The Many Types of Scraper APIs: Which One is For You?

There are several types of scraper APIs, each designed for a specific function. Thus, if you are in the market for one, it is vital to know beforehand what each of them offers to pick the right one. This article intends to help you by providing all the information you need. We will discuss the various types of scraper APIs and their uses. But first, what is a scraper API, and what are its features?

What is a Scraper API?

A scraper API is an application programming interface that connects third-party applications with a service provider’s servers (endpoints). It acts as a channel through which users send queries (API calls) containing a list of web pages to be scraped. Upon receipt of the request, the server takes over; it chooses the appropriate proxy, manages the assignment and rotation of the proxies, sends the HTTP requests, and parses the HTML data sent by the web servers. It is worth pointing out that the scraper API’s built-in headless browser renders JavaScript. Next, this solution saves the extracted data in JSON. Finally, it can deliver this data through the API or send it directly to a cloud storage container.

Features of a Scraper API

Depending on the service provider, a typical Scraper API has the following features:

  • Built-in headless browser, which facilitates JavaScript rendering
  • Parsing
  • A large number of IP Addresses
  • Proxy management and proxy rotation
  • Dynamic browser fingerprinting: This creates multiple unique users, thus preventing IP blocks or CAPTCHAs
  • Integration with third-party applications
  • Several data delivery options, e.g., sending the extracted data via the API or directly to a cloud container
  • Platform-agnostic capabilities: A scraper API can be accessed from any device, operating system, or application

Types of Scraper APIs

There are four main types of scraper APIs

1.     General-Purpose Scraper API

A general-purpose scraper API or web scraper API is designed to extract data from most websites. It automatically sends requests, parses the HTML files, renders JavaScript, and saves the extracted data in JSON. As a result, the web scraper API is equipped with the capability to extract data from JavaScript-heavy websites.

The general-purpose scraper API can be used for:

  • Travel fare aggregation
  • Job aggregation
  • Market research
  • Academic research
  • Website change monitoring
  • Lead generation

2.     SERP Scraper API

A SERP scraper API collects real-time data from search engine results pages (SERPs). This solution can collect data from major search engines, including Google, Bing, Yandex, Yahoo, and Baidu, just to mention a few. In addition, it can access and extract location-specific paid ad results for different keywords. And given that search results can vary based on the location, the SERP scraper API can undertake country, state, city, or coordinate-level targeting.

The SERP scraper API can be used for:

  • Retrieving keywords for search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Tracking ads data
  • Brand monitoring
  • Collecting keyword-specific images
  • Content analysis to identify content that appeals to customers, helping you to come up with topics for your website’s blog
  • Competitor monitoring: by collecting data associated with a given keyword, the SERP scraper API can help you identify businesses that rank based on that term
  • Lead generation: You can use a SERP scraper API to retrieve companies’ contact information, especially if you want to establish a working relationship

3.     Real Estate Scraper API

A real estate scraper API is specifically designed to collect real estate data. This includes location-specific rental listings and prices, market reports, homes for sale by owners or agents, foreclosures, property managers, real estate agents, and more.

The real estate scraper API is used for:

  • Identifying new investments and properties to purchase
  • Discovering market trends and projections
  • Optimize the price of your property based on market standards
  • Sentiment analysis based on homeowners’ reviews; you can, for instance, gather important data such as factors that make a neighborhood appealing, valuable features of homes in various neighborhoods, and amenities in a given location
  • Uncover geo-targeted advertisements of real estate property: the built-in proxies enable you to collect geo-targeted ad data from any location

4.     E-Commerce Scraper API

An e-commerce scraper API localized real-time product and pricing data from online shopping websites. It can also be used to collect review data. And given that e-commerce sites are notorious for being overly complicated, this solution can handle the complex web structure and retrieve organized data on your behalf.

The e-commerce scraper API can be used in the following ways:

  • Gathering product data
  • Competitor monitoring
  • Review monitoring
  • Collecting pricing data
  • Harvesting data about available stock
  • Identify potential suppliers, e.g., third-party sellers


There are four main types of scraper APIs. If you want a solution that extracts data from most websites, select a web scraper API. Conversely, if you want to collect product and pricing data from online shopping websites, the e-commerce scraper API is the most appropriate solution. The same goes for situations where you want to extract data from search engines or real estate sites. In such cases, select the SERP scraper API or real estate scraper API, respectively.



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