Back in 2011, Google announced that they would kill a number of their search APIs, a move that they described as a ‘spring clean’. A number of APIs specifically would get the axe, according to the announcement. These were the Google Image Search API, the Google Video Search API, the Google Blog Search API, the Google News Search API and the Google Patent Search API. This announcement came after the internet giant developed other APIs that also cover these same items.
With all of the recent API announcements, our API directory is getting quite long! However, some of our older APIs have been superseded by bigger and better things and others may not be receiving the necessary love. As the web evolves and priorities change, we sometimes deprecate APIs – that is, remove them from active development – to free up resources and concentrate on moving forward. Today we’re announcing a spring cleaning for some of our APIs.
According to Google, users were given more than fair notice. After all, it did actually support the APIs in the first place, and this support existed for three years. And this also continued for more than 18 months. However, it is now official that the spring cleaning is almost finished and, on Friday, February 15th, 2016, they will stop working; really, this time.
We are now announcing the turndown of the above APIs. These APIs will cease operations on February 15, 2016. You may wish to look at our Custom Search API as an alternative for these APIs.
According to Vijay Subramani, who is the Google cloud platform’s technical program manager, all good things have to end at some point. He feels that the depreciation window will finally be totally complete, and the APIs must end.
People are already blaming Diane Green for the announcement. It is tempting to do so, of course, as she is the new Czar of the Google cloud and it is likely that she wants to do something in order to make her mark. Wielding the broom is a move most newly appointed senior leaders like to do, as it enables them to show the world who they are and what they stand for. However, whether or not this is her first act of leadership is quite irrelevant. The reality is that while it may be very nice for developers when APIs are dangling for a year and a half, it definitely isn’t good for overall business. The only exception would be if a large number of very important users are still depending on an API. This is certainly not the case with the APIs that Google is now finally going to kill.
The reality is that it isn’t clear why Google completed the longest spring clean on record. It is also a cold hard fact that the APIs are going to heaven and people needed to say goodbye to them – if they are still using them. And luckily, Google now offers custom search APIs instead, where users should be able to find everything that they need.
Google Custom Search enables you to create a search engine for your website, your blog, or a collection of websites. You can configure your engine to search both web pages and images. You can fine-tune the ranking, add your own promotions and customize the look and feel of the search results. You can monetize the search by connecting your engine to your Google AdSense account.
Whether or not people will miss the APIs is not clear. Some even said that they were under the impression that they were already terminated some four years ago. Perhaps the reality is that Google had simply forgotten about them?