Google's First 10 APIs: Where Are They Now?

Adam DuVander
May. 31 2013, 11:00AM EDT

ProgrammableWeb now tracks over 100 Google APIs. The search giant has always been developer-focused. By mid-2006, way early in the API timeline, Google already had 10 APIs. We'll look at where they are now and reflect on how amazing it is that eight of those 10 are still around. And there's an irony to the two that are no longer available.

Google MapsThe Google Maps API spawned an entire movement, urged forward by some of the earliest map mashups. The API gained wild popularity and Google said that it is on over 1 million websites. Long a completely free API, heavy users must now pay.

Google TalkThe Google Talk API was all about openness when it launched in 2005. In an age of AOL Instant Messenger, Google made waves. Recently, Google has favored its Hangouts feature of Google Plus. When Hangouts became its own product, the EFF said Google abandoned open standards.

Google SearchThe Google Search API was a very early API from Google to access search results. It also appears to be the first API that Google deprecated. It's a little strange that a company with search as its core competency decided to stop sharing its results with developers.

BloggerThe Blogger API was Google's first developer service outside of the main Google brand. The API for granddaddy blogging platform is now on its third version

YouTubeThe YouTube API was immediately popular. In a time when map mashups were all the rage, ProgrammableWeb saw more developers viewing the YouTube profile than Google Maps. Though there are far fewer YouTube mashups, I find video apps even more fun to browse than maps.

FeedBurnerAnother API-via-acquisition, the FeedBurner API helps developer interact with RSS feeds and data surrounding them. With the coming demise of Google Reader, it's worth speculating how much longer FeedBurner--and its API--will be part of the active Google arsenal.

Google CalendarThe Google Calendar API was an early adopter of Google's GData format, which was a key piece of the Calendar API announcement. GData is an XML-based format that spoke both RSS and Atom at a time when it seemed like those formats were going mainstream. The Calendar API v3 is more with the times, returning JSON.

Google AdWordsOf course there's an API for Google's main income stream. The Google AdWords API is the only Google-branded API from the search company to still use SOAP and there's not even a RESTful version.

Google Ajax SearchTouted as a replacement for the Google Search API, the Google Ajax Search API was JavaScript-based. This API helped Google usher developers toward the use cases it was interested in--end users performing searches. Ajax Search also made it tougher to harvest search results. The service, with a very 2006ish name, was eventually deprecated in favor of the Google Custom Search API.

Google AdSenseFinally, the Google AdSense API helps developers spread Google's homegrown ad network across millions of websites. Google went on to dogfood its way to combining two of its first 10 APIs when it integrated AdSense and Blogger using its own API.

Those are the first 10 Google APIs--which are your favorites?

Adam DuVander -- Adam heads developer relations at Orchestrate, a database-as-a-service company. He's spent many years analyzing APIs and developer tools. Previously he worked at SendGrid, edited ProgrammableWeb and wrote for Wired and Webmonkey. Adam is also the author of mapping API cookbook Map Scripting 101.

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