Monday, October 16, 2017

Our website search tool – bad news, good news

The world of search engines is changing and the Ecology website is experiencing the shift. Google is discontinuing their Site Search product, the tool Ecology has been using on our site since 2015. (Our previous search engine, USASearch, was also retired. Apparently this is a trend.)

Google’s process for discontinuing this paid service is to transition accounts to the free version of their search tool, Google Custom Search. The free version is supported by advertising.

The bad news

On October 9, Ecology’s search account was downgraded to the free Google search tool. This means ads began appearing at the top of our search results pages.
  • Ecology has no control over which ads display. We do not sell ads, select ads or have any ability to filter the ads that display.
  • The ads you see may be influenced by your search history. If you have a Google account and you’re logged in, Google may be “remembering” the topics and types of sites you look for and visit.
  • We have no options for a free tool to replace the Google search. If the ads are too disruptive, we can completely remove the tool from our pages. This would mean no ability to search from within our site.

The good news

Ecology is in the final stages of building a brand new website. This site will feature a new search tool that's integrated with our new content management system. We do not have a launch date scheduled yet, but our plan is to go live before the end of the year.

We will continue to monitor our search results and evaluate their impact on our site’s usability. If you have any concerns or questions, please contact us!

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