May 26, 2011

Safe Browsing Protocol v2 Transition

Last year, we released version 2 of the Safe Browsing API, along with a reference implementation in Python. This version provides more efficient updates compared to version 1, giving clients the most useful (freshest) data first. The new version uses significantly less bandwidth, and also allows us to serve data that covers more URLs than previously possible. Browsers including Chrome and Firefox have already migrated to version 2, and we are confident that the new version works well and delivers significant benefits compared to the previous version.

We are now planning to discontinue version 1 of the protocol to help us better focus our efforts and resources. On December 1, 2011, we will stop supporting version 1 and will take the service down shortly thereafter. If you are currently using version 1 of the protocol, we encourage you to migrate as soon as possible to the new version. In addition to the documentation and reference implementation, there’s a Google Group dedicated to the API where you may be able to get additional advice or ask questions as you prepare to transition. Those of you who who have already migrated to version 2 will not be affected and do not need to take any further action.

If you are looking to migrate from the version 1 API and are worried about the complexity of the version 2 API, we now have a lookup service that you can use in lieu of version 2 of the Safe Browsing Protocol if your usage is relatively low. The lookup service is a RESTful service that lets you send a URL or set of URLs to Google and receive a reply indicating the state of those URLs. You can use this API if you check fewer than 100,000 URLs per day and don’t mind waiting on a network roundtrip. This process may be simpler to use than version 2 of the Safe Browsing Protocol, but it is not supported for users who will generate excessive load (meaning that your software, either your servers or deployed clients, will collectively generate over 100,000 requests to Google in a 24-hour period).

If you are currently using version 1 of the Safe Browsing Protocol, please update to either the Safe Browsing Protocol version 2, or the lookup service, before December 1, 2011. If you have any questions, feel free to check out the Google Safe Browsing API discussion list.

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