The Transition from GSS to SearchIQ – What You Should Know? And What to Look Forward to?

July 5, 2017

It’s official; Google is discontinuing Google Site Search. It seems everywhere we look we can’t help but see GSS (Google Site Search) or CSE (Custom Search Engine) being written about in different posts and articles. It can all be quite confusing if you use either of these products. So we decided to shed some light on what this means, what you should be looking for in an alternative and how to get new search up and running properly.

Let’s start off by explaining the difference between the two. GSS is a paid product to implement Google’s search technology on your website, while CSE or Custom Search Engine is a free, ad-supported site search engine.

According to the statement given by Google spokesperson to ‘Search Engine Land’, “We are winding down the Google Site Search product over the next year, but will provide customer and technical support through the duration of license agreements. For GSS users whose contract expires between April 1st and June 30th, 2017, we are providing a free 3-month extension with additional query volume to allow more time for them to implement the necessary changes to their site. GSS customers may also take advantage of our Custom Search Engine solution, an ads-supported model that offers similar functionality.”

And although everything seems great because Google is directing existing customers to use their free custom search engine as a replacement, unfortunately using CSE will force the websites to show ads along with their search results.

Is Google custom search a good alternative to GSS?

How does Google custom search impact your website’s search experience? How does it affect the overall user experience? As you know, Google CSE is an ad-based site search engine which means that your website will be exposed to ads that you may not want. A user performing a search on your site is looking for something specific and displaying ads along with search results could disappoint or confuse the user, driving them to leave your site.

To go even further, worst case scenario could be your website displaying ads from competitors, leaving you at the mercy of their paid advertising. When and if the user clicks on an ad, they will be redirected to your competitor’s website and you will lose a potential customer. Apart from the ads, CSE has a daily capping limit for search queries. This means that if your website has high search volume, it will stop working once you’ve reached the limit. Another point to consider with Google custom search is that there isn’t any email or phone support. If you have a question or query, you pretty much have to figure it out on your own.

Good site search is designed to help visitors find the desired content or products they’re looking for, and not to distract users making the search complicated. The relevant search results (advertisement free) enhance user engagement on your website and drive more conversions. An effective site search has a business goal to generate more revenue, more traffic, or longer visit times. So compromising the user experience by displaying ads could completely alter your business strategy.

Considering the details mentioned above, migrating to CSE may not be an ideal solution for your website.

Why SearchIQ should be your next search solution?

SearchIQ is a unique and modern search engine technology that offers enhanced search capabilities and gives your visitors the best user experience. It is the most advanced and robust alternative for Google site search. We at SearchIQ understand that your users rely on search and we get that search is crucial to drive business and increase viewership, that’s why we designed our powerful algorithm to return fast and accurate search results quickly. We also help you manage content more effectively with real-time analytics. Via our dashboard of analytics you can see what is most searched (that you may or may not provide results for) allowing you to create content based on what people want.

We also cater to whichever development platform you are using, choose between our WordPress and JavaScript versions. Moreover, SearchIQ offers both free and paid functionality based on your business requirements. And when it comes to ease of use and installation, with SearchIQ you don’t have to worry about hardware setup or maintenance. We take care of all technical stuff for you. All you need to have is a search domain and index data. And if you choose to customize the search parameters and appearance, you can do so!

As a site admin, you must be curious how SearchIQ is different from other SaaS search solutions? Let’s look at the features to understand the difference and benefits to using SearchIQ.


You can easily configure and manage your domain through the SearchIQ dashboard, just a few clicks and your search engine is ready. Easily create an account to add your domain and index your website. In our resources section we provide step-by-step instructions on how to implement any feature or assistance with customization.


SearchIQ features various customization options to match your website’s theme and look. Apart from the general options, you can further change the feel of your website using our ‘Custom CSS’ option.


SearchIQ’s architecture is robust and completely scalable, so you don’t have to worry if any of your domains experience more traffic than usual. As your data or query volume observes a spike or surge, SearchIQ will scale your domain’s resources up or down as needed.


SearchIQ is much more cost-effective compared to other SaaS solutions. If your website meets the criteria for number of posts, pages or products SearchIQ is totally free. If the number goes beyond what’s allowed on the free version (10k documents and 50k searches per month) you will need to upgrade to the plus version. Moreover, SearchIQ Plus is also at competitive pricing and provides unlimited indexing and searches.

