Over the last decade, people are talking a lot about APIs in the SEO industry. Generally, an API (Application Program Interface) is a given set of routines, protocols, and tools that may be used in building software applications. It defines how two programs communicate with each other, outlining the correct way for a developer to write a program that can request services from another, such as an operating system.
People have specialized mainly on the tools that can be built using APIs as well as the analysis data that is accessible and the reports you can automate. However, they tend to miss the bigger picture. Thousands of APIs are being used out there for things other than these, and more importantly, these APIs may have a revolutionary effect on the web, and thus the search engine optimization industry in the coming years.
It is clear that over the next couple of years, the number of users visiting websites will decrease over a large margin. This shift will mainly be as a result of APIs.
To make it clear, Alexander Peresunko, the Customer Success Manager of Semalt, takes a look at the history of the web over the last two decades and defines the role of APIs for the future of search.
What are the changes?
The web has been around for a little over 2 decades, a period during which it has undergone several changes. It started off with black and white text, with no images. With time, it grew much more colorful, with the introduction of images as well as improvement of web layout. However, it was still a static experience, a very long way from what we have today.
Nowadays, websites boast of high-resolution imagery and video, animation, embedded social media, not to mention being quite interactive. In just 20 years, the web has accelerated from something fairly simple to a sophisticated and interactive multimedia system. With the advances being made, it will only get better.
The structure of the web is not the only thing that has changed. In the beginning, the web was universally accessed using desktop computers. Back then, you used the web just to check your email, owing to the slow connections. This slowly progressed to laptops which saw off advancements like broadband and Wi-Fi. Nowadays, most people access the web on their mobile phones.
How the web is searched has also changed. Initially, search results provided you with 10 blue link results which would take you to a place where you can specify the attributes unique to the kind of thing you are searching for. Nowadays, Google can detect the context of your search from keywords in your text, and then provide you with additional inputs so as to refine your search.
What to expect?
Looking over the history of the web, we can see that it has become more interactive and dynamic. Beyond searching, the adoption of Apps is replacing use of web. This is because people are sharing information without having to use the web. Most of these apps have adopted publicly available APIs, while others use private APIs. Taking all of this into consideration, I cannot see how there is any conclusion other than the web giving way to other technologies.