Just a few days ago I reported that I was included in a random test where I couldn’t create queries for less than 20 queries.
Now we have had Google Instant launch and people have been playing with it for 24 hrs or so.
One of the things I have spotted is that currently, it is really hard to get more than 10 queries per search for normal users.
I have tried simple queries like this
I have tried by seting my search preferences to 100 results
I have tried with Google Instant switched on and off
I have tried both logged into Google, and logged out
Currently the only combination that allows me more than 10 search results of all those possible factors is logged out, with Google instant swiched off.
That could easily mean that Google will leave a window for scrapers to get 100 results, I could be part of another test group, or this could be a bug in the aftermath of the test group I was included in.
It is not an option I use very frequently, but it is something used heavily for rank checking tools.
Technically, automated queries against Google’s search index that don’t utilize Google’s Search API are a violation of Google’s terms of service and webmaster guidelines.
Some might claim that Google scrape their content without permission – the difference is that Google adhere to the REP (Robots Exclusion Protocol) – you can block them with a robots.txt file in the root directory of your domain.
However many webmasters want to monitor their search rankings with tools (Google provide some data in webmaster tools of questionable accuracy) – the only viable way to do it is with automated tools.
If you happen to work for an INC500 with rules about not breaking Google terms of service, but you have to provide reporting on ranking… you end up doing the queries manually and recording them in a spreadsheet.
I am hoping this is just a bug that will eventually be fixed… what do you think?
p.s. still preparing a longer Google Instant opinion piece.. watch this space
Yes it is a date range parameter – i.e. a work-around that currently works