Oh! "Here at Google, we're about to start offering an API to our search-engine, so that people can programmatically use Google through a clean and clearly defined interface" [via Slashdot]. At a guess, this will neither be public nor free -- but it brings the possibility of a legal googlematic [IM bot to search Google] a little closer. Here's to the scriptable www.
Two other search engines of interest: Wisenut [interesting UI additions; smart search suggestions]; Teoma [clustering on the fly].