Google Search API Questioned Again

    February 15, 2008
    WebProNews Staff

Industry pros have never been fully happy with the results they receive through Google’s Search API.

Since the API does not match up with what a typical searcher sees on the web, Google’s Search API has been giving people fits. Search marketers want to build tools to reliably help with their work.

Google Search API Questioned Again

Barry Schwartz said at Search Engine Roundtable he has observed bad behavior with the API since 2004. Another person’s recent experience prompted Schwartz to compare modern-day search versus that of a few years ago:

But today, in the world of personalized search and extreme geo-related results in Google, it is often possible for one person to not have the same results as the next one for the same query.

A WebmasterWorld thread has a user who is complaining that the results don’t match up. The member said, “I monitor a number of sites for clients using the Google search API and am noticing that search results are fluctuating a lot when I compare the API results to the results from the live site.” Yes, and in the times when Google is updating their index in minutes, with dozens of data centers, personalization and geo-targeting – it is almost impossible for the API results to match those of a typical searcher exactly.

As Schwartz sees it, matching the API results could be impossible. But if the API has never been 100 percent accurate, someone may need to craft a better tool to return results from the web-facing side of Google.

Sounds like a task for someone with Perl skills and a good grasp of modules on CPAN. Any takers, or is everyone doing AJAX/JavaScript/Ruby instead of boring old warp-speed text processing these days?