Thursday, 29th July 2010
Large U.S. University Not Renewing Contract for Google Search Appliance
Not renewing their contract and no longer providing support for the the Google Search Appliance (GSA) is the case at Penn. State University in State College, PA and at other locations around the state.
These two pages (1 ||| 2) explain how and why this decision was made.
From Document 1
During summer 2009, a cost/benefit analysis was conducted to determine the efficacy of continuing to purchase a search solution or to move toward free search solutions with rich feature sets. The analysis determined that various free tools are available to adequately support the most utilized feature sets of the current GSA at Penn State, as well as offer other features not currently supported.
From Document 2
The search form on search.psu.edu will still offer searches for all of Penn State via google.com using the strategy set forth by the report. Also, search-results.aset.psu.edu will temporarily (until September 1, 2011) forward all queries to google.com, so that pages using it for searches will continue to provide search results.
Penn State's Jeremiah Hill Writes the Following:
It's been a long road to figure out exactly what we should and could do for the community as a whole. [Our Emphasis} Dwindling dollars, higher prices from Google and a rather sharp decline in the usage of the GSA made us realize that it just wasn't a cost-effective or generally useful solution for the Penn State community, but we knew that we shouldn't just decommission it without providing support of some sort for some type of search strategy.
We wonder why there was a sharp decline in using the GSA.
Here is the full text of the Penn State Search Strategy Report (11 pages; PDF).
Main Points from Executive Summary:
1. Use google.com with the psu.edu sitesearch parameter for providing raw search
results for all of psu.edu as a zero-cost solution.
2. Allow individual units to use any method for providing search results for their
3. Provide access to research search engines for analysis of Penn State’s Web
4. Communicate and promote the search strategy to the Penn State community.
5. Provide code for “plug and play” implementations of the search strategy.
6. Provide informal training for those who wish to have more information about
implementing the strategy.
7. Provide search redirection from search-results.aset.psu.edu.
Source: Penn St. University