The Big List of APIs (and some free code)

Matt Beswick September 13, 2013 1

Looking for the free ‘APIset’ code? Download it here.

Speaking at BrightonSEO about APIs with only 20 minutes worth of time is, to say the least, a challenging task. Trying to give as much detail as possible, while keeping things interesting, and making sure that you cater for an audience that’s going to range from very technical to not at all gave me massive headaches… which is where this blog post comes from.

First though, I’d like to introduce the amazingly named ‘APIset’. It’s a free collection of hacked together scripts that pull in data from numerous APIs, as well as containing a web crawler that goes hunting for sites and categorises them based on semantic subject. It’s code that’s been patched together so isn’t great quality… but it works, and will hopefully guide you in the right direction when creating your own tools.

To download it just go here, fill in your details, and you’ll get a confirmation with the zip file.

Next up, here’s my slide deck for anyone that’s interested:

Also, the list below isn’t exhaustive and I’ll be adding to it as time goes on. If you have any requests, or an API that you can recommend, just let me know in the comments.

Mozscape Logo
Get Started | Free Version

Let’s start with the obvious – Mozscape. For anyone who doesn’t know, this is Moz’s API which lets you pull out data on URLs and domains like Page Authority, Domain Authority, links, and pretty much anything else you can think of. I’ve been working with the Moz API for the last couple of years and it’s really simple to get up and running, although a little slow to return data at times and the rate limiting you get your Pro account isn’t anything to shout about.

In APIset you’ll see PA and DA metrics being used on a number of different reports. For anyone technically minded you can access the main functions (links and metrics) in seomoz.class.php.

Get Started | Free Version

Moving onto another Moz company, Followerwonk released their API relatively recently to give easy access to their ‘Social Authority’ metric. This is used in the ‘Twitter Profiler’ report and serves as an extra piece of data to go with follower and friend counts. Oh, and for anyone who likes json (really?!) here’s an example of the data you get when making an API call:

"_links" : {
"self" : {
"href" : "/?user_id=31727793"
"social_authority" : "23.96",
"user_id" : "31727793",
"screen_name" : "mattbeswick"

Get Started | Free VersionFull from £249/mth

Moving on from Moz we get to what I think everyone knows is a behemoth when it comes to link data and they have an API to match. The paid version is far from cheap but it gives lighting fast access to a vast array of metrics, as well as allowing you to pull in link profiles faster than you can say “holy crap Dixon!”.

APIset uses this data in a number of different places with the most obvious being on the ‘bulk metric’ and ‘link profile’ screens. Feel free to drill into this code (which is all based on their examples) and if you create anything amazing let me know!

Get Started (aff. link) | From $15/mth

Moving on from the links and social metrics side of things we’re onto SEMrush. This has very quickly turned into one of my favourite toolsets and their API really doesn’t disappoint. It’s quick, has a low cost option, and gives access to a huge amount of data (much of which has become even more useful since Google changed to their new Keyword Tool.

Once you’re signed up just grab your API key, add it to the link below, and give it a go. &display_limit=5&export=api&export_columns=Ph,Nq,Cp,Ur &

Again, APIset has some example reports included which allow you to profile your competitors using the SEMrush API. It pulls out the keywords they’re ranking for, combines this to show those that are being targeted most often, and also gives you things like keyword volume and CPCs.

Get Started | Free Version

Without wanting to go over the top, I think I might be in love with TextWise – especially when you combine their API with a custom web crawler. I’ll say it again – my code really isn’t great – but inside APIset you have a full functional web crawler which constantly checks in with TextWise to analyse the semantic signature of the crawled page.

In English?

TextWise have an algorithm that works out the keywords associated with any given page. To show you what I mean, here’s an example of the data you get:

<category id=”197″ weight=”0.64962643″ label=”Business/Marketing_and_Advertising/Internet_Marketing”/>
<category id=”255″ weight=”0.5618799″ label=”Computers/Internet/Web_Design_and_Development”/>
<category id=”195″ weight=”0.4467001″ label=”Business/Marketing_and_Advertising”/>
<category id=”248″ weight=”0.41163927″ label=”Computers/Internet”/>
<category id=”140″ weight=”0.25826985″ label=”Business/E-Commerce”/>

By taking the weight and keyword information and storing it in a database you end up with a constantly evolving list of sites which can then be searched. By the time you’ve got a list of a few million domains you’re in a great position to just pick a keyword, find a load of sites, check their metrics, and then add them to your outreach process. Prospecting on speed!

Get Started | Free Version

Each social network has a way of pulling out data (Facebook likes, etc.) but why bother when you can just use SharedCount? This service combines each of these metrics into one place and allows them to be accessed quickly and easily. Here’s an example:

Get Started | Free Version

Since Twitter moved from v1 to v1.1 of their API things have got a little bit more complicated, although there are plenty of libraries out there to help you on your way ( for example).

Something we’ve been doing for a while, and I know that Richard Baxter talked about this in his Mozcon deck this year, is looking at a list of Twitter users and profiling what they’re tweeting. By profiling that information you can quite quickly work out what your target audience is reading, and therefore where you should be placing your content.

APIset users this in the ‘Twitter Profiler’ report, so feel free to have a play.

Other APIs

FullContact –
Find contact details for pretty much anyone – look up by Twitter handle, Email Address, Facebook URL, etc.

RavenTools –
Get keyword and domain data, or tie in with the Raven software suite – well worth exploring.

WordStream Keyword Tool –
Wordstream are the old faithful of keyword tools and their API gives quick and simple access to their data.

Google AdWords API –
You’ll need to apply for a key but if you can get yourself authorised you get direct access to Google’s keyword data.

Google Analytics API –‎
Looking to speed up your monthly reporting? Use the Google Analytics API, mix in some chart data, and you’re onto a winner.

Google PageSpeed –
Simple API that lets you get PageSpeed data for a URL. Basic API but useful for competitor profiling, client reports, and proposals.

Gnip –
Enterprise level social data. No idea how much it costs but if you’re into that kind of thing they’re probably worth contacting.

Klout –
I know, I know… but they have an API and it’s easy to use so I thought it was worth listing!

PeerIndex –
Social Media analytics that’s free. Currently in Beta but the documentation has plenty of detail already.

Repustate –
Sentiment and Social Media analytics… again I haven’t used this yet so would be interested to hear if anyone has.

Meetup –
Pull in details on local or industry meetups. How about combining some of this data with other APIs like FullContact to inject that little ‘extra’ into your online PR process?

Whitespark Local Citation Finder –
With their newly launched API, the Whitespark Local Citation toolset just got that little bit better.

Factual –
Want data? Factual have got it! Whether it’s business listings, restaurants, healthcare providers, or any number of other data points you can access them by a very generous free API.

Semantria –
Similar to TextWise, Semantria provide semantic based text analysis.

Alchemy API –
Not happy with Semantria or TextWise? Give Alchemy a go. It’s probably the most popular semantic text processing API, although I’ve always stuck with TextWise as it’s the first I found.

Buzzstream –
My love for Buzzstream is huge, and with their new API it unlocks a whole new world of potential.

RSS Finder –
Find an RSS feed for any site – here’s an example:

One Comment »

  1. Mark May 13, 2014 at 6:02 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the work you put into creating this list. Some of these APIs will be well known to most of your visitors, but I have to admit to to getting a few from this post that are new to me.

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