Count for specific words on the web

If I place a search term of a few words in Google, like "My + restaraunt + good", google will return the search and the number of hits.

I would like to do this programatically using Basic (PowerBasic)  - and obtain just the number of hits.  I can make the code to submit and read the google page for this information, but am wondering if this is possible some other way - an API, app, etc?

I'm new to the world of using the internet programatically. It almost sounds to me that I'm looking for a webcrawler that just returns the number of positive "finds" on the web for a given set of words.

I was told that perhaps Curl would work, but that seems to return full documents and seems to require specific URLs. I'm just looking for a count.  Perhaps Curl would work somehow, but before I go running down that road, I'm wondering what might be available.

Can someone point me in the right direction?
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Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
You are probably not going to be able to do this like you want.  Google only returns a quick estimate of the search phrase you enter, not an exact count.  In addition, Google has many many servers running many robots to gather this information.  Unless you have vast resources, you won't be able to get a usable result yourself from the tens of millions of web sites that exist.

What is your purpose in trying to get this info?
Scott Fell, EE MVEDeveloper & EE ModeratorCommented:
You want to use something already in place.  The last thing you want to do is copy what google or bing already has done and redone.

Google has a custom search api you can use and I'm sure Bing as something similar

Does this look like what you need?
GNOVAKAuthor Commented:
Dave -
I'm looking to compare numbers on a day to day basis to determine the effect on various items. If the number of results goes up for a given day, is there  a relationship to what happens?

padas - that's the right track, I'll have to look into seeing if they will return numbers. I'm not interested in the content per se , only the number of results returned. (actually, the delta on a day to day basis).

Open to suggestions everyone...
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Scott Fell, EE MVEDeveloper & EE ModeratorCommented:
I did something like this a long time ago as an experiment.  Things change pretty quickly though.  Looking at the api 

The <M> tag identifies the estimated total number of results for the search.

Note: This estimate may not be accurate.

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Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
You need to re-think what you're doing.  The 'Search Results' count estimate for a particular phrase change from page to page in the Google search result listings.  In general Google is not interested in giving you the information you're looking for.

See here:

Even in their paid search...

And this page says they filter out the very thing you are looking for, repetitive word counts:
GNOVAKAuthor Commented:
Seems that they are still consistant with their numbers per a specific, short time period. Also states that you can get more accurate results with a rx parameter.
The point is that comparatively, it might still work.

But, then again, that's why I'm looking to the internet experts here to guide me to a potential alternative. I dont know a lot about coding for the internet, but do know coding in general - VB, assembler, various DB, etc.
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