An example of an application programming interface (API), a scraper API provides a communication channel through which consumers can communicate directly with a service provider’s web scraping infrastructure. It allows the consumer to send queries containing instructions on what data should be extracted, with the scraper API handling the rest.
There are various types of scraper APIs. These include real estate scraper APIs, SERP scraper APIs, web scraper APIs, and e-commerce scraper APIs. This article focuses on web scraper APIs which are designed to extract real-time data from most websites.
Value of a Quality Web Scraper API
A quality web scraper API generates value in the following ways:
1. Structured, Read-to-Use, and Real-Time Data
A quality web scraper API should be capable of extracting data in real time. It should also be able to parse the extracted data and provide structured data. Thus, at all times, such a solution provides ready-to-use data that can be readily inputted into the data analysis software. This way, this product saves time.
A good web scraper API should be capable of collecting localized data. To achieve this, it should offer a wide proxy and IP pool sourced from as many countries as possible. For instance, reputable service providers offer IPs from more than 190 countries.
3. Ability to Collect Data from Any Website
It should be capable of dealing with complex web structures and websites. This way, it can access data from any site.
4. High Scraping Success Rate
A quality web scraper has a high success rate. Usually, this can be attributed to the provider’s use of technologies that prevent IP blocks and CAPTCHA codes. For instance, they use proxies drawn from a pool containing millions of IP addresses and couple this with a proxy rotating tool. Additionally, they utilize digital browser fingerprinting, which generates thousands of personas that represent actual visitors. This combination makes it appear as though the web scraping requests are originating from multiple real users.
5. Favorable Payment Structure
The service provider only charges for successfully delivered results. This approach reduces the cost of web scraping and guarantees value for money.
6. Support for Multiple Programming Languages
The web scraper API should be able to accommodate disparate users. To begin with, it should support multiple programming languages. This enables any consumer to send a query without having to learn a new language.
What to Consider When Choosing a Web Scraper API in 2023
Indeed, quality web scraper APIs provide value. But what attributes should you look for to ensure you pick a quality solution? Here are the top 7 factors to consider:
1. Vast Proxy Network and Wide Coverage
The web scraper API should be capable of collecting country-specific data. This can only be achieved by having a vast network of millions of proxy servers from as many countries as possible. The reputable service providers have wide coverage, with proxies from more than 190 countries.
2. Proxy Management and Proxy Rotation
For the sake of efficiency and to boost the success rate, the scraping solution should be able to effectively manage the massive number of proxies and allied IPs. By rotating the IPs, for example, the solution prevents IP blocking – it achieves this by making it appear as though the requests are originating from different users.
4. Advanced features
Reputable service providers offer add-on services such as web crawlers and schedulers. These solutions help simplify the data extraction process.
5. Ability to Collect Real-Time Results from Complex Websites
The web scraper API should be capable of providing real-time results. This enables consumers to undertake website change monitoring or detect any changes in the prices of fares, goods, or hotel rooms, for example.
6. Support for Delivery Options
The web scraper API should be capable of delivering both structured and unstructured data. Furthermore, and for convenience, it should support delivering this data via an API. Alternatively, it should be able to send it directly to a cloud storage container.
The web scraping solution should be capable of handling both low and high volumes of requests. This way, it can accommodate a user’s needs.