To make an effective scraper on one's own, everything should be considered – from ways to avoid blocking to writing an algorithm that will parse web pages quickly and process data.
There are many options to simplify the work, for example, ready-made APIs for collecting data from sites. Web scraping API is a tool that helps to optimize and simplify the development of scrapers. This will optimize the work and protect the scraper from blocking.
However, choosing the right API can be quite difficult, so it's worth looking at the ten most used scraping APIs, and at the end, consider a comparison table that may help you make a choice.
A list of popular services that provide scraping APIs:
Scrape-It.Cloud is one of the well-developed projects with a constantly updated API. The service provides two ways to work: use the API to implement the creation of a request and use it in the application, or use the web version and get the necessary data from a personal account.
To use the service, sign up and sign in:
The Dashboard tab contains a summary of the profile and usage statistics. Also on this page is the API key, which will be needed when creating a request.
Next, either implement the API in the application or use the web interface to collect data. The service provides three different APIs:
1. REST API. A standard scraping API that allows collecting data from websites.
2. SERP API. Returns Google search results.
3. Maps API. Performs data from Google Maps.
For those who are just thinking about using the API, there is an opportunity to try the features of the service for free. The free trial version provides 1000 credits (the price of one request is 10credits) and a whole month in order to be able to use the tool's possibilities. Also, there is documentation with examples of using the API on the site and a description of the attributes.
One of the advantages of the service is that in case of a long response from the server or when an error is returned, credits will not be charged.
Service provides four tariff plans:
In general, the service is quite convenient and simple, so it is suitable even for beginners. And the examples given in the documentation, in several programming languages, will contribute to faster learning.
Like the previous one, Scraperapi promises to help with scraping and blocking avoidance. To be more precise, the service promises to take care of Custom Headers, Sessions, Geographic Location, Premium Residential/Mobile Proxies, Device Type, and Autoparse features.
The personal account here looks both simpler and less functional.
Here are the API key and sample requests for implementation in the application. Unfortunately, the service does not have a web version for making requests directly from your personal account.
The service provides two modes:
- API mode.
- Proxy mode.
Each new user receives 5000 credits for seven days. The cost of one request can vary from 1 to 75. It depends both on the parameters specified in the request and on the site that needs to be scrapped.
For example, the price of Google SERP scraping without additional parameters is 25 credits. There are four subscription options on the site.
The site has documentation with detailed examples written in several languages. So the implementation of this API in the application doesn’t cause difficulties.
New users receive 1000 credits for 15 days and access to their personal accounts.
The service provides two options for working: using the API for embedding into the application or using a personal account to fulfill requests.
The ScrapingBee documentation offers several options for working with the service:
- HTML API.
- Google Search API.
- Proxy mode.
- Data extraction.
For each option, there are examples with ready-made queries, as well as a detailed description of the attributes used.
ScrapingBee service has four subscription options.
The cost of one request depends on the specified parameters and can vary from 1 to 75 credits:
|Features used||API credit cost|
The service has a free tariff – after signing up, the user receives 1000 credits.
The service doesn’t have a web version for parsing data from a personal account. However, a query builder helps prepare an API request for implementation in an application.
In addition to the free plan, the service offers four subscription options. The cost of one request can vary from 1 to 25 credits. But the service also charges a fee for unsuccessful requests. The cost of one request depends on the parameters:
The documentation page describes how to use the service and sample requests.
The ProWebScraper service was focused on scraping from a site in a personal account. The obtained results are available for download in several formats: JSON, CSV, Excel, and XML. In addition, the service supports integration with other cloud services such as Amazon S3, Dropbox, or Google Cloud Storage.
In personal accounts available after signing up, the service offers ready-made solutions.
In addition to the web version, there is also an API. The API key is an Account.
ProWebScraper doesn’t offer credits for trial, but it offers 100 requests. That is, there are no differences in the complexity of the queries being executed. And the cost of a subscription depends only on the number of required requests per month and varies from $40 for 5,000 requests to $1,000 for 500,000 requests.
After signing up, the user gets the opportunity to try the service for free without a linking card. The trial version includes 1000 credits for one month, after which the user can switch to a suitable subscription option or stop using it.
The service offers three subscription options.
The service can't fulfill requests from a personal account. Also, the service doesn't have a request builder, but it has well-written documentation.
The cost of one request depends on the parameters and can vary from 1 to 25 credits per request.
ScrapingDog has both an API and a web service for making and configuring requests. To send a request, registration is enough, after which the user receives 1000 credits for test requests. The free plan only lasts for one month.
API key, like the request launcher, in the user's personal account. There are also not only APIs for collecting data from ordinary web resources but also ready-made solutions:
- To collect data from Linkedin. It will be needed for HR managers. Moreover, it does not require additional knowledge. To use, just enter a link to the data collection page.
- To collect data from Google SERP. It also doesn’t require additional skills, and it is enough to enter keywords and locations for search.
- However, this doesn’t mean that it is impossible to implement these features in the program since the service has three own APIs :
- Request API. Returns data results from any web page.
- LinkedIn API. Allows collecting data from Linkedin quickly.
- SERP API. Returns the search results.
The service offers three subscription options. The cost of one request can vary from 1 to 25 depending on the parameters:
|Feature used||API credit cost|
ScraperBox service offers a web scraping API that uses a random residential proxy with a real chrome browser and also takes care of solving a CAPTCHA.
The service has a simple but user-friendly interface. ScraperBox also has a simple query builder, but users won't be able to test it on the website. Upon signing up, each user receives 1000 credits by default.
The request price varies from 1 to 15 depending on the parameters:
|Feature used||API credit cost|
ScraperBox offers four subscription options.
The trial version gives the opportunity to get acquainted with the service for one month, as well as 10,000 credits to fulfill requests. Requests can be made in the user's personal account, where the query constructor is located.
The resulting request can be run immediately on the site or used in an application.
The price of one request varies from 1 to 250 credits and depends on the parameters:
|Request settings||API credits cost|
|Simple request (no JS rendering) + standard (datacenter) proxy||one|
|Simple request (no JS rendering) + premium (residential) proxy||fifty|
|Headless browser (JS rendering) + standard (datacenter) proxy||ten|
|Headless browser (JS rendering) + premium (residential) proxy||250|
The price of one request depends on the parameters and can vary from 1 to 30:
|Request Settings||API Call Cost|
|Datacenter Proxies + Browser||1 + 5 = 6|
|Residential Proxies + Browser||25 + 5 = 30|
The service has a built-in query builder. On the API Player page, a request is created and exported, for example, to Postman, and also launched from a personal account, as well as set up a request execution schedule.
ScrapFly offers five subscription options. The limit value of requests is not strictly limited, and the service promises that even if the requests on the account run out, the execution will not be interrupted, and one can go beyond 10,000 credits.
So, for the most part, web services that provide APIs for scraping are similar in their functionality. However, in order to make a choice, it is worth comparing them:
|Proxy rotation||CAPTCHAs solving||Query Builder||Running a request from a site||Test Requests||Cost per 100,000 requests|
|ScraperApi||Yes||Yes||No||No||200||≈ 250 $|
|ScrapingDog||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||85||≈ 110 $|
For a convenient comparison, the cost and number of requests were considered, not credits. The exchange was approximate. For example, if the cost of requests varies from 1 to 70 credits, then the cost of 1 request was taken as 35 credits.