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GraphQL scraping

Dig into the topic of scraping APIs which use the latest and greatest API technology - GraphQL. GraphQL APIs are very different from regular REST APIs.

GraphQL APIs different from the regular RESTful APIs you're likely familiar with, which means that different methods and tooling are used to scrape them. This course will teach you everything you need to know about GraphQL to scrape an API built with it.

How do I know if it's a GraphQL API?

In this section, we'll be scraping's GraphQL API. When you visit the website and make a search for anything while your Network Tab is open, you'll see a request that has been sent to the endpoint

GraphQL endpoint

As a rule of thumb, when the endpoint ends with /graphql and it's a POST request, it's a 99.99% bulletproof indicator that the target site is using GraphQL. If you want to be 100% certain though, taking a look at the request payload will most definitely give it away.

GraphQL payload

Every GraphQL payload will be a JSON object with a query property, and a variables property if any variables were provided. If you take a closer look at the full query property of this request, you'll notice that it's stringified GraphQL language content.

Taking a closer look at the payload

Advantages & disadvantages

We already discussed the advantages and disadvantages of API scraping in general in this course's introduction, but because GraphQL is such a different technology, scraping an API built with it comes with its own pros and cons.


  1. GraphQL allows you as the developer to choose which fields you'd like to be returned back to you. Not only does this leave you with only the data you want and no extra unwanted fields, but it is also easier on the target.

  2. Allows access to data that is not readily available natively through the website.

  3. Queries are heavily customizable due to features like fragments.


  1. Though it's a fantastic technology with lots of awesome features, it is also more complex to understand.

  2. GraphQL introspection is disabled on many sites, which makes it more difficult to reap the full benefits of GraphQL.

Next up

This course section's first lesson will discuss how to customize GraphQL queries without ever having to write any GraphQL language.