Other Search Features:

  • Phrase matching
  • Autocomplete suggestions with toggle image option
  • Synonym aliasing capability
  • Weights assignment on title, content, category, tag and author
  • Real-time indexing
  • Real-time analytics
  • Cross-site functionality to link your sites together
  • Search results sorting by relevance, newest and oldest
  • Deep search functionality to search custom fields and custom post types (great for ecommerce sites or recipe sites)

Want to learn more about SearchIQ and its functionality? Check out our demo site here.

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15 Tips to Speed Up Your WordPress Website

May 14, 2017

WordPress is one of the most popular and widespread CMS platforms, but it can be quite slow unless optimized properly. And having a fast website is important because page load speed decides if the visitor will hang around or move onto another site. So your website needs to be fast. Fast loading pages increase your page views, improve user experience and help with SEO.

No one want to wait around for a website to load. According to Kissmetrics, “40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load”. A one second delay may disappoint visitors and cause them to leave your site even before it’s gotten a chance to load properly. Even Google’s search algorithm factors site speed to rank websites, so if your site is slow, your Google ranking will fall and you may experience less traffic.

A cloudliving article mentioned that every 100 ms increase in page load speed, increases Amazon’s revenue by 1%. Similarly, Gael Breton has also explained in his article on ‘AuthorityHacker’ how improving site speed results in 8.35% page view growth for their site. Moreover, the bounce rate got increased slightly. So, it is important to analyze your website first and then optimize the speed accordingly. While there are a plenty of free tools available to test your website’s speed and performance, some of the best ones are GTmetrixAlexa Site Info, and First Site Guide.

What can you do to make your site faster? In this article, we will share some simple ways to help speed up your website and improve your site’s performance.

Choose a Fast Web Host

Choosing a good web host is one of the most important decisions when you are concerned about speed and performance. Hosting companies have a lot to offer from shared hosting to VPS or dedicated managed hosting, depending on your website’s requirements. Simply going for the cheapest offering, although it may be a good bargain, may come at a cost. You may experience slow site speed and frequent downtime. Shared hosting might be the least expensive option but make sure to think about server resources, you are sharing with hundreds of customers impacting the entire server performance. To invest in a good web host, choose a hosting provider with a good reputation and a server located near the geographic region of your target audience.

Use a Simple and Clean Theme

When selecting a theme for your WordPress website, it’s better to give attention to speed optimization and go with a simpler theme. Don’t choose a theme with tons of features, that you may not need. Instead consider themes with basic functionality and use quality plugins to add features, as you need them. A poorly coded theme can be attractive and eye catching but can slow down your site.

Keep WordPress Updated

WordPress is a fast changing environment, with new updates and features being released frequently in order to keep up with trends and the needs of their users. Each new update not only offers new features but also comes with several performance improvements that make WordPress faster, more reliable and more efficient.

Not updating your WordPress version may cause a slow website and may make your site vulnerable to security threats. So follow best practices to constantly update to new versions as they are released.

Compress Images

Images add value to your content and boost user engagement. Visuals, although they enhance your site, consume bandwidth if not compressed properly. Optimizing and compressing your images should be a high priority task. In original formats, photos can be large file sizes and take long to load, and may slow down your site.

Before uploading any image on your site, reduce the size of the image using lossless compression, so you don’t compromise the image quality. Fortunately, WordPress has some great plugins to optimize images. The most popular one is WPSmush, which removes unused colors from images and drastically reduces the size of your images automatically.

Minify HTML, CSS and JavaScript Files

Minifying your CSS and JavaScript means minimize the number of HTML, CSS and JavaScript files on your website, and removing unnecessary characters from these files that are not needed – White space characters, new line characters, comments, block delimiters. These characters and comments are used to make code more readable for humans, but you need to clean the unnecessary lines, spacing and formatting so servers can read them quickly.

Rather than reducing the amount of code manually, WordPress plugins like WP Super Minify and AssetsMinify handle this process at runtime with an automated approach. These plugins minify your site’s CSS and JavaScript files, thereby improving the speed for browsers to retrieve the files.

Gzip Compression

Gzip is the most popular and effective form of compression to speed up your site. Gzip compresses your website content like web pages, CSS, and JavaScript therefore increasing the website’s loading speed significantly. According to the statistics, Gzip compression saves 50%-80% bandwidth by compressing files on the server before sending them to the browser.And when a visitor gets to your site, files are then unzipped by their web browser.

