How to Extract Website Meta Data Using the Geekflare API

Metadata provides insightful information about web pages. Scraping metadata at scale can be valuable for market research, content analysis, SEO monitoring, and more. However, scraping efficiently across sites requires avoiding common pitfalls. This guide covers metadata scraping best practices using the Geekflare API.

Why Meta Scraping Matters

Before we dive into the technical details, it‘s important to understand what metadata is on a web page and why it‘s useful to extract.

Metadata refers to descriptive data about a page that provides context but isn‘t the main content. This includes things like:

  • Page titles and descriptions
  • Author names
  • Publication dates
  • Images and icons
  • Publisher names

Search engines heavily rely on metadata to understand website content and serve relevant results. But metadata has many other applications as well, such as:

  • Content analysis – examining subjects, entities, sentiment, etc. mentioned across sites.
  • Market research – tracking mentions of products, brands, competitors.
  • SEO monitoring – analyzing title tags, metadata changes.
  • Lead generation – finding contact info for sites and businesses.

And with the right metadata scraping tools, all of this can be done at scale across thousands of sites.

Scraping Methods Compared

There are a few common approaches to scraping website metadata:

Manual Scraping

The most basic method is to manually extract data from page sources using browser developer tools. But this process is incredibly tedious for more than a few pages.

Writing Custom Scrapers

You can write custom scrapers from scratch using languages like Python or Node.js. But this requires reinventing existing wheels and robust error handling.

Using Libraries

Libraries like Beautiful Soup, Scrapy and Cheerio simplify scraping. But they can have limited capabilities compared to more advanced tools.

Leveraging APIs

Services like the Geekflare API provide turnkey scraping solutions requiring minimal code. This is often the quickest path to capable, scalable scrapers.

For most use cases, APIs provide the best combination of simplicity, speed and reliability. They handle the heavy lifting so you can focus efforts on data analysis versus plumbing.

Introducing the Geekflare API

The Geekflare API offers 150k free requests per month for meta scraping. It‘s completely open-source as well so you can host your own instance if needed.

Here are some key reasons to use this API:

  • Fast – Scrapes metadata in under 250ms per site
  • Scalable – Handles over 500 requests per second
  • Reliable – Custom browser engine avoids bot blocking
  • Flexible – 40+ endpoints spanning security to performance testing
  • Developer Friendly – Generous free tier, predictable pricing, ample limits

Next we‘ll walk through API integration examples using popular languages.

Using the API: Code Examples

The Geekflare API has a unified design across languages. Requirements are:

  • API key for authentication
  • POST JSON data with a url parameter
  • Parse the response for metadata

These elements are consistent regardless of your preferred language. We‘ll demonstrate with JavaScript, Python, PHP and Java.

JavaScript Example

Here‘s an example using node-fetch and async/await:

const fetch = require(‘node-fetch‘); 

const apiKey = ‘xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx‘; 

const url = ‘‘;

const body = {

const response = await fetch(‘‘, {
    method: ‘POST‘,
    headers: {
        ‘Content-Type‘: ‘application/json‘,
        ‘x-api-key‘: apiKey
    body: JSON.stringify(body) 

const data = await response.json();


This prints the meta data JSON object to the console.

Python Example

Here is the same functionality in Python using the Requests library:

import requests
import json

api_key = ‘xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx‘ 

url = ‘‘
payload = {‘url‘: url}
headers = {‘Content-Type‘: ‘application/json‘, ‘x-api-key‘: api_key}  

response =‘‘, headers=headers, json=payload)

data = response.json()

Again this prints out the meta data for inspection.

PHP Example

To integrate the API in PHP, we can leverage Guzzle:

$client = new \GuzzleHttp\Client();

$key = ‘xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx‘;

$url = ‘‘;

$body = [‘url‘ => $url];

$response = $client->post(‘‘, [
    ‘headers‘ => [
        ‘Content-Type‘ => ‘application/json‘,
        ‘x-api-key‘ => $key
    ‘json‘ => $body

$data = $response->getBody();

Same pattern – authenticate, POST JSON, process results.

Java Example

And finally in Java with OkHttp:

OkHttpClient client = new OkHttpClient();

String key = "xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx";  

String url = "";

MediaType mediaType = MediaType.parse("application/json");
RequestBody body = RequestBody.create(mediaType, "{\"url\":\"" + url + "\"}");

Request request = new Request.Builder()
  .addHeader("x-api-key", key)
  .addHeader("Content-Type", "application/json")

Response response = client.newCall(request).execute();  
String data = response.body().string();

Same API key and JSON body parameters apply.

This covers some of the most common languages. But you can easily use the API with Ruby, C#, Go, Rust and dozens more thanks to its simple interface.

Now let‘s dig deeper into additional capabilities.

Advanced Usage Tips

While the API is designed for simplicity, there are still ways to customize calls for different needs:

Scraping Batches of URLs

To scrape multiple pages in one request, pass a JSON array for the url value instead of a string:


This is useful for reducing round trip latency when scraping many sites.

Switching Mobile vs Desktop Scraping

By default the API scrapes the desktop site. To switch to mobile, add the device parameter:


The API will then fetch mobile user agents and viewport info when scraping.

Handling Errors Gracefully

APIs inevitably fail at times. To catch errors properly:

  • Check for HTTP status outside 200-299 range
  • See if apiStatus is error vs success
  • Log the apiCode and error payload details
  • Retry with exponential backoff per best practices

This ensures your application stays up when issues arise.

There are additional tips on pagination, response structure, debugging and more covered in the Geekflare API docs.

Scraping Pitfalls to Avoid

While APIs simplify metadata scraping, there are still challenges to avoid:

Getting blocked – Scrape respectfully and use proxies to distribute requests. Never overload sites.

Scraping too much – Target only the data you actually need to answer questions. Streamlining scrapers avoids bloat.

No error handling – Always code defensively for robustness. Don‘t assume perfect uptime.

Data quality issues – Spot check scraped data for completeness and accuracy. Tune scrapers to fail safely on complex sites.

Ignoring robots.txt – Honor crawl directives to avoid denial of service.

Ethical violations – Consider GDPR, copyrights and other issues surrounding usage and storage.

With mindfulness towards these issues, metadata scraping can open valuable insights across content at scale.

When to Consider Alternative Tools

For advanced web scraping needs, alternative self-managed options include:

Scrapy – Python-based scraper with versatility via plugins and middlewares. Need ability to tweak scrapers deeply.

Puppeteer – Headless Chrome automation for complex scraping. Requires dev ops capacity.

Selenium – Browser automation using preferred languages. Integration overhead.

Evaluating setup costs, reliability and custom needs around these options is recommended.

Key Takeaways

Extracting metadata at scale requires balancing simplicity and control:

  • Understand metadata – Important descriptive attributes like titles, authors, dates, descriptions, icons and more.
  • Compare scraping methods – Manual, custom, libraries and APIs all play different roles.
  • Use APIs to simplify – Services like Geekflare handle complexity for reliability and speed.
  • Customize API calls – Batch requests, handle errors properly, consider device types, leverage additional endpoints.
  • Avoid common scraping pitfalls – Getting blocked, ignoring directives, limited error handling, misusing data, etc.
  • Consider advanced self-hosted options – If needs for deeper customization arise.

With mindfulness to these best practices, metadata scraping unlocks understanding content and trends across the internet.