Earlier in December Google cut off access to its SOAP API for new customers. This move has concerned many developers and webmasters.

The Google Search API was still in beta and designed to allow developers to create programs to perform a Google search using SOAP. (Simple Object, Access, Protocol).
At code.google.com the site notes:

“As of December 5, 2006, we are no longer issuing new API keys for the SOAP Search API. Developers with existing SOAP Search API keys will not be affected.”

Google appears to be pushing the switch over to the AJAX Search API instead and directs users to the AJAX page.

The AJAX Search API is better suited to make it easier for webmasters and developers to incorporate a dynamic search box which includes Video, News, Maps and Blog searches and also to use when building web apps on top of Google search.

While this change will not affect the average internet user, it will have an impact on some webmasters and developers. Google says the existing SOAP API’s will not be affected, but making the switch may be in your best interest, as SOAP may be completely phased out over time.