Mine the Information Behind the Search with These APIs

Adam DuVander
Jul. 12 2010, 01:56AM EDT

Life on the web is full of search terms and human filtering. Even good results often require some effort to determine which has the information we seek. There are several services attempting to help with this problem and they're making their applications available via API.

Yolink launched its web service, which looks behind the search results of other sites, such as Google and Craigslist. The key behind Yolink is that it is able to extract the portion of a page that best matches the query.

Semantic Web explained the service:

The Yolink API... will let others apply its ability to, on the fly, look at content behind links and surface the key information behind keyword searches. The greatest value will be for multi-task, multi-step searches that go beyond the casual user's quests – research purposes, for example.

The screencast embedded below also gives a good overview.

FacteryFactery takes search keywords and returns facts, in addition to links. We covered it when it launched the Factery API back in April.

Factery results for search engines search

Like Yolink, Factery sees the API as its main service, as we wrote:

Factery is a rare API in that the API is the service. It’s not an add-on, where you can just build off of their data. Factery is not a destination–it’s sole purpose is to be incorporated into your applications.

Wolfram Alpha Wolfram Alpha has been well-covered, especially due to its expensive iPhone app (it has since lowered the price). The company also released its API in October, with a hefty price tag.

The API can calculate mortgage interest, retrieve the age of a celebrity and many other calculations. Like Yolink and Factery, Wolfram Alpha is part of a class of APIs that are pulling knowledge--not just data--from search queries, giving users and developers access to more useful results.

For more like the three services covered here, see our 134 search APIs and 35 semantic APIs.

Adam DuVander Hi! I'm Developer Communications Director for SendGrid and former Executive Editor of ProgrammableWeb. I currently serve as a Contributing Editor. If you have API news, or are interested in writing for ProgrammableWeb, please contact editor@programmableweb.com Though I'm a fan of anything API-related, my particular interest is in mapping. I've published a how-to book, Map Scripting 101, to get anyone started making maps on websites. In a not-so-distant past life I wrote for Wired and Webmonkey.

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