February 4, 2007

Community-Oriented Search API Trends

Posted in alexa, api, ask.com, flickr, google, microsoft live, Search, technorati, webshots, yahoo at 2:30 pm by mj

Ever get curious about the trends in the APIs provided by web search engines and social sites with a public search? Well, I did, couldn’t find a convenient reference, spent a morning doing some research, and am sharing my data here.

I’ve only included mainstream communities with public search APIs that do not require user-level authentication. That is, it’s possible to get “whole web” or “whole site” results that match keywords/tags, and not just get back a user’s own posts/photos/etc. (which excludes del.icio.us, simpy, bloglines, tailrank, facebook, among others).

Highlights for the ADD crowd: Nearly everybody requires an API key. Most rate limit. Almost nobody supports OpenSearch. REST APIs are overwhelmingly preferred. Yahoo! (+ Flickr) wins the “easiest to work with” award (no surprise).

Read on for comparisons of eight players, presented in alphabetical order. Then, add comments with corrections or APIs that I missed.

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