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Darren Chamberlain > Tie-Google > Tie::Google



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Tie::Google - Single-variable access to Google search results


  my $KEYFILE = glob "~/.googlekey";
  my ($g, @g, %g);

  # Tied array interface
  tie @g, "Tie::Google", $KEYFILE, "perl";
  for my $r (@g) {
      printf " * <a href='%s'>%s</a>\n",
          $r->{'URL'}, $r->{'title'};

  # Tied hash interface
  tie %g, "Tie::Google", $KEYFILE;
  for my $term (qw[ perl python ruby ]) {
      my $res = $g{$term};
      printf "%d results for '%s:\n", scalar @$res, $term;

      for my $r (@$res) {
          printf " * <a href='%s'>%s</a>\n",
              $r->{'URL'}, $r->{'title'};

  # Tied scalar interface: I Feel Lucky
  use LWP::Simple qw(getprint);
  tie $g, "Tie::Google", $KEYFILE, "perl";

USING Tie::Google ^

Using tied variables can make searching Google much simpler for trivial programs. Tie::Google presents a simple interface to Google's search API, using Net::Google as the underlying transport mechanism. To use Tie::Google, you must already be registered with Google and have an API key.

You can tie scalars, arrays, or hashes to the Tie::Google class; each offers slightly different functionality, but all offer direct access to Google search results. The basic syntax of all types is:

  tie VAR, 'Tie::Google', $APIKEY, $QUERY, \%OPTIONS;



VAR is the variable name, which can be a scalar, array, or hash:

  tie $g, "Tie::Google", $KEY, $term;
  tie @g, "Tie::Google", $KEY, $term;
  tie %g, "Tie::Google", $KEY, $term;

APIKEY is your Google API key or a file containing the key as the only item on the first line; see for details.


QUERY is your actual search term(s), as a string. This can be arbitrarily complex, up to the limits Google allows:

  tie $g, "Tie::Google", $KEY,
    " allintitle:priest court -judas";

Any options specified in this hashref will be passed to the Net::Google::Search instance. Available options include starts_at, max_results, ie, oe, and lr. See Net::Google.

The Tied Array Interface

Tieing an array to Tie::Google gives you an array of search results. How many search results are returned depends on the value of the max_results option defined when the array was tied (or $DEFAULT_BATCH_SIZE if max_results was not set), though extending the array of results can be done by growing the array.

  $#g = 20;

Will resize the result set to 20 results. If there are more than 20, the ones on the end will be popped off; if there are less than 20, then more will be retrieved.

Tie::Google supports all non-additive array operations, including shift, pop, and the 3 argument form of splice (not the 4 argument version). Specifically unallowed are unshift, push, and general assigment.

See "RESULTS" for details about the individual search results.

The Tied Hash Interface

The tied hash interface is similar to the tied array interface, except that there are a bunch of them. Asking for a key in the hash %g initiates a search to Google, with the specified key as the search term:

  my $results = $g{'perl apache'};

This initiates a search with "perl apache" as the query. $results is a reference to an array of hashrefs (see "RESULTS" for details about said hashrefs).

Tied hashes support all hash functions, including each, keys, and values. Deleting from the hash is allowed (it removes the search results for the deleted terms), but adding to the hash is not.

There can be many sets of search results stored in a tied hash. To see what this looks like, try this:

  use Data::Dumper;
  my (%g, $KEY, $dummy);

  tie %g, "Tie::Google", $KEY;
  $dummy = $g{'perl'};
  $dummy = $g{'python'};
  $dummy = $g{'ruby'};

  print Dumper(tied(%g));

Also, for comparison, try:

  tie @g, "Tie::Google", $KEY, "perl";
  print Dumper(tied(@g));

If starts_at or max_results are specified during the tie, these options are carried over into new searches (when a new key is requested from the hash), so plan accordingly. If the max_value is set to 1000, for example, then every access of a new key is going to contain 1000 elements, which will be pretty slow.

The Tied Scalar Interface

Do you feel lucky? If so, tie a scalar to Tie::Google:

  tie $g, "Tie::Google", $KEY, "python";

Will give you the top result. This is conceptually similar to using the "I Feel Lucky" button on's front search interface.


All results (values returned from these tied variables) are hash references; the contents of these hashrefs are based on the Net::Google::Response class (see Net::Google::Response for details). These elements currently are:

All keys are case sensitive, and return exactly what Net::Google::Response says they do (Tie::Google does no massaging of this data).


This module is far from complete, or even fully thought out. TODO items currently include:


Net::Google, DBD::google


darren chamberlain (<>), with some prompting from Richard Soderberg.

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