Google is phasing put its paid-for internal site search function, moving all customers over to a free ad-funded version by the end of the year.
Google has sent an email out to customers telling them they will need to find a new internal search engine service if they want to avoid showing ads from Google on their site.
While customers who have paid for the service will continue to have access to it, no new licenses or renewals will be sold after 1 April, 2017.
Under the move, customers will now be migrated to Google’s ad-supported Custom Search Engine or the new cloud search product once their license or search limit expire.
Google will stop fully supporting the Google Site Search product by the fourth-quarter of 2017.
The move marks Google’s growing reliance on advertising income, and the move could cause controversy for sites and customers that want to avoid showing ads. In addition, “Custom Search Engine” is less customisable than Google Site Search.
An announcement on the Google Site Search website said:
“On April 1, 2017, Google will discontinue sales of the Google Site Search. All new purchases and renewals must take place before this date. The product will be completely shut down by April 1, 2018.”
A Google spokesman said that support will be provided until licenses expire, and for any customers whose licenses expire between 1 April and 30 June, 2017, they will be given a three-month extension.