Recently, I have been testing out two free search engine options that you can add to your website: Google and FreeFind. Both provide a search field for your website and the service for each is free because they will populate your results page with ads.
Google search is based on Google.com, the well known and largest search site on the web. With Google you have the option of integrating the search results into your website or having them displayed on a slightly customized Google page. Integrating the results into my site really intrigued me until I found out that my site would not be able to hold their results without building a new page dedicated to it. The settings for width are very limiting. They provide two size options: one that will require more space left to right (ads will be on the right) and on that requires more space vertically (ads are on top). The later option nearly fit with my site, but the ads are so unsightly, that there was no way I would integrate this with my site. This left the option of the slightly customized Google Search page.
I have been using FreeFind for years. Freefind results cannot be integrated into your site without a fee. There search field states in small letter below it “powered by FreeFind”. Google does something similar and in both cases it is free so I don’t mind giving the kudos. The landing page for FreeFind is clean and simple. In some cases I completely missed the ads. The biggest advantage to me is that I can force an indexing with FreeFind. In other words, if I update my site today, typically within minutes my search engine knows about the altered information.
In contrast Google does not have this capability and consequently my site hasn’t been reindexed in over 1 month. Not finding my most recent information easily is a big concern that FreeFind offers a great solutions to. Additionally, FreeFind will allow you to set up reoccurring indexing, so your site will automatically be indexed periodically.
Lastly, FreeFind sends me an email of all my search results each week. I believe Google offers search statistics as well, but without my site having been indexed, I am unable to test.
I rave about nearly every product Google has released for online business, however in my opinion FreeFind wins out on this one.