Google Discontinues The Free Google Search API Key - Is It Gone Forever?

Dec 18, 2006 • 12:01 pm | comments (17) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine

Google appears to have secretly discontinued the free Google SOAP API Search key. The existing API keys still do work, but they are no longer giving out SOAP keys to anyone who applies. There hasn't been any mention about this at the Google API blog, they have however pushed some new products to possibly replace it. This key has been used for years as the gateway key used by developers, webmasters and SEO's to track Google rankings, accesss Google search data, and a huge host of services Google has offered in conjuction with this API. So why has it been discontinued? It seems to be a huge shame for any user that in the future wants to access Google's search services. But then again, Google might have something better planned in the future. The SOAP API key has been around for at least 6-7 years (don't quote me on that). So it's hard to speculate why exactly Google has discounted this service.

After pointing a client to Google, they alerted me over the weekend to the fact that you can no longer access the page that gives out new Google API keys. They appear to have taken down the page. Following up on Digitalpoint thread was confirmation that other webmasters were having the same trouble.

According to the Google page:

As of December 5, 2006, we are no longer actively supporting the SOAP Search API. We encourage you to use the AJAX Search API instead.

So what does Google want to give us now? They are referring all people to their AJAX Search API. After careful review of the product, I felt like I lost my SEO thunder or some bully kid had stolen my bunny if I was a kid. I assume the logic must be, if it's AJAX it must be cool. Kidding aside, the AJAX is a nice service that lets users place an AJAX search box on their site. Its useful, but the API key it provides doesn't do anything for any of the SEO tools out there that require a Google API key. I tested it on some Digitalpoint tools just for confirmation. Feel free to try it yourself. I think some SEO developers need to hop on developing some slick SEO AJAX tools to start filling the void.

If anyone has more information on this or details from Google, please post in the comments.

There is continued discussion on Digitalpoint - How to Get A Google API

Update: Keys are still being given out, but the page to confirm has been taken down by Google and they have stated they are no longer actively supporting the SOAP API. Visit here to get a new key.

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Tadeusz Szewczyk

12/18/2006 09:05 pm

Not Found The requested URL /apis/soapsearch/emailed_existing_key.html was not found on this server.

Ben Pfeiffer

12/19/2006 12:08 am

Tadeusz, they will still send you a key via email, but there is no support from the Google website. Check your email. They have mentioned they no longer "actively support" the api so I guess this means it will be gone soon.


12/19/2006 09:51 am

Back to good old SERP scraping through proxies then ;o)

Raj Patel

12/19/2006 05:14 pm

What do you want? Its Google, the monopoly. Don't like it? Too bad. Its Microsoft all over again. Big brother company with bad quality and their rules and formats.


12/20/2006 09:59 pm

In response to Google’s discontinuation of support for their SOAP Search API, we have created the <a href="" rel="nofollow nofollow nofollow nofollow">EvilAPI</a>. The EvilAPI supports most of the same SOAP calls that Google’s SOAP Search API supports. The code is completely free and is distributed under the MIT license.


01/30/2007 06:18 pm does not work. I filled out the form (once with a gmail address and once with non-gmail) and I did not get a key (on the page or via email). Any suggestions?


01/31/2007 01:51 pm

It must be back up and working. I submitted for an API key on Google's website and received one after responding to a verification email.

No Name

06/17/2008 10:49 am

Sorry to ask you that question but I really confuse about google API. can anyone tell me the exact meaning of this? what is this? and what is the use of it? Thanks in advance


10/06/2008 04:16 am

Its 2 month since the last question posted on the comments. I am just inclined to reply it - API stands for Application Programming Interface and can be used by developers/programmers to do whatever they want to do that the API offers. For example: the google search api offered programmers access to google search functions through programming logic. Hope that helps to anyone who still have the question on their minds.


12/04/2008 11:17 pm

I signed up through here

hardev gangwar

05/02/2009 05:14 am

Hi I need google search key.


08/24/2009 04:34 pm

Hi I need google search key plz............


03/06/2010 11:06 pm

I think the best what can be done is to remove this monopoly somehow , all web masters has to move seo to some other search engines, Otherwise google will F**K all us as microsoft does...


06/08/2010 01:53 am

can u send me the codez for "google api"? reply me, i need urgent

Vikas Sharma

04/22/2011 12:29 pm

i need google api key.plz send me on urgent bases.


06/07/2011 07:06 am

yes zara u are ryt..u have told us about future!


03/24/2012 05:37 pm

Could you please make my url in api code is Trekking in the Himalaya

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