The President of the company contacted the Directory of Marketing with a disturbing observation.
Promoting Your Competitors
He reported that when searching the company web site the search results page was showing ads for their biggest competitors.
Kalido, a data management software company in Waltham, MA had implemented Google Custom Search for their onsite search years ago. The Google search solution met their needs until recently.
Google Custom Search: Paid vs. Free
Google Custom Search is offered in both free and paid versions. If the paid version’s annual subscription expires, it reverts to the free version. In this scenario a site that never shows ads will start show ads, even competitor ads.
The free version of Google Custom Search shows ads alongside the onsite search results. This is why the President found competitor ads running in his site.
Not Promoting Your Competitors
The solution was to pay Google the $100 per year fee to have the option of removing the ads. The second step in removing the ads was to implement a few code changes on the website to bring things up to date.
Onsite Search Alternatives
There are other advanced search solutions available for WordPress. These are available in the form of plugins, premium plugins, and may improve on the existing WordPress search feature or completely replace it and use off-site resources to index and provide search results on your site.
Alternative search solutions you may want to consider:
Conclusion: Be the Boss
If the President of your company calls to say that your company’s onsite Google Custom Search results are showing competitor ads, there is a solution. All it requires is $100 and a quick code change on your website to say goodbye to those annoying ads and show the President who is the boss of getting things fixed on your site.
What onsite search solutions do you favor? Let us know in the comments.