Playing with Alexa Web Information Service 1.0 (Beta)
AWIS vs. Google Web APIs
First of all, AWIS seems to provide much more features than the Google Web APIs. It has 5 modes (URL Information, Browse Category, Web Search, Crawl Meta Data and Web Map) [dtls.] that allows for more flexibility (ex. links in-out, usage/traffic stats, etc.).
One more nice thing is that you have the freedom to choose between SOAP and REST to acces the services, while Google only allows for SOAP (which I prefer, but this is another thing).
Finally, by getting "a developer's key" you are entitled for 10,000 queries/day (Google gives 1,000).
On the other hand: AWIS SOAP does not work out-of-the-box since there seems to be a problem with the wsdl file. In addition, there does not seem to be a way to make complex queries (while Google Web APIs allows a query to have "AND', 'OR', inurl:, allintext:, allinlinks:, "site:", etc.)
If for one thing, it get is becoming clear that we are going towards a Web of Services. More and more websites are turning into "web services providers", transforming the net to a real Application Platform... I am not to say if AWIS is better than Google Web APIs, especially considering that they are both in Beta.
What's more, Alexa.com declares to be "powered by Google"!?? (have a look at www.alexa.com). If we are talking about the same underlying database, then developers just have two alternative ways to access it -and THAT is really interesting!!!.
I will definitely add AWIS support to g-metrics.com, so stay tuned.