide you through the basics of creating an App Search-powered search experience. And be sure to join us for the Elastic App Search webinar on June 6th for an overview and live demo of Elastic App Search.

GSS is Officially Gone – Now What?

Swiftype was recently invited by leading marketing resource 
MarketingProfs to write a post highlighting the three questions organizations should ask themselves as they look to replace Google Site Search (commonly referred to as GSS).  As you likely know, April 1 was the official sunset of GSS and now users are given alternative migration options such as CSE (Google Custom Search Engine) — which will be a pared down version of GSS that features ads.

Kyle Bento of IMPACT provided a great breakdown of GSS alternatives and included this information on what you can expect from CSE.

Google Custom Search seems is very similar to GSS minus a few key features:

  • Google Custom Search is Ad-based. That means that you’ll be at the mercy of your competitor’s paid advertising, but embedded right on your site. (There’s one exception: Non-profits.)
  • There’s no option to disable Google’s branding. One of the most appealing features of GSS was the ability to remove Google’s branding and seamlessly merge results into your site. Not anymore.
  • Query limits are capped daily.  That means if you’re operating a high-volume website, Google Custom Search will stop working once you’ve hit your quota.
  • No more email support.  If you have a problem, you’re on your own.

In our article, Swiftype co-founder Matt Riley identified the three questions every org needs to consider as they choose their alternative. As Bento puts it, CSE “is not an ideal solution for professionals.” For those of you looking for a more robust solution, check out Matt’s article here (or hop on over to MarketingProfs and take a read).  

And if you’re a GSS customer and you’re ready to get started with Swiftype, you can fill out this form, and we will be in touch shortly. Alternatively, you can watch our recent webinar and learn how to migrate to Swiftype in four simple steps.

Google Site Search Is Going Has Gone Away: Three Questions to Ask Before You Replace It

Google launched Google Site Search (GSS) in 2008 to offer its technology to online publishers and their websites for searchers to use while on those sites, but the company recently announced that it will sunset GSS, forcing companies to replace its search technology by April 1, 2018.

If you are facing that decision, ask yourself three questions we’ve compiled to help you find a GSS replacement.

1) Do I need a more robust solution?

Website visitors who perform a site search are 216% more likely to convert than visitors who don’t, so it is important to ensure that those users have good experiences throughout their visit.

Furthermore, a search on your website is a strong sign of user intent, and you should be paying close attention to what the searcher is trying to find. What GSS lacks—and many alternatives offer—are customization abilities and powerful site search data and analytics, both of which provide useful ways to give marketing programs a shot of adrenaline.

Why does it matter?

Most brands that want to use content beyond purely informational purposes tend to look for some level of customization, prioritizing content based on relevancy, time, and other factors. User behavioral data is also of huge importance — especially as it relates to search — because it sheds light on what consumers want to know, what they are and aren’t finding useful, or even helping to identify customer service problem areas. Brands like SurveyMonkey have leveraged search data to build better help center content.  Deanna Horton, Senior Content Strategist for SurveyMonkey, told Forbes recently, “Listening to customers is core to who we are as a company. To make impactful data-­driven improvements to self-service content, we listen to our customers by determining what they’re writing to support about and using our findings to inform new content that answers those questions. At the end of the day, you can’t answer someone’s question if you don’t know what their question is.”

According to Horton, “[SurveyMonkey’s] product teams also leverage the data to continually improve the product experience.”

2) Will we actually use it?

New solutions are often implemented with the best of intentions but ultimately don’t get a lot of use. We’ve all done it. We’d all like to never do it again. Given website activity and content are usually highly important, brands can’t afford to let this happen with their site search technology. Be especially aware of the technical requirements a tool requires and how they match with your team’s capabilities to ensure on-going use and effective management. The pressure is on to find the right solution, use it to its full capabilities, and set the brand up to benefit from all the bells and whistles.

GSS was admittedly easy to use — and that may be suitable for some businesses — but I’m willing to bet most brands are in need of something not only more robust but also easy to use.  Alternative solutions offer easy customization and powerful analytics — with some vendors sending weekly data analytics reports that highlight problem areas or notable search trends. When deployed correctly, content management and site search can become very powerful tools for a brand to improve customer experience, content marketing, and brand loyalty.

Why does it matter?

Looking at site content with a critical operational eye ensures improved integration. Doing so will give you a sense of exactly where the solution fits, who will manage it, and clearly mark expectations.   

An added bonus: smart marketing teams will also take the opportunity to figure out how the new solution helps them work smarter and faster. With the right solution — specifically for content management and search tools — brands can build in the right data program from the start; positioning themselves for better use of the tool, improved understanding of the good, the bad and the ugly parts of their website experience, and assessing content value as it relates to other critical web metrics (click through and bounce rates, duration times, page views, etc.).  

3) How will I know it’s working?

New solutions should be judged against their effectiveness and impact on marketing goals. By finding out what metrics can be tied back directly to the new technology, marketing campaigns will be better designed to succeed. During on-boarding, actively work with your solution provider to customize a strategy for success and be clear on what metrics matter to the organization, and ask what additional metrics can be tracked.  E.g. will your conversion rates be higher? Will it accelerate pipeline? Will it save your team time spent on manual work? Will it help your team organize their day and be more productive? Will it create more engagement with customers and prospects?

Why does it matter?

