Saturday, March 07, 2009

Obituary: Google Search API

Google Search API
Born: April 29, 2002
Retired (depricated): December 16, 2006
Death: August 31, 2009

Survived by AJAX Search API.
In attendance will be Yahoo! Search Web Services, Yahoo Search BOSS, and Live Search API.

For several years, we've been happily using Google Search API to track search results and get well structured web information. Google stopped issuing access to this API in 2006 and while our applications were grand-fathered in, the GS-API was treated like an old version of Windows 98. GS-API allowed us to obtain a lot of information that would otherwise be very time consuming to get. But now, that party is officially ending:
From: Google Developer Team [mailto:soap-notification@google.com]
Sent: Tuesday, March 03, 2009 11:23 AM
To: XXXXX@XXXXX.com
Subject: Changes to the SOAP API product

Hello,

My name is Adam XXXXX, and I'm a product manager at Google. I see that you signed up for a key for the Google SOAP Search API some time ago and that you have an application still making use of that key.

As you may know, the SOAP Search API was deprecated in 2006 and we're now planning to end support for it as of August 31st, 2009. It has been steadily declining in usage over the last couple years and we believe that the majority of the use cases are sufficiently handled by the AJAX Search API. Please refer to the AJAX API documentation and Terms of Use for more details.

Our recent blog post has more information:
http://googleajaxsearchapi.blogspot.com/2009/03/google-code-labs-and-soap-search-api.html

I'm sorry for the inconvenience this is sure to cause you, and I hope that inconvenience isn't too great. Please use this discussion group if you have questions about migrating to the AJAX Search API:
http://groups.google.com/group/google-ajax-search-api

Thanks,

Adam XXXXX
Product Manager
Google Developer Team

Email preferences: You have received this mandatory email service announcement to update you about important changes to the Google SOAP Search API.
Bye-bye Google API. Well miss you.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Dynamic Websites - Promote a Single Permalink URL

Website may allow for multiple URLs to retrieve the exact same content. A common example is:
http://www.localsplash.com/local-seo-services

Which might also be found as:
http://www.localsplash.com/local-seo-services?utm_source=djrblog-sl&utm_medium=pfi&utm_campaign=dir
http://www.localsplash.com/local-seo-services?sort=name

Notice that the only difference between the above URLs is the addition of website traffic tracking parameters and sorting parameters. There are also more complicated examples such as sub-folders and alternative page extensions.

These duplicate URLs, if indexed by the search engines, will dilute the ranking value of your website pages. To prevent multiple versions of the same page from being separately indexed; the big 3 search engines now support a header link to reference the primary URL:
<link rel="canonical" href="http://www.localsplash.com/local-seo-services"/>



Search engines and their crawlers will interpret that directive in allowing the primary page to take precedence as well they will likely attribute page ranking factors to the appropriate page.

This should be applied to all dynamic pages (ASP, PHP, etc) as a
general publishing practice since most of these pages commonly support query string parameters for sorting and tracking and 301 redirecting usually isn’t practical.

For more information see:
Google - Specify your canonical
Yahoo - Fighting Duplication: Adding more arrows to your quiver
Microsoft - Partnering to help solve duplicate content issues
http://searchengineland.com/canonical-tag-16537 - Google, Yahoo, Microsoft unite…

David Rodecker
Founder & CTO
RelevantAds
getting local business online