13 Top APIs for Search

When most of us hear the word "search" we think of Google. But developers who are looking to add search functions to applications may not know that they can easily extend their reach beyond offerings from Google. The ProgrammableWeb Search category contains hundreds of API choices for searching for websites, images, videos, journals, jobs, locations, art and history, questions and answers, science, medicine, retail products, code, and so much more.

Here is a short list of top Search and related APIs available to enhance applications, or that developers may find useful for other purposes.

Bing Web Search
Microsoft offers AI-driven Bing Search APIs as part of Microsoft Cognitive Services. The Bing Web Search API provides search results similar to the Bing.com search site. Developers can retrieve relevant search results from a query which may include images, videos, news, related searches, and spell correction. Results can be customized with functionality such as safe-search level, spelling suggestions, related queries, and location based results.

Wolfram|Alpha is a computational knowledge engine that is open for searching answers. The Wolfram|Alpha organization aims to "collect and curate all objective data; implement every known model, method, and algorithm; and make it possible to compute whatever can be computed about anything." It contains more than 10 trillion of pieces of data, 50,000 types of algorithms and models, and linguistic capabilities for 1000+ domains. The Wolfram|Alpha APITrack this API provides functions for simple image, fast query recognizer, short answers, summary boxes, spoken results, instant calculators, and more. Developers can use the APIs for bots, voice-based systems, search engines, mobile apps, and much more.

VisualSearchAPI provides an API service to search for visually similar images on websites. The VisualSearchAPITrack this API encompasses functions for similar image search, image matching, duplicate (exact) image search, and image classification. It uses Machine Learning technology to return images in 300 to 500 milliseconds. It also allows visual and keyword hybrid search for accuracy.

Enable applications to find similar images with this API

Enable applications to find similar images with this API. Image: VisualSearchAPI

Social Searcher
Social Searcher lets users monitor all mentions in social networks at a low price. The Social Searcher APITrack this API allows developers to enable monitoring of desired keywords and hashtags with predefined search parameters. The API enables users to get real-time search results from multiple social networks in one request. Search results are returned in a unified format from social networks including Twitter, Youtube, Instagram, Tumblr, Reddit, Flickr, Dailymotion, and Vimeo.

Search and monitor hashtags and social topics across networks with this API

Search and monitor hashtags and social topics across networks with this API. Image: Social Searcher

Duck Duck Go
DuckDuckGo is a search engine which distinguishes itself by not tracking its users or generating results based on its users' previous behavior. The DuckDuckGo Instant Answer APITrack this API provides free programmatic access to many of the search engine's instant answers, pulled from over 100 independent sources. Answers include things like topic summaries, categories, redirects, and definitions. Potential uses include defining people, places, things, words, and concepts, providing direct links to other services, listing related topics, and linking to official sites.

GitHub Search
The GitHub Search API Track this APIallows users to search GitHub for specific items pertaining to users, files, unresolved issues. Each search will return up to 1,000 results and the default sort is by best match. The API is well documented and includes example code for customizing your queries. Examples include: searching for lines of code and how to highlight matching text within code searches, how to search for repositories written a specific language, and searching for issues.

Twitter Enterprise Search
Twitter is an online social networking service where users post and interact with messages of 280 characters or less. The Twitter Enterprise Search APITrack this API service encompasses two search APIs, including a 30-Day Search API, provides tweets posted with the last 30 days and a Full-Archive Search API, which provides tweets from the entire archive, starting with the first Tweet posted in March, 2006. The API returns posted tweets and any included photos, videos, links, and text.

Google Custom Search
We had to mention at least one Google API! The Google Custom Search Engine APITrack this API is a RESTful API that allows developers to retrieve web or image search results data. With the API, developers can add customized web search and/or site search capabilities to their website, blog or collection of websites. Custom Search JSON API provides 100 search queries per day for free. Additional requests cost $5 per 1000 queries.

Unofficial Google News
The Unofficial Google News API is used for collecting articles corresponding to a given set of keywords. The API was created as a reliable alternative in response to the closure of the Google News API. The API enables users to receive up to 100 articles per search (max item number is dependent on price plan). Each article contains a title, a description, the article link, the website, the source and the date.

YouTube Data
The YouTube Data APITrack this API allows users to integrate an application with YouTube videos and features, including video search. It provides also the capability to retrieve standard feeds and see related content. The Data API also allows programmatic access to the video and user information stored on YouTube, to help developers understand a customer's behavior and customize apps to their liking. For more information on working with the API, check out our tutorial series on developing with the YouTube Data API.

Yelp Fusion
Yelp is a crowdsourced business review Platform. Yelp Fusion APIs are RESTful APIs that can be used to retrieve business reviews and ratings, location information, and photos. The Yelp Fusion Search APITrack this API returns up to 1000 businesses based on the provided search criteria. Methods are avialable for address, neighborhood, ratings, reviews, hours of operation, prices, and attributes such as reservation, hot and new, gender neutral restrooms, and waitlist.

Indeed is a search engine for jobs that gives job seekers free access to millions of employment opportunities from thousands of websites. Indeed.com includes all the job listings from major job boards, newspapers, associations and company career pages. The Indeed APITrack this API allows developers to integrate Indeed's employer interface or job seeker interface in applications. The API returns responses in JSON or XML format.

New York Times Article Search
The New York Times Article Search APITrack this API is available to look up articles published by the newspaper by headline, byline, news desk, snippet, source, web URL, word count, keyword, multimedia and more.

Still "searching" for a search API that works for you? Check out the ProgrammableWeb Search category, which contains more than 995 APIs, 548 SDKs, and 206 source code samples.

Be sure to read the next Search article: Zenserp Adds Image Recognition to SERP API Suite