Songhay System Drops Yahoo! Search for Google Search

I spent almost all of the daylight hours last Saturday next to an open patio door trying to figure out why the Yahoo! Search API was not working with me. After discovering that search for was broken (probably for weeks), my emotions got in the way and my ego wasted precious time. I spent too much time troubleshooting Yahoo! REST calls with cURL in bash and in PHP instead of dropping Yahoo! completely. My angry conclusion: the Yahoo! Search API is safe and secure from PHP developers all over the world. It would have been great to log into some kind of utility to test my “app id” with the service to verify its correctness. Instead the “safe” thing to do is to return 500 errors and not explain what is going on… See ya later!

The decision that would have saved time is that, in my little world, the Yahoo! Search API has regressed and the Google Custom Search offerings have improved—in fact, they have exploded into a vast array of things that provide me with almost too many options:

  • There is plain-old Custom Search
  • There is Custom Search for AdSense.
  • There is Custom Search for AJAX.And there are probably others—and most of them do not require coding (apart from markup). I have yet to find a comprehensive listing of all the Google Custom Search offerings for the year 2008. But I went with the AdSense deal because “at the end of the day” Google is an advertising technology company.

Warning! Google rant: after Google bought Double Click the whole mystique of Google hiring these “pure” technical intellectuals for the sake of improving mankind and making a little money along the way (like some Ben-and-Jerry’s-style, ultra-premium brand) became a little bullshit-like to me. Double Click people are crawling all over Google now—one or two of these corn-fed sales folks used to manage the hardware section at a Wal-Mart. So much for Google technology purity…

So it was with much hesitation that more of the Songhay System eggs are placed in the Google basket. And this probably explains a little more why I would ruin a weekend trying to get Yahoo! shit to work. Here are two more Google news stories that take the luster off the pig: “Google daycare now a luxury for Larry and Sergey’s inner circle,” “Google’s daycare debacle: the Kinderplex memos,” and “Google called ‘Robber Baron’ by National Black Chamber of Commerce.”

And now the punch line: as of this Monday afternoon—after my ruined weekend—my PHP implementation of Yahoo! search is suddenly working! I have preserved my misery as a Songhay System YWS Sample. Clearly something was “down” over the weekend—or the new Yahoo! app id I applied for had to propagate. It would have been great to get some detail from Yahoo! about what could have been wrong their end while I spent hours trying to figure what I was doing wrong.

Note that these anti-Yahoo!-Search comments do not affect in any way my continuing devotion to YUI under Douglas Crockford. And, oh!, for those of us who are looking for excuses to spend more time with PHP, check out “ PHP Search Engine Showdown” detailing ways to avoid Google, Yahoo! and other blasphemous “cloud” companies.