You are looking at the HTML representation of the XML format.
HTML is good for debugging, but is unsuitable for application use.
Specify the format parameter to change the output format.
To see the non HTML representation of the XML format, set format=xml.
See the complete documentation, or API help for more information.
<?xml version="1.0"?>
<api>
  <query>
    <search>
      <p ns="0" title="LaTex" snippet="...lso that, although most characters occurring in this file have their usual &lt;span class=&#039;searchmatch&#039;&gt;meaning&lt;/span&gt;, there are characters such as \, $, { and } which have special meanings wit&#10;" size="6979" wordcount="1039" timestamp="2011-09-19T17:34:01Z" />
    </search>
  </query>
</api>