However, there are now plenty of ways that any site owner with an API key can benefit from these innovative programs and web applications.
And since the licensing of the API restricts the creation of tools for commercial use, these resources will not cost you anything but some well-invested time. In the next few minutes, you’ll learn how to use this information to your advantage.
Let’s back up a moment and get some of the terminology out of the way. This won’t be a tech-guru explanation- more like an oversimplification to give you a basic idea in layperson’s terms.
An API means an application programmer interface. Basically, the Google API gives programmers access to Google’s database of listings, which they can then use to create web applications.
When you get an API key it simply gives you the ability to access the interface the programs are based on. Therefore, your key will allow you to plug into the application they’ve created, for a pre-determined number of queries.
So now you can harness the power of Google’s database to your site’s advantage.
First, get a Google API key.
The myriad of ways sites are using Google API keys are astounding. Some of them require you to provide your own API key to use them. You can get it at no charge here:
Your queries are limited to 1000 per day. But that’s more than enough for most web site owners. For some of the tools, you won’t even need it, as the developers seem to be allowing you to run tools using their own keys.
Don’t worry, you don’t need to be a software genius for this key to be useful to you. Developers have already built tools for you to use, all you’ll have to do is find the sites where their online applications are housed, and if necessary, plug in your key.
Think of it as a universal password. You’ll get the key via email, then all you’ll need to do is cut and paste it in the box provided. Which brings us to the next piece in the puzzle.
There are literally hundreds of places you can use the Google API key.
Some people have developed plug-ins you can use with database-driven sites. Many have developed tools that will help you increase or study your present rankings in Google, resulting in more targeted traffic to your site.
My favorite tool helps you study countless different pieces of data found through Google via email, automating hours of research. But we’ll come back to that later.
I wanted to get that out of the way so we can talk about some of the other sites I’ve discovered since then.
One site will search Google for you and compile a site map using the pages it finds for your site in Google. Visit it here:
You can study the relationship between your sites and others using GARBO (stands for Google API Relation Browsing Outliner). This can help you find sites to trade links with, or sites you can link to from your site to provide more information to your visitors, and otherwise study the relationship between two sites, as told by Google.
Read more about it here:
Want to query only the newest additions, for research or for tracking purposes? Try Goofresh here:
You can also add Google searches to your site. It’s the number one search engine, and especially if you have a member’s area, it can help make your site “sticky”, meaning that your visitors will find themselves coming to your site over and over to use your resources. You can find the script to add this to your site here:
Another helpful Google API Tool can help you get users to search your site using Google. It uses PHP, and can be found here:
To find more applications on your own, you’ll first want to look around at the sites I have already mentioned, as many of them have multiple web-based applications developed with their access to Google’s API, or will in the near future.
The reason I wrote this article is because it takes a bit of digging to find some of the best ones. Here is a good starting place that I found, naturally, through Google:
If you want to search Google itself, you might try search terms like “Google API applications”, “Google API software” or “Google API scripts”. You can also start from “Google API” and search within results for implementations or the word “key”.