In order to Gzip your website components you need to log in to cPanel and go to Software and Services > Optimize Website. Here, select ‘Compress All Content’ and click update settings to compress the website content.

Install an Effective Caching Plugin

Caching is another important factor to speed up your WordPress website. Caching temporarily stores the content such as pages, posts, images and other files on your visitor’s local drive. So when requested by the same visitor, the pages are rendered much faster. The content needs to be loaded only once instead of every time the user revisits your site. Caching reduces page load time, thereby increasing the visitor time on site.

WordPress has several popular caching plugins, like W3 Total Cache and WP Super Cache. These two tend to be the most popular choices. They improve the overall site performance when fully configured and can reduce the page load time from 2.4 seconds to 0.9 seconds, according to this case study by YUI Team.

Implement a Content Delivery Network

Regardless of your website installation and traffic you improve your website by implementing a CDN or Content Delivery Network. A CDN takes all the static files (CSS, JavaScript, Images, Media) on your site and delivers them on a server closer to your visitor’s geographic location. This decreases the download time.

Using a CDN for your website can reduce the bandwidth consumption by 55%, improving the page load speed, visitor’s experience, duration of time on your site, conversion and SEO. Key CDN and Max CDN are the most popular CDN’s for your WordPress website.

Implement AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages)

What is AMP? Accelerated Mobile Pages or AMP is an open-source framework to increase the loading speed of your mobile web pages. It loads your pages quicker on mobile devices, which increases the traffic and CTR. Google claimed that AMP cut down load times between 15% and 85% in initial tests.

Moreover, implementing AMP can possibly offer SEO benefits. Several webmasters and marketers have observed that AMP has a huge impact on boosting your mobile search engine ranking.

Optimize Your WordPress Database

Optimizing your WordPress database is fairly a simple thing but has a big impact on your website speed. WordPress saves a lot of information in the database tables, and over time, the database can become fragmented. You need to clean and optimize your database by deleting the information that you probably don’t need like trashed items, unwanted revisions, unused tags, trackbacks, pingbacks, unapproved or spammed comments.

You can use WP-Optimize plugin to delete this unnecessary information and clean your database, ensuring smooth running of your WordPress website. Another recommended plugin to optimize your database is WP-DB Manager which allows the scheduling of regular database optimization.

Lazy Load Images and Videos

If you have a lot of images and videos on your site, lazy loading is another concept that you might want to implement. Lazy loading delays the loading of objects and shows images only when a user scrolls down the page to see them. This not only speeds up your page load time, but also saves bandwidth by loading the data after user starts scrolling your page.

To lazy load images, WordPress has a few different plugins like BJ Lazy Load and Rocket Lazy Load. The best plugin to lazy load your videos is Lazy Load for Videos.

Disable Video Auto Play on Homepage

Auto playing video on your website’s homepage is an increasing trend but unfortunately, it consumes more bandwidth and delays loading the core elements of your page.

Waiting a long time for a page to load is incredibly annoying, leads to frustration and dissatisfied visitors, which in turn increases your website’s bounce rate. So, it’s highly recommended to disable the video auto play on your site’s homepage or your landing page.

Avoid using too many Plugins

Another common reason for a slow WordPress site is having too many plugins installed. Limiting the number of plugins is crucial when it comes to site speed.

Besides, what is the point of installing plugins you don’t really need? The best approach is to analyze all the plugins and their impact on your website. Then keep the ones that are critical to run your website and delete the plugins that you don’t need or have a negative impact on your site.

Enable Hotlink Protection

What is Hotlinking? Hotlinking is when another site displays an image on their website by directly linking to it from your website. This means when someone visits their site, they are serving images from your site, taking up your bandwidth. The request to fetch the image will go to your server, so hotlinking will consume your resources and will create additional work for your server.

Blocking such links is the solution to avoid being a victim of bandwidth theft. You can disable hotlinking by simply adding the following code to your .htaccess file and updating your domain name.

Regenerate Thumbnails

Whenever you switch your site theme or install a new plugin it’s worth it to regenerate your thumbnails. Most themes use different thumbnail sizes; so if your previous thumbnails for images aren’t optimized they will take up more bandwidth. You can fix this with a WordPress plugin called Regenerate Thumbnails.

