Google Search Support is Changing Soon – July 22, 2017

First and most important: the embedded Google search for State websites will continue to work as it always has.

This change only affects our level of technical support related to Google search under the “Google Site Search” (GSS) service. That service has been dropped by Google, but they will continue to provide their free version “Custom Search Engine” (CSE) to government websites. No change is necessary to your websites for them to continue to work and use Google Search under the free CSE version. It will happen automatically.

Now, if you have utilized the XML API output capability of GSS to customize the display of search results on your website, you will have to change your search display method over to the standard CSE javascript embed method, because the XML API is a GSS only feature.

  • With CSE, Google does provide a JSON/Atom Search API method, but your department would have to contract individually with Google for that, if that was a necessary feature for your website.
  • For more information concerning the JSON/Atom API method – see: https://developers.google.com/custom-search/json-api/v1/overview

This notice is going out because this change to CSE is happening earlier than originally planned. Originally our level of technical support was going to change when our support contract ended on 9/22/2017. But because we exceeded our yearly search query quota under that contract (45,000,000) we have been given notice of an early termination of the GSS service (the CSE service will take over at that time).

Note: Of course what this also shows is that search continues to grow in importance to State websites. We have actually increased our query quota over the years (including this last contract renewal), and we still exceeded the limit.

Submit a Comment