Replace Google Search Appliance With An AI-Driven Search Solution


Google is discontinuing its hardware-based Google Search Appliance (GSA) with renewals ending in 2018 and support ending in 2019.

Finding a replacement solution doesn’t have to be too complicated. In our last blog post “6 Key Deliberations For Replacing Google Search Appliance”, we discussed the top criteria for selecting your replacement for GSA.

As you dive deep into the evaluation of different search solution options, you should follow a systematic approach that makes sure you are able to retain what’s good in GSA, overcome shortcomings of GSA, and upgrade to a future-ready technology.

Retain the good in GSA

Replicating and improving the existing GSA functionalities should be among your top priorities. Keep in mind the GSA features that were most used by your company, identifying those that you term as necessary. These are the elements you are not willing to give up.

Look for a cognitive search solution that provides improvised versions of all the features offered by Google Search Appliance, including relevancy, metadata sorting, recommendations, auto-suggest, spell-check, authentication support, alerting and messaging.

Overcome the limitations of GSA and upgrade

GSA limitations: What to expect in the upgrade:
Limited number of inbuilt connectors – GSA offers a few content connectors, such as SharePoint, Jive, IBM Connections, Salesforce and a few others, along with some additional ones that need to be configured to ensure unified, and secure search results. Native platforms, risk-free transition – Choose a plug-and-play search solution with a native setup of all repositories (popular plus requested ones) ensuring quick, hassle-free and secure migration from GSA with zero downtime.
Yesterday’s technology – GSA is not keeping pace with the evolving product space, which is focusing on personalization, insight engines, AI-based technology and so on. Future-ready solution – Rely on an ever-evolving AI-based technology with machine learning algorithms and easily scalable architecture that meets your growing needs.
Lack of personalized UX – GSA offers the same results to all users. Though it provides intuitive user experience, it does not provide results based on users’ search behavior and preferences. Personalized user experience – Go for a semantic search solution, which helps deliver personalized answers and recommendations based on visitors’ profile, search history, and search behavior.
Paid advertisements – Commercial ads are a major hitch with GSA. It doesn’t let you remove the ads. Also, the number of searches per month is limited, which makes it an incompatible solution. Sponsored results – Make sure your upgraded solution offers you a choice to sponsor relevant results to the top and allows users to perform as many searches as they want per month while getting the most relevant answers in no time.
Limited relevance tuning – In GSA, you cannot optimize the relevance algorithm for all scenarios. It can be a challenge to achieve your desired results. Top-notch relevance with complete control on search results – Look for a solution that provides best-in-class relevance in search results and helps optimize these results both automatically (based on context and machine-learning) and through manual relevancy ranking.
Limited insights – GSA offers limited insights into user behavior and search queries. Intelligent insights – Expect your upgraded solution to provide you with real-time insights into search trends, user behavior, conversions, and search queries with interactive dashboards and usage analytics.
No content gap analysis – GSA does not allow you to analyze what content is working or which queries are going futile, which could help identify content gaps. Content gap analysis – The upgrade must make you learn what your users are searching for on your community/site, what content they’re finding useful, and what queries are not showing results. This will help improve content engagement, thereby increasing the average time spent on your web pages.
Expensive solution – At a time when the count of documents is continuously increasing, no organization would find a pricing model like GSA – which is based on the number of documents in the search index – ideal. Value pricing – Consider a semantic search solution offering everything that GSA had to offer, and much more, with no hidden costs making sure you get best value proposition.

The Bottom Line

Google Search Appliance may have had really useful features for your enterprise requirements. But now is an opportunity to upgrade to comparable or better enterprise search software available. No doubt, the many options available in the market make it a daunting task to select the best one.

If you’re using GSA for site search, public website search, support portal search, CRM search (Salesforce search, Zendesk search), CMS, Knowledgebase search or other use cases, finding the right search platform to replace GSA will be essential to your strategy.

Here’s a tip: The right search solution should assure enhanced search capabilities and long-term scalability to meet your organization’s growing needs. It must also enable a smooth transition from GSA.

Looking for a solution that ensures smooth transition from GSA? Contact Us!

SearchUnify is an AI-driven enterprise search solution that has been built keeping in mind the next-generation search requirements. It meets all the above expectations that a GSA user might have while selecting its replacement. Our AI-driven enterprise search solution offers you the flexibility to integrate all enterprise information sources of your choice, such as communities, support portals, and CMSs, and display results on a single platform. Its ever-evolving technology makes it a future-ready product that meets your organization’s changing needs.

Migrate from GSA to SearchUnify today. See it live or write to us at for more information.

Vishal Sharma

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