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mrgoodfox

What To Use For Site Search Engine

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My site uses a bunch of different software (WP, Directory, Wiki, VB Forums, etc). So using any of those software's search box is not enough as the site's main search box.

 

I'm looking around at site search engines. So far I've found Google's site search ($100/year for 20,000 queries). I also read about IBM's Omnifind but couldn't find the supposedly free Yahoo version .

 

Any suggestions on what to use?

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I use the search with Google Adsense. You can earn some money with it because ads will display in the search.

 

You might not want to use this with an ecommerce site or a site where trying to earn money isn't cool.

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oh, so Google with adsense is free?

 

What about the fact that I'm dealing with a site that is about tobacco

Edited by mrgoodfox

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Tobacco?

 

I don't know about that... you better check the Adsense rules. Tobacco might not be a topic that is allowed.

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I know tobacco is not allowed for Adsense. That's why I probably can't use the free version. My question is do you think Google Site search is the best choice out there?

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I know that a lot of US government sites changed to Google search from a variety of products and the results were spectacular.

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Google site search it is. I think $100 a year is worth it as long as i can have the result in my own template rather than just changing the color of Google's results.

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There's this SOLR search engine that the Drupal's website had started using recently. Even though it's pretty good (and customizable, I'd imagine), I still prefer to use Google for it's speed. But maybe if it works fast on your website, you can create a much, much better search experience for your visitors, than Google does.

Edited by A.N.Onym

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I just integrated Google Custom Search (CSM) and absolutely love it. I put the one without ads so I could take the branding off as well (took me a good few hours to figure out how though).

 

I'll post the site here for review in few days so you can see it in action as well

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I have relied on Google Custom Search on and off through the years. I've had some disappointments with it but I've also had some good experiences.

 

Am currently testing a new (for me) implementation on a site.

 

In the past I have used site search from Bing and Yahoo! to build traffic referrals from those search engines. Unfortunately, Bing shut down its site search tool. They want people to move to their API, which is fine for powerful developers but not for little guys like me.

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I've been playing with various possible solutions on and off for a while. I've never been happy with Google's option. Can't really describe why. I just am not fond of it.

 

A couple of things I've considered (but have never settled upon):

 

Zoom - http://www.wrensoft.com/zoom/

 

SiteLevel - sitelevel.com

 

PHP Flat File Search - http://www.niblr.com/php-flat-file-search-script/ (for a site that I don't want to use a database on)

 

Like I said, haven't settled on anything but those are a few I've considered.

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There are several to many open source site search solutions. Unfortunately, for their uptake, they are not simple easy out of the box solutions.

 

I use a custom build (including GUI) of Indri from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and Carnegie Mellon University. With associated components it can do just about everything a webdev might desire. But - it is definitely not appropriate for most.

 

Perhaps the most popular of the 'geeky' open source search solutions is Lucerne Core and Solr search platform from the Apache Foundation.

 

While the above are extremely powerful and flexible they have enormous learning curves for most. And that is where Google Site Search shines - it is easy. And it does an adequate job for most sites.

 

My problem with the easy simple and 'free' solutions is that you are not in control. Instead you are relying on a third party on a server somewhere else; sharing all your site search data with that third party; bounded by their service options. And 'paid' solutions are often the same as free but white labelled.

 

To get the site search power of the best of the open source solutions and the ease of the 'free' data mining solutions means buying an enterprise solution at a huge lease cost.

 

Good, cheap, quick. Pick two.

cheap, quick -> Google, et al.

good, quick -> expensive enterprise solution.

good, cheap -> steep (vertical for many/most webdevs) learning curve.

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I'm cheap. I also want easy and quick. I also want control. Because sitelevel has all the control, I've pretty much decided against it. However, both zoom and the little php flat file search fit all of my parameters (cheap or free, easy, and within my control). Neither are extremely powerful, however, but that's not one of my parameters, so I'm okay with that. More than likely I'll end up using one of them.

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That's why I like Drupal: the developers had already integrated SOLR in it and I don't have to conquer the same steep learning hill (heck, I'm not even a developer at all). This concerns other modules, such as Ubercart (a good shopping cart), Ads (a good advertising solution some people would charge for) and more.

Edited by A.N.Onym

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I've use freefind.com a number of times. The free version comes with some branding (natch) but the paid version is cheap as chips for smaller sites.

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