Are Microsoft's Government Search Days Numbered?


GSA considers new vendors for USASearch.

The General Services Administration may be on the lookout for a new commercial search engine to use as the backbone for its government-only search tool USASearch, contracting documents show.

The government search engine currently runs on Microsoft’s Bing but with tweaks to the algorithm that limit searches to government domains and that make it better at surfacing government information, a GSA spokesman said.

USASearch runs the search boxes on more than 1,500 government websites, including many federal agencies' pages, numerous state websites and several local government sites, according to the request for information posted Thursday.

The RFI could suggest GSA is interested in switching its search backbone to Google or another search provider, but it may also mean the agency is merely testing the waters. Government RFI’s don’t obligate an agency to make any new purchases and don’t necessarily indicate a new purchase is on the horizon.

The closing date for vendors to respond to the RFI is August 30.

(Image via rvlsoft/