It looks like Compare-Stuff’s days are numbered. Bing’s Search API is moving to pay-only. If I can’t find a free (for low volume usage) search API, I will probably shut the site down…

Here’s an excerpt from the email I got today:

A few important things to note regarding the upcoming transition:

  • With the transition, Bing Search API developers will have access to fresher results, improved relevancy, and more opportunities to monetize their usage of the Search API. To offer these services at scale, we plan to move to a monthly subscription model. Developers can expect subscription pricing to start at approximately $40 (USD) per month for up to 20,000 queries each month.
  • The transition will begin in several weeks and will take a few months to complete. Developers will be encouraged to try the Bing Search API for free on the Windows Azure Marketplace during the transition period, before we begin charging for the service.
  • At this time, you can continue using Bing Search API 2.0 free of charge. After the transition period, Bing Search API 2.0 will no longer be available for free public use.

Please tweet me at @bobmaccallum if you have any ideas about alternative search APIs. Thanks!