Okay, maybe the joke in the title is “phoned in”, but it's late and I'm tired.
The quick summary: without much fanfare, Google has deprecated its SOAP API for search. The API will still be available to current users, but they've stopped issuing API keys for the SOAP service, and updates to the SOAP API have stopped. They're encouraging developers to switch to their Ajax API, which isn't as flexible in both the technological or terms-of-use senses.
Developers looking for a search engine with a decent API should take a look at Yahoo!'s Search API, which is not only available for use, but also REST based (which is a great deal less painful to code for).