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Google Deprecates SOAP Search API

No new keys, documentation pulled



5:16 am on Dec 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jtara is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Google has suddenly, and without prior notice, deprecated their SOAP-based search API. They've both stopped issuing new keys and have pulled the documentation from their website.

(Edit: it appears the documentation is still available. some sources erroneous reported that it was pulled - or else it was quickly put back...)

They are suggesting the use of the AJAX Search API. However, that appears to be a leopard of different spots.


Reaction at O'Reilly and Slashdot:



O'Reilly in particular laments the loss given that the Google Search API is the "cannonical SOAP example". Google just obsoleted a whole bunch of O'Reilly books...

Google is proving that when they say Beta, they MEAN Beta. Even when a Beta runs for an extended period of time. Beware of depending on Google Beta features!

(But doesn't this go beyond the definition of "Beta"? My understanding has always been that "Beta" software is software that is undergoing extended user testing prior to final release. Google seems now to be treating Beta software as a sandbox. A rug that they can feel free to pull at a momemt's notice.)

Better yet, beware of depending on Google.

Robert Charlton

8:17 am on Dec 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator robert_charlton is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Google Code Blog
Beyond the SOAP Search API

On December 5th, we stopped accepting new sign-ups for the Google SOAP Search API. This change does not impact current users of the SOAP Search API -- you can continue to execute queries, and we have no plans to turn off the service in the future....

...While the AJAX Search API does not provide server-side access to search results, it has a number of more powerful features, including access to Video, Maps, Blog Search, and News search results.


6:19 pm on Dec 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

My first thought is that as long as the search API's are unreliable and extremely limited in the amount of queries allowed people will continue to screen-scrape to get their SERP fix. IMO it would be better for Google to keep accepting applicaitons for the SOAP API (and increase the allowed requests per day). Not saying they shouldn't develop new APIs but might as well keep supporting the old one out of respect for people who put time/money into developing code based on it. Even though they will keep supporting the SOAP API (for now - we have no plans to turn off the service does not mean it won't happen arbitrarily soon) any code based on the SOAP API that is for sale (or open source) becomes basically worthless since a new client can't get a new API key.


4:25 am on Dec 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

If you still need SOAP access for your app, but you don't want to rely on the (unreliable and deprecated) Google SOAP Search API, there's now open source code available (using the MIT license) called EvilAPI. It of course relies on scraping.



6:07 pm on Dec 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Yahoo and MSN also have APIs; the Yahoo one is REST, the MSN one is SOAP. In any case, it looks like Google doesn't plan to discontinue their API entirely for the time being.


3:59 pm on Jan 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

it looks like Google doesn't plan to discontinue their API entirely for the time being.

They stopped issuing API keys, which is a huge issue for services like the one I offer, because the user has to provide their own API key. They've discontinued support and simply haven't turned the power off yet, so it's basically over.


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