According to data and analysis from a leading DDoS mitigation and content delivery network (CDN) company, Cloudflare, Application Programming Interface (API) traffic accounted for more than 50% of the traffic it processed between February and December 2021. Additionally, APIs accounted for approximately 83% of all web traffic in 2019. These statistics point to the popularity of APIs, which stems from their convenience and flexibility. Little wonder, then, that they are also utilized in the data extraction industry.
What is an Application Programming Interface?
An API or Application Programming Interface is a tool that enables communication between two different technologies and applications. This is mainly thanks to the fact that they contain a set of rules and guidelines. In addition, APIs help developers avoid redundancy. Specifically, they prevent a situation whereby developers have to create new solutions every time they want to execute a process, yet a tool that performs this function exists. Instead, and through the use of APIs, developers link the existing tool with what they have.
Different types of APIs serve different functions. One example is the scraper API.
A scraper API enables you to access the web scraping tools and services offered by a web data gathering company. Using the scraper API, you can interact with the company’s web scraper bots without installing web scraping software on your computer. This approach offers numerous benefits, which we have listed below:
- It enables you to use the powerful servers provided by the web data gathering company, guaranteeing speed and performance.
- The scraper API eliminates the need to create a web scraper from scratch; instead, you have to download and install an API terminal.
- It allows you to integrate data collection capabilities into any application you are using, provided the application and the programming language support the sending of HTTP requests.
Types of Scraper APIs
There are several types of scraper APIs, including:
- Web scraper API
- SERP scraper API
It can extract data from major search engines. It can parse and collect data from both paid and organic data. It can also extract data from different search engine results in pages and sections, namely news, images, featured snippets, knowledge panels, and more. Additionally, the SERP scraper API can provide location-specific data
- E-commerce scraper API
It can retrieve product-related data from e-commerce product pages. The e-commerce scraper API is capable of bypassing geo-restrictions. It can extract different datasets from search and product pages, including product names, prices, descriptions, reviews, search result positions, and more.
Uses of Scraper APIs
Scraper APIs can be deployed in a myriad of use cases. These include:
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) monitoring and keyword research
Using a SERP scraper API, you can undertake keyword research. This helps identify the right keywords for your product descriptions or websites as part of search engine optimization (SEO) strategies.
A scraper API can gather travel pricing data that can then be aggregated, providing travelers with a one-stop shop for travel fare information. It can also be utilized to identify new job postings that can then be uploaded on job aggregation sites.
- Review monitoring
By extracting review data from reviews on product pages as well as dedicated review sites, you can obtain rich feedback from users.
- Reputation monitoring and brand protection
You can utilize the scraper to identify instances where your brand has been mentioned negatively on news sites or Social media platforms. This information enables you to protect your brand’s reputation.
- Ad verification
A web scraper API can enable you to identify advertisers that do not conform with the agreed-upon terms and conditions, i.e., the bad actors. You would also be able to scan the web on a large scale and identify any websites that use your ads to mimic your brand and perform scams.
- Market research and price monitoring
You can track competitors, their products, and prices using web scraping.
- Lead generation
Scraper APIs can be used to ethically access and extract contact information such as emails and phone numbers. You can then reach out to these contacts to market your products and services, offer new collaboration opportunities, etc.
Your business can utilize scraper APIs along with built-in proxy servers to search the internet looking for content that may have been accessed in an unauthorized manner. This way, you can identify data breaches and find ways to mitigate against future events.
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A scraper API can offer many advantages, enabling you to stay ahead of the competition. It is useful regarding SEO monitoring, market research, ad verification, cybersecurity, lead generation, travel fare aggregation, job aggregation, and more.