Leader of Birmingham.pm [pm.org] and a CPAN author [cpan.org]. Co-organised YAPC::Europe in 2006 and the 2009 QA Hackathon, responsible for the YAPC Conference Surveys [yapc-surveys.org] and the QA Hackathon [qa-hackathon.org] websites. Also the current caretaker for the CPAN Testers websites and data stores.
If you really want to find out more, buy me a Guinness
It appears that Google have rendered a notable part of CPAN null and void to new users. As of December 2006 they abandoned the SOAP API and the API Key that went with it. Anyone with an existing key can still use the SOAP API with that key, however, it leaves those of us that never got a key high and dry. Thus meaning the likes of Net::Google and WWW::Search::Google (or any code using the SOAP API) are now completely redundant.
I figured that if they're taking away the ability to search Google via the SOAP API, then they must have relocated it elsewhere. And they sort of have, but also haven't. Now I may be misunderstanding all the documentation on their site about the various APIs, but when it comes to simple web searching, as you would through the standard www.google.co.uk (or www.google.com for non-UK readers) web portal, they appear to have disbanded any generic interface to it.
The first redirection is the AJAX Search API, but that ties you to a specific website. However my search requirements have nothing to do with website presentation, and more for a simple command line tool to retrieve some very specific results. The next redirection is Google Base Data, but despite giving the impression that it might be what I want, the examples are all for specific products or people and bare no resemblance to the same search query used in the web browser search box. Next in the chain was Google Data. Seeing as this is the core API to many of their other APIs, I was hopeful that this, somewhere, would open up the API to the simple search mechanism. But after much trawlling through the documentation, I have yet to find anything that specifically indicates that I can do a simple web search. Again the examples and demos don't return anything even close to the result set I'm looking for.
Google themselves state "Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful". At the moment they've failed via their APIs, as data returned is definitely not universal, their search data as a whole is mostly inaccessible and therefore renders the API route pretty useless. Even such a simple term as "Perl+Mongers" returns nothing! It's looking like I'll have to go back to the tried and trusted method of web scraping, which seems to be me to be a bit of step backwards and wastes rather more electrons that should be necessary.
I don't think I'm having good time with Google this year. Don't get me wrong, I think alot of what they have published for their APIs and Apps is a great start. But it would be nice to see them finished off.
It seems I'm not the only one disappointed by the service removal.