Besides for Google discounting their search API registration it appears that the Google Search API results are not always matching those of a normal Google search.
Now, this has been the case for as long as I remember. Since back in 2004 when I began building tools that relied on the Google Search API, the tool was never 100% accurate. Back then the total results returned for a keyword search was always off. But often the position of a keyword was off if you factored in the location you are doing that search.
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.
WebmasterWorld administrator, Tedster, said:
I have often noticed that API rankings can be out of alignment with google.com rankings. It seems inevitable today, when google.com rankings are not even in line with each other between different locations, even different cities within the US. You also see variations when you query a Google IP address directly.
Couldn't agree more. So now the question is, is the Google Search API now totally useless, even if you have API keys to use the API?
Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.