And the winner is...

And the winner is...
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By High Monkey, Our random thoughts collected

Categories: Learn,  Partnership

Changes, changes, and more changes – on the Search Engine scene.

The folks at Google announced that the Google Search Appliance (‘GSA’) will have an end-of-life experience in March 2019.  Personally, I think it has been a downhill slide ever since Google stopped sending a free t-shirt to customers who purchased the GSA.  Just sayin’.

What to do, what to do?  If you have GSA, you could go with Google Site Search (‘GSS’).  Oh wait!  On April 1, 2017 (no fooling), Google announced that they were sunsetting GSS product by April 1, 2018.  Someone at Google has an over-developed sense of calendar irony.

Yay, other Google search thing to the rescue!  You can switch to Google Custom Search which we understand isn’t in danger of being euthanized. Unfortunately, Google Custom Search provides limited customization, requires you to display ads (unless you are a school or a non-profit), and requires Google branding.  I can hear website professionals all around the world, “Hey, awesome, let’s bring ads into our organization’s website just like the 1990’s. We’ll call it web-retro!”

These changes have left many GSA and GSS users apprehensive about the future of their site’s search and seeking an alternative to anything Google search.

Enter Funnelback Search.

High Monkey became one of the first solution partners in the United States for Funnelback Search in 2016. The search engine software is based in Canberra, Australia but has burst into the American search market in a big way in recent years.

We are normally pretty reserved – in a Midwestern sorta way, at least when it comes to expressing excitement over a partnership or a product.  This blog post is a show of High Monkey’s OVERT excitement about Funnelback and why we think it is an excellent replacement for Google Search!

The short version – Funnelback Search provides:

  • Site Search
  • Enterprise Search
  • Marketing Dashboard
  • Accessibility Auditor
  • Content Auditor
  • SEO Auditor
  • Hosting (installed or dedicated hosting)

To save you some time, we have a feature-by-feature comparison of Funnelback vs Google Search available for you to download.  It’s worth reading:

Funnelback-vs-Google-search.png

We’ve also excerpted some other important information about Funnelback below but we recommend reading their entire blog post (link provided at the end).

LEARN ABOUT FUNNELBACK IN PERSON!  If you live in or near the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul Minnesota, we have an event on January 25, 2018 focused on Site Search and Accessibility.  This event is co-sponsored by Funnelback and High Monkey.  For more information and to register, please go to https://www.highmonkey.com/searchcourse
 
From Funnelback’s Blog – “Google Site Search discontinued; Time to take back control of your search”
SECURITY Funnelback has felt the commercial pressure to host any of their services overseas. If you are a US customer, your data lives in the US, if you are an Australian customer, your data lives in Australia, and if you are a UK customer, then your data lives in the UK. It’s that simple.
SUPPORT Similarly, their team of experts know the challenges specific to your region because they live and work within your community. In addition to this, you can also “self serve” support though the Funnelback Community, where their knowledge base, resources for developers, and user forum live.
CAPABILITIES Funnelback has an ‘open’ approach to their software, which means that ranking control and the ability to configure capabilities is in your hands, if you want it. Developers familiar with GSA’s JSON and XML APIs will enjoy familiar RESTful requests and responses from Funnelback’s own Public APIs, whilst search administrators will enjoy access to an easy-to-use Marketing Dashboard for tracking several search success metrics and influencing search behaviors over time.
Beyond expected product features such as antonyms, faceted search, and simple auto-completion, search administrators can also take advantage of:

  • > 20 results displayed per response
  • Advanced boolean search syntax (not just OR)
  • Full control over zero results screens
  • Refinement styles beyond links and tabs
  • Tailored result collapsing signatures to prevent near-duplicates
  • Promotions inside auto-completions
  • Curated triggers and actions
  • Tailored result ranking profiles
  • Parallel searches
  • Structured annotations via external metadata
  • Contextual navigation for disambiguation
  • Facet counts
  • Recommender APIs
  • Admin APIs
 

Read the entire Funnelback post:  https://www.funnelback.com/blog/google-site-search-migration-guide

Obviously, we would love to tell you that changing out your search environment is a piece of cake but we all know it takes some work.  At High Monkey, that’s the kind of work we love doing.  Let us know if you are facing some decisions about Google Search and would like to talk about Funnelback.

Joel Baglien – jbaglien@highmonkey.com – 612.802.9484