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Privacy-friendly Google search scraper Scroogle has posted a message today that their service no longer works due to the new Google search interface. The Scroogle service had been running since 2002.
From Scroogle, “We regret to announce that our Google scraper may have to be permanently retired, thanks to a change at Google. It depends on whether Google is willing to restore the simple interface that we’ve been scraping since Scroogle started five years ago.”
Daniel Brandt, Public Information Research, posted the message and notes, “Now that interface is gone. It is not possible to continue Scroogle unless we have a simple interface that is stable. Google’s main consumer-oriented interface that they want everyone to use is too complex, and changes too frequently, to make our scraping operation possible.
Over the next few days we will attempt to contact Google and determine whether the old interface is gone as a matter of policy at Google, or if they simply have it hidden somewhere and will tell us where it is so that we can continue to use it. ”
Brandt concludes with his thoughts on Google and Microsoft, “Microsoft made a decision for corporate protectionism, and even today many people will never forgive them for their past arrogance. Let’s hope Google doesn’t do the same thing. It’s not as if Google needs the money — but then, neither did Microsoft.”
I am not a fan of the new Google interface – maybe over time I will accept the changes but overall they just didn’t seem needed. Some say they were made to copy Bing but no one I’ve spoken with uses Bing unless they come through a paid ad or are using the cashback engine.
Chris Williams at The Register has more thoughts on the topic of privacy related to Google search.