If you’re going to spend the money and time building/buying and implementing a new solution, you need to know what constitutes success. MapBox, a location data platform used by mobile and app developers, and used by the likes of Doordash, Mapquest, Airbnb and Snapchat, used site search technology and data to improve online experiences.

Rafa Gutierrez, Lead Support Engineer at MapBox said, “We want to ensure a streamlined and tailored experience that gives users fast access to relevant documentation so they can make the most of their use of MapBox technology. We dive into our metrics dashboard regularly to look for oddities or patterns that give us insight to how customers are finding the info they need.”

As investment into content creation and digital marketing continue to rise, make your content not only accessible but also reconcile content with marketing’s evolving focus areas. Doing so can generate huge gains towards big-picture marketing and brand goals.

As brands transition from Google Site Search, asking these three questions may guide the decision-making process. You may confirm that you have the right solution, or be compelled to explore your options. Your goal should be to deploy a solution that allows you to inform your audiences, improve the online experience, and engage in meaningful ways.

At your service: Swiftype GSS Migration Specialists
Our GSS Migration Specialists have lots of experience with the GSS migration process (which is really simple) and we make it easy for you to get a search engine up and running by providing a web crawler and API for ingesting data, and an intuitive admin dashboard for managing your search experience.

If you have questions about migrating from GSS to Swiftype or just about site search implementations in general, feel free to email us at [email protected].

The Final Countdown: How to Painlessly Replace your Google Site Search with Swiftype

Hopefully you are well aware of this by now, but Google Site Search is shutting down on April 1. In case you’re more of a visual person, here’s a screenshot from the GSS website:

If you visit the Google website, you’ll also notice a banner about Google Search Appliance. In the banner, “Google is no longer selling new licenses for the Google Search Appliance (GSA)”.

If you’re using GSA for site search, we can help successfully migrate to a new (easier to manage) solution. More info on that here.

Ode to GSS

GSS has been the trusted site search provider for thousands of companies since it was introduced by Google in 2008. Google Site Search provided businesses with a code-free solution for indexing their website’s content and making it searchable. Search relevancy can be difficult to get right but GSS was powered by the core Google search algorithm and well, that thing works pretty well.

When companies installed GSS on their website, they could be fairly confident that their site search would return relevant and reliable results. Additionally, since Google handles about 63,000 searches per second for its internet-wide search engine it was safe to assume they could handle your website’s search throughput.

Google’s ad-supported replacement for GSS

Google Custom Search is an ad-supported site search solution that Google will continue to offer. What’s nice about Custom Search is that it’s free but that does come at the cost of showing ads in your search results. This unacceptable for most commercial use cases.

Additionally, Custom Search engines are subject to query limits and new pages or content updates can take awhile to be indexed. Here’s a deep dive into the differences between Custom Search and Swiftype and why paying for site search is worth it.

Considerations for Implementing an Adequate GSS Replacement

Not all site search solutions are created equal

Although one site search provider can appear similar to another at first glance, search technology is difficult to get right and vendors can have significant differences in the stability and performance of their underlying search architecture. When considering replacements for your GSS, it’s important to think about a search provider’s track record including their experience handling large scale implementations (millions of documents and millions of queries per month).

For example, here at Swiftype we support over 10K production search engines and serve well over 5 billion queries a month. Our search product is built on Elasticsearch, the popular open source project (over 115 million downloads worldwide), and that infrastructure enables us to scale seamlessly, provide state of the art relevancy, robust analytics and other important features.

Evaluating replacement solutions

Here are 5 key considerations for implementing an adequate GSS replacement.

Migrating to Swiftype Site Search from Google Site Search

Swiftype matches GSS’s ease of use and implementation

Swiftype Site Search matches GSS’s ease of implementation and use but comes with additional features and a modern admin dashboard. Swiftype enables you to index your content via web crawler (very similar process to GSS) or API.

Swiftype Site Search matches GSS’s ease of implementation and use but comes with additional features and a modern admin dashboard.

Customize your search results

By default, our search algorithm will rank your results intelligently, but we also provide you the tooling to fully customize your search results both on an individual query level as well globally across all queries. Once you index your content, you can use the intuitive admin dashboard to customize relevancy by applying weights via slider, reposition results through a drag and drop interface and view search analytics.

Here’s a quick look at our weights feature:

And here’s result repositioning:

Analytics: Find trends in search data

Search analytics are collected automatically and they provide you valuable insight about your customer’s interests and intentions. Our analytics dashboard displays popular queries returning no results which helps you to fill gaps in your content and can inform your product roadmap (or inventory for ecommerce).

Developer friendly

Swiftype is also developer friendly. Although you can install our site search on your website without writing a line of code, we support a well-documented API as well as client libraries.

Adding a search bar to your site

One it comes time to add a search interface to your website, you can do so using the a JavaScript snippet provided in the Swiftype dashboard or our search and autocomplete jQuery libraries which support highly-customized implementations with features like faceting. Here’s in-depth information on building and implementing a Swiftype search UI.

Site Search Migration in 4 Simple Steps

We’re to help plan and execute a successful migration

Migrating from GSS to Swiftype can be accomplished in 4 simple steps. Here’s a blog post that outlines the process.

If you’re a GSS customer and you’re ready to get started with Swiftype, you can fill out this form, and we will be in touch shortly. Alternatively, you can shoot us an email at success at

Video Guide

Let our search specialist walk you through migrating from GSS to Swiftype in the step-by-step video guide.

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