December 4, 2018

A Solution For The Retired Google Search Appliance

When Google announced in 2016 that its Google Search Appliance (GSA) product would be completely discontinued 3 years later, it seemed like its end was in the distant future. The calendar on the wall tells us that 2019 is right around the corner, so many businesses that have relied on GSA are going to be facing a void in their company’s search technology. While GSA was an innovative product during its existence, other search solutions such as HawkSearch can be effectively utilized to be excellent replacements for the retiring Google technology.  

What Was Google Search Appliance (GSA)?

Google Search Appliance (GSA) was a rack mounted, hardware device that provided companies the ability to organize and index the contents of their internal, intranet networks. The GSA allowed employees to search for company documents in a more organized and structured fashion. The product was first rolled out in 2002 and went through several generations before being discontinued.  

How HawkSearch Can Be An Extremely Viable Solution

HawkSearch is a very multi-dimensional search solution in that it can bring search success to both ecommerce and content, information driven sites. While GSA was built to accommodate the latter, its replacement will have to offer effective functionality that will empower employees to effectively search for all types of internal resources. HawkSearch has some essential features that will serve to be an excellent replacement for the GSA.  

Federated Search

Intranets can gather their information from many different sources or platforms. HawkSearch offers a federated search strategy, which allows internal users to benefit from search results that are sourced from the entire intranet, not just bits and pieces of it. When employees do a search inquiry, HawkSearch can index the entire intranet or isolated portions, depending on what a company wants available in search results. This comprehensive search approach ensures that users will not only receive the most complete and relevant search results available, but also be able to make the most effective use of the resources internal systems have to offer.  

Automated Indexing

Search tools function effectively by indexing all the information on the intranet. HawkSearch avoids the laborious task of manual indexing by doing it automatically. When new information is added to an intranet, but not indexed, it will not appear in users’ search results. If the search tool can’t see it, employees won’t find it. Intranet databases are constantly being updated with new information, so it is critical that recently added resources be indexed quickly, on an ongoing basis. Automatic indexing empowers employees by providing access to the most recent, internal information available.  

Machine Learning

This technology stems from the development of artificial intelligence. Machine learning enables HawkSearch to capture and analyze a vast amount of data. From this analysis comes the ability to predict users’ search behavior and trends. These predictions help HawkSearch determine what employees are most likely looking for, which greatly increases satisfactory search results and relevance. As more data is captured and evaluated, search results are further refined and made more meaningful for users.  

Improving Search Results Through Metrics

The HawkSearch metrics reporting suite can provide companies with great insight regarding employees’ search activities. Such reports as searches with poor results, top 250 keywords, pagination activity and other related metrics can help organizations learn how to best organize intranet resources. Studying metrics reports can not only reveal how effectively employees are finding the information they need, but also where disconnects are taking place. Providing search relevance for users should always be in a continuous state of improvement and the HawkSearch reporting tools can play an important part in accomplishing that goal.  

Delivery Method

HawkSearch is very unique in the flexibility it offers with regard to the way it can be accessed. The search tool solution can be delivered through either SaaS or On-Premise methods. Whether the employer wants to access their search functionality on a licensed, subscription basis or has a need to install the search tool internally on the company’s premises, HawkSearch can easily accommodate either requirement. Google Search Appliance (GSA) was an effective device for indexing and providing search functionality for many intranet networks. Its discontinuance will leave a void, but HawkSearch is uniquely positioned to provide a totally modern and advanced, internal, search solution for organizations of any size and industry.


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