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A simple fix to improve your website performance

February 22, 2007
Jay

A simple feature that many businesses overlook on their sites is a search box. About 20% of users prefer to “search” rather than browse the site through navigation.

Google Free is an easy, free way to add search to any website. It allows users to search the contents of your website through a search box. It’s easy to install with one line of code and it allows websites to customize the colors and add a logo to the search results. The only catch is, if you use Google Free, you have to include a Google Web Search box on your site as well.

If you want the simplicity of adding search to your site, but don’t want to include the Google Web Search box, you can use Google Mini or Google Search Appliance.

According to Google, the Google Mini is designed for the needs of small and medium-sized businesses. The Mini provides a cost-effective search solution for web-enabled content with up to 300,000 documents (or unique URLs) in a single collection. Pricing for a year starts at $1,995 for 10,000 documents.

For larger businesses, Google offers the Google Search Appliance. According to Google, it is designed for larger businesses and can support up to 15 million documents. The Search Appliance also includes a variety of features such as direct database indexing, a feeds API allowing you to push new content into the index, OneBox for Enterprise, Query Stemming, RAID (to provide continued service in the event of hard disk failure) and support for user-level document security including a security API. These features are unique to the Google Search Appliance. It starts at $30,000 to search up to 500,000 documents.

Compare the mini to search appliance here: http://www.google.com/enterprise/feature_comparison.html .

One added benefit to using Google for site search is that every page indexed in your site is also indexed in Google web search, this is great way to improve your sites performance in keyword searches!