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Google Ends Support for SOAP Search API


By hagrin - Posted on 19 December 2006

Well, this news puts the lockdown to the SEO project I was working on.

Google has very quietly ended support for the SOAP Search API which allowed SEOs like myself to query the search engine through a SOAP call and take those results and build reports for those looking to measure their site's performance within the search engine. Now, the results from the search engine definitely weren't accurate as manual searches for terms displayed much different results than the SOAP generated results. However, it still provided a valuable tool to SEOs to paint a broad picture of their site's performance.

No more SOAP API keys are being issued and it is unclear as to when the SOAP server will be taken offline rendering all these SOAP driven applications useless.

Google is now directing their coders to the AJAX Search API which is more restrictive than the previous SOAP API. However, now Google requires that a valid URL send the request to the Google server and you can no longer run background processes to gather these results. This means an end to the SEO report generator as we know it and a switch to "illegal" page scraping will most likely occur. I'll reserve judgement on all of this until I fully explore the alternatives, but I definitely see this as an unnecessary restriction that just encourages the more intensive page scraping.