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Anyone have one installed and running? Is it worth the money?
A little back-story: A colleague and longtime collaborator recently purchased and installed a Google Search Appliance on his servers. He noticed a significant increase in gbot's crawl rate of his sites...and Google's index of his site found content previously overlooked despite his best intentions. His pagerank and SERPs listings increased as well -- with the only notable change being the installation of the Google Search Appliance. Kindly, he mentioned this to me and suggested I could benefit from purchasing and installing this blue box myself. He does do some site work for me, but he isn't a G salesman, so he likely doesn't stand to really make much, if any, money off of my purchase of this item. I would still like to appeal to the forum here for any advice, thoughts, experiences, etc.
Certainly, it seems intuitive that if one install's some of Google's hardware and allows the big G to scope out your site from the inside...it would increase crawl rate and boost the breadth and depth of your index. The pagerank and SERPs listings I am not willing to take as given, though they seem plausible results.
Even some of their own writing hint at this end (emphasis is mine):
The Google Search Appliance crawls your content and creates a master index of documents that's ready for instant retrieval using Google's search technology, whenever a customer or employee types in a search query. The Google Search Appliance can index millions of documents, and its security features ensure that users can only access the information that they have permission to view. It's integrated hardware and software, making it easy to set-up and maintain.
So, is it worth getting a box from Google and giving them even more access to my site? to my information?
Pros? Cons? Experiences? Thoughts? Could you accomplish these same ends with only coding in Google Site Search?