Tim Bray comments on the deprecation of the Google API (I commented here), mostly by referencing this commentary from David Megginson:
Forget about the SOAP vs. REST debate for a second, since most of the world doesn’t care. Google’s search API let you send a search query to Google from your web site’s backend, get the results, then do anything you want with them: show them on your web page, mash them up with data from other sites, etc. The replacement, Google AJAX API, forces you to hand over part of your web page to Google so that Google can display the search box and show the results the way they want (with a few token user configuration options), just as people do with Google AdSense ads or YouTube videos. Other than screen scraping, like in the bad old days, there’s no way for you to process the search results programmatically — you just have to let Google display them as a black box (so to speak) somewhere on your page.
I feel stupid for having missed this yesterday, but one of the commenters on my post made the obvious point about that, which amounts to: "well, duh". To be more explicit, let me lift his comment out:
Never mind SOAP - I don't get how it could ever be in the interest of a search engine company to provide their technology through an interface that does not provide any way to earn them money. It would be one thing to offer such a service on a subscription basis, but I don't see any point of doing it without any way to recoup the cost.
Which explains the whole thing. Ask yourself: how does Google benefit (and no, warm fuzzies from developers don't count) by having an open API that anyone can use? It's a free lunch for any developer to ride on, and there's no real need to credit Google in any way. Meaning, there's no revenue there.
What an awful lot of people forget is that companies are not charities. Their purpose in life is to make money for their shareholders, not to make developers all happy about free stuff. Sometimes, those things overlap. In this case, it's very, very hard to see the overlap.
Google, search, API, mashable