What are the limitations of Trustpilot's API compared to scraping?

Trustpilot is a popular platform where consumers can post reviews about businesses and services. Trustpilot offers an API that allows developers to interact with their data programmatically. However, there are limitations when using Trustpilot's API compared to scraping data directly from their website. Let's explore some of these limitations:

Trustpilot API Limitations:

  1. Access Restrictions: Trustpilot's API has different levels of access, and some endpoints may require special permissions or a paid subscription. Public access is limited, and certain data might be restricted to the business that owns the profile.

  2. Rate Limiting: The API has rate limits in place to prevent abuse and ensure service stability. If you exceed these limits, you could be temporarily blocked from making further requests.

  3. Data Granularity and Scope: The API might not provide the same level of detail or scope that is available through the web interface. For example, some endpoints may offer aggregated data rather than individual review details.

  4. Update Frequency: API data may not be updated in real-time, leading to a lag between what is seen on the site and what the API returns.

  5. API Changes: Trustpilot can change their API endpoints, data formats, or policies with little notice, which can affect existing applications that rely on the API.

  6. Feature Limitations: Certain features available on the Trustpilot website, such as advanced filtering or searching, might not be available through the API.

Web Scraping Limitations:

Conversely, web scraping allows you to extract almost any data that you can see on the Trustpilot website, but it also comes with its own set of limitations and challenges:

  1. Legal and Ethical Considerations: Scraping data from websites can violate terms of service and raise ethical concerns, especially if the data is used without proper attribution or consent.

  2. Technical Challenges: Trustpilot's website may use techniques like AJAX loading, dynamic content generation, or captchas, which can make scraping more complex.

  3. Maintainability: Websites often change their structure, which means that a web scraping script can break if it's not regularly maintained to adapt to these changes.

  4. Performance and Resource Usage: Scraping can be resource-intensive and slower than using an API, especially if you need to scrape multiple pages to get the data you want.

  5. IP Blocking: Trustpilot may block your IP address if it detects scraping behavior, which could prevent you from accessing the site altogether.

  6. Data Quality: Scraped data may require additional processing to clean and structure it properly, whereas API data is typically already formatted for consumption.


Choosing between using Trustpilot's API and web scraping depends on your specific needs, the nature of the project, and legal considerations. If you need real-time data, detailed individual review data, or data not available through the API, scraping might be necessary. However, if you need a reliable, structured, and straightforward way to access Trustpilot data that complies with their terms of service, the API is the better choice. Always ensure that you are compliant with Trustpilot's terms of service and data use policies regardless of the method you choose.

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