Web scraping has already proven to be a handy tool for many businesses. These companies can use the public data they collect from websites to guide critical decisions that need to be made, among many other benefits. But did you know that search engines also contain valuable data that you may be overlooking?
In this article, we’ll look at search engine scraping, what information you can get from search results and how they can benefit your business. We’ll also look at the tools you can use, such as SERP APIs, to automate your data gathering techniques.
We’ll cover the following topics related to search engine scraping:
- What is search engine scraping?
- What data can you collect from search engines?
- What do you need to start collecting data from search engines?
What Is Search Engine Scraping?
Search engine scraping is an automated process of collecting public data from search engines. This includes URLs, descriptions, images and more that can be found in search results – without accessing the physical website. So in many ways, it’s similar to web scraping. However, this type of data harvesting focuses on search engines where web scraping collects information from web pages.
In 2021, 68% of internet browsing experiences began in search engines. As such, there is a lot of valuable information that you can learn from search results to improve various aspects of your business.
By scraping search engine results, you can get a better idea of what type of content ranks well, what’s going on in the market, and you can even use these tools alongside proxies to see how different locations and devices affect rankings. Studies have shown that mobile searches account for 58.86% of searches, and desktop searches have dropped to 42.65%, with tablet searches making up only 2.49%.
What Data Can You Collect From Search Engines?
In January 2022, Google processed 3.5 billion searches a day. You can see why it’s essential to rank high in search results, as it gives your brand more opportunities to be seen by potential clients already looking for what you’re offering. While search engine scraping is often used to improve SEO and, therefore, your ranking, we’ll be looking at some of the other benefits you can expect when using these tools.
Digital advertising can be a dangerous minefield to navigate. Knowing when the best time is to advertise, what to advertise, and more can make a big difference to the success of your campaign. By scraping search results, you can monitor when and where you see competitors’ ads. This information can guide you in making better decisions for your advertising campaigns.
Search engine scraping on images can also be used for brand protection. You can use it to find images of your products being used without your permission or being sold by fake accounts so that you can report these and protect your brand.
Most search engines have shopping pages where buyers can purchase directly from the browser. This is a great platform to use to get your products seen by more people. However, to ensure that you get seen, you need good product descriptions, images and more. By scraping shopping results from search engines, you’ll get a handy guide as to what descriptions and pricing do well.
Staying on top of the latest market trends or what’s happening worldwide is critical for businesses. This helps you stay relevant and identify potential opportunities. By scraping search results from the news tab on search engines, you can quickly gather all the relevant news for your industry. This will save you a lot of time and show you how news is displayed in different countries so you can improve any localization strategies you have in place.
You monitor competitors through search engine scraping is different from analyzing their websites. Here you’ll monitor where your competitors land in SERP. As a business, you want to do better than your competitors, so monitoring where they are in results will help you stay ahead of the competition.
What Do You Need To Start Collecting Data From Search Engines?
You could use your current web scraper to connect to a residential proxy and just adjust the parameters of your data harvesting to start collecting search engine results. However, this can become a bit complicated as you’ll need to set HTTP headers, device fingerprints and manage cookies. A SERP API can be your best solution for better and easier results. A SERP API is usually a full-stack solution that includes a proxy, a web scraper built for search results and a data parser in one.
Web scraping search engines can provide more than just ways to improve SEO. You can also protect your brand, collect images and monitor competitors to ensure your business always has the upper hand.