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10 Things to Consider when Picking WordPress Themes and Plugins

March 24, 2017

Being the most preferred CMS around the world, WordPress has the market share of about 60% when it comes to content management platforms. What makes WordPress amazing? It’s user-friendly interface, it’s customization, it’s easy-to-install and it requires minimal technical knowledge.

Since WordPress is expanding exponentially, choosing the perfect theme or plugin from thousands of options is a dilemma faced by most developers. Most businesses need a top notch website in such a competitive digital landscape, so choosing the right themes and plugins is crucial.

Here are 10 key tips that shouldn’t be ignored.



Is the theme responsive? This is the top priority for choosing a theme that makes your site a success. According to Marketing Land, “Mobile now represents 65% of digital media time, while the desktop is becoming a ‘secondary touch point’ for an increasing number of digital users.

In today’s digital landscape, more people are using mobile devices over desktop or tablet. So, why not choose a theme that will make your website responsive. It’s important to figure out whether your theme can display content properly on different mobile devices and screen sizes. Moreover, responsive design is also a ranking factor for your website’s SEO as Google favors websites that are mobile responsive, and places them higher in search results.

Cross-browser Compatibility

Cross-browser Compatibility

With the launch of various browsers, cross browser compatibility is another important feature to consider when selecting a theme. Your website visitors will use a range of browsers like Chrome, FireFox, Internet Explorer, Safari to access your site. So, as a website admin or developer, you need to make sure that your website’s UI looks the same in every environment.

How does cross-browser compatibility boost your website? Designing your website to work seamlessly on all major web browsers ensures that your site will cater to a large audience. Don’t forget, if your visitors can’t access features on your website you’ll lose out on potential customers.

Customizable Design

Appealing website design is essential in the competitive digital landscape. Your website is a unique entity that reflects the philosophy, principles and nature of your business, so choosing a theme that is fully customizable allows you to deliver a website that gives the best impression of your business and attracts your target audience.

How to choose a theme for your website? You should select a theme that allows proper customization of fonts, color schemes, header, footer, navigation, gallery and other components. A quality theme has various predefined built-in color schemes, easy to customize header section, image and video friendly gallery, predefined widget areas with custom formatting and styling, and allows creating a custom homepage.

SEO friendly Structure

Why should you choose an SEO-friendly theme? Regardless of your business, your website should be SEO optimized for better drive placement in search engine results. A theme that has SEO-friendly structure is valuable because it has more potential for organic traffic from search engines.

What makes a theme SEO friendly?

  • Clean and simples structure
  • Titles and descriptions for every post and page
  • Headings tag
  • Visible categories and tags
  • Supports popular SEO plugins

Social Media Integration

In today’s marketplace social media has significant popularity among users of various age groups. Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube are the top social channels that drive a remarkable amount of traffic to one’s site. As social media has billions of users around the world, it is a proven source of potential customers for your business.

To avoid cluttering your website with too many plugins, you should choose a theme integrated with social media widgets and buttons to expand your website’s customer base. The most popular way to share content is through follow, share or like buttons on posts, profiles and videos.
Social Media Integration

Multi-Lingual Support

Multi-lingual websites have become a necessity for businesses and organizations to expand. It gives a competitive advantage, increasing the client base worldwide and increasing the sales volume.

Multilingual websites provide an opportunity to improve the user experience for those visitors who aren’t native speakers of your language. It also gives visitors the impression that your website is customer-centric, which helps in building trust and converts visitors into customers. Moreover, search engines also favor multilingual behavior and this ensures maximum potential for your website to be visible when searched for.


Compatible with the Newest Version of WordPress

Compatible with the Newest Version of WordPress

Checking whether a plugin is compatible with your version of WordPress is the most important point to consider when selecting a plugin. WordPress is a fast changing environment and a plugin that has not been updated for a long time might not work properly with the latest versions of WordPress. In this scenario, the plugin can generate errors on your website or can disturb functionality altogether.

Number of Downloads

When looking for a plugin for your website, focus on how many times the plugin was downloaded. Number of downloads reflects popularity of the plugin which gives a fair idea of its effectiveness.

Ratings and Reviews

Ratings and Reviews

Ratings and reviews reflect the quality of a plugin. A WordPress plugin with low ratings or bad reviews should raise a red flag. Every plugin has a rating from 1 to 5, depending on the number of stars given by the users. More stars indicate better user experience and credibility, so it is better to go for a plugin with a rating of 4 or above.

