Google, Yahoo and an API

Published on 1 March 2005 in , , , , ,

I know, I know. I’m behind the times. But the announcement that Yahoo were opening up APIs to its search engine got me thinking that I could finally replace the Atomz search on this site, with something that doesn’t force me to have crummy ads on it.

So I’ve spent much of the evening messing around with Google’s APIs, with some wondering of why things weren’t working (Mandrake doesn’t seem to install PHP XML for starters)

And then I got it working and started thinking.

  • Google’s index of Bods Central is far better than Yahoo’s – they do it more frequently for starters.
  • Google only offers you ten results when you do a web search. Yahoo offers up to 50.
  • Most people when searching, don’t go beyond the first page of results anyway, but ten is a bit low.
  • Most searches I get on the site don’t get more than three results anyway.
  • I could actually do something sensible, and tell Google etal only to show pages with actual content in them, not pages which are just contents pages. This would benefit all users and pointless contents pages wouldn’t be listed in search engines.

So that’s that and I’ve spent about ten minutes updating my site to do the last one on that list. And within a few days, Google might have updated its index of this site, and then I might get round to plugging the Google API in and killing off Atomz whilst all the time hoping (of course) that Yahoo’s more generous offering persuades Google to allow their API users just a little more…