Frequently Asked Questions

What counts as an API credit?

Each time you request a domain through the Webshrinker API = 1 credit. Each request, even if it is of the same domain, is 1 credit. Domains that return as “Uncategorized” are 1 credit.

What is the main difference between API and Offline Database?

The Webshrinker API supports full URLs. It scans the URLs and classifies them as the domain categorization request enters the system. 

The Webshrinker Offline Database has only root domains. This is done to keep the Offline Database at the manageable size - between 10 and 15GB of data. To include all subdomains nested beneath root domains would balloon the size of the DB beyond what is usable for product and OEM integration. 

What data format is the API call returned in?


What is the response time for the API?

200ms if the domain has already been classified. 

How long does it take to scan a brand new site?

Webshrinker takes around 10 seconds to scan and classify a brand new site.

How many total domains are categorized by Webshrinker?

180M total domains are categorized by Webshrinker. We can 2-3M domains and process 12B DNS requests daily.

How often is the Offline Database updated?

The Webshrinker Offline Database receives a streaming update - either by HTTP callback, Amazon SQS, or Amazon S3 Bucket - every 15 minutes. The update does not perform any URL filtering. 

What are the most important factors when evaluating a website classification database?

We believe speed and categorization accuracy are the most important factors to consider. 

What is the difference between the Webshrinker categories and IAB categories?

IAB categories are far more detailed. There are 26 major categories and 366 total sub-categories. IAB categories are most useful for detailed information about the purpose of a particular domain. They are often used by AdTech companies who need detailed IAB information on each site.

Additional information is also returned via API request for IAB categories. In addition to the category and sub category you will receive a confidence score.

Webshrinker categories represent the most common categories of sites. They are useful for creating content filters or parental controls and blocking major threats when a high level of site granularity is not required for reporting. 

Can I use both Webshrinker and IAB categories?

Webshrinker currently only supports one or the other. They cannot be mixed and matched. Roughly 50% of our customers use each. 

What is a good confidence score?

Domain classification confidence scores range from 0.0 (not confident) to 1.0 (very confident/manually classified). 

We consider anything above .006 to be “fairly confident.”

Confidence scores are only returned for those who select to receive IAB categories.

IAB returned a category, but no sub-category

Not all sites have a sub category. In this instance only the major IAB category will be returned, with no sub-category.

How does Webshrinker differ from Zvelo?

Webshrinker has a higher level of encryption. We require an SDK library to interact with our product. We also ingest more (65+) domain classification feeds in addition to our own in-house AI classification. 

If we attempt to look a domain up in your database and it doesn’t exist what can we do?

Many of our customers use our offline database but also use our API to call for a classification request when they encounter a domain that has not been added to the Offline Database yet.

Is there any mapping between data with DNSFilter and Webshrinker?

We have internal mapping between the two categories. DNSFilter’s 4M end users help us categorize domains, including new threats, faster than our competitors. 

How many languages do you support?


Where is the Webshrinker server location?

Amazon - North Virginia for the API 

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If you have any questions about these Terms, please contact us.