Apart from the rating, it’s always best to read the reviews written by the users. A WordPress plugin that works as promoted will definitely have a good rating and positive reviews.

Support and Documentation

Every WordPress plugin page has a ‘support’ forum where plugin users can post queries, leave feedback and report bugs. Everything in the forum is communicated to the author. If the forum has many unresolved threads and the author is not responding to user feedback and complaints, you might want to consider choosing a different plugin, as this probably means no one is maintaining the plugin or no one if in charge of customer support.

A plugin without proper documentation will likely be difficult to install or configure. Moreover, you need to check if the plugin features are well cited in the documentation.

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Improve Functionality of your Favorite WordPress Plugins with SearchIQ II

February 27, 2017

Custom Field Suite

Custom Field Suite (CFS) is a custom field management plugin. It allows you to easily add groups of custom fields to your posts and pages with several different field types to choose from including: text, date, wysiwyg, user, relationship, hyperlink and more. The plugin is simple, easy to use and supports unique features such as the ability to add front-end editing form for the title, content and custom fields anywhere on your site.
If you choose to install CFS plugin, your website will need a great search plugin like SearchIQ. SearchIQ’s capability to index several custom field types will allow website users to access more content. With SearchIQ, you can also select to display custom field value in the results page description.

W3 Total Cache

W3 Total Cache plugin caches your search results pages, database objects, CSS, JavaScript, feeds, and more automatically. It optimizes your website’s speed and performance by reducing the page load time via integrating content delivery network (CDN). The plugin enhances server performance and improves your user experience.
Other benefits include improving your search engine ranking, compressing files to save bandwidth, sustaining high traffic and optimizing progressive page rendering. These factors affect your site’s rank and improve your conversion rate.
How does SearchIQ compliment W3 Total Cache you ask? SearchIQ displays fast and accurate results, improving the user experience further. It keeps visitors on your website happy and increases browsing time. Caching your website and using onsite search is a proven performance booster.

WPtouch Mobile

WPtouch is a WordPress plugin that makes your website mobile-friendly. The plugin adds a clean and elegant mobile friendly theme to your WordPress site automatically. Apart from the theme, the plugin also allows you to customize the appearance and styling of your website, without needing to change any code. It’s one of the simplest ways to deliver a fast and user-friendly site to your mobile visitors.
Making your website’s UI compatible on mobile devices is crucial but your website still needs more. For better UX, mobile centric search is equally important and with SearchIQ you can give your users just that! SearchIQ has the most advanced options to customize the look you want for your users including search bar placeholder text, color and more. You can also add a search icon if you don’t want a search bar on your website. Website visitors will now have the most pleasing experience no matter what device they are using.

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SearchIQ Feature Spotlight: Cross-Site Search

January 9, 2017

What is Cross-Site Search?

Cross-site functionality allows you to group as many of your websites together and display results for an entered search term. So, say you have one website dedicated to dog training and another site about dog health. It would make sense to link both of these together, as someone may search for related topics on either of these websites. You don’t want to risk losing them to another site altogether by not having them synced. This is useful to your visitor because they find the content they were looking and it makes for a great search experience.

cross site feature
In our opinion, a search engine is incomplete without this feature. The way users search content on your website has changed a lot. Today’s user expects instant and relevant results without having to do too much digging around. We believe this feature is a must-have component for any search engine to be efficient.

Implementing Cross-Site Search with SearchIQ

One of the main questions we get regarding cross-search functionality is how to implement it. Let’s dive a little deeper to explain how SearchIQ displays posts from multiple websites when a search is performed on a specific website.
Since this functionality is user centric, we designed this feature to focus on keeping it simple and effective. So we’ve made it incredibly simple to turn this feature on and off at your discretion.


• Create cross-site group
create cross-site groups

• Select which search engines you would like in this site group.
• You will see the cross-site group you just created in the admin overview. Under “Show cross-site search results” turn on either or both autocomplete and search page and your search results will be synced.
cross-site enable option


There are many reasons why one should implement cross-domain search to fine-tune their search and make it more efficient. One reason might be that you have multiple websites that have a similar theme or niche. Cross-site search will expand the search results for your users and provide them with plenty of content that might be of interest.
Another reason may be to gather more user insight by capturing search term data. Along with cross-site search, we provide cross-site analytics so you can see what visitors are looking for, what they clicked on and where (which site) they came from. This would help when optimizing your website’s content for better conversion.

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