Google scraping is the newest big thing that has happened to many Google enthusiasts. But not many are familiar with it, hence, we will provide details about the whole concept and why it is a necessity for every SEO expert.
What is Google scraping?
Before diving into the rationales behind SEO experts opting for Google scraping, we should find out what the process is. Just as the name implies, it is simply a process of scraping data from Google to allow valuable data to be extracted. Google scraping works by sending queries to the search engine in order to get the search engine result pages displayed and extracting the data found in them.
Google scraping tools (e.g. SERPMaster) are services that allow businesses to acquire data at scale quickly. Instead of building a custom solution that attempts to consistently acquire data from search engine result pages, businesses can utilize these services to circumvent the development difficulties.
How is Google scraped
Google scraping tools are still somewhat shrouded in mystery, yet the underlying principles are quite simple. Companies develop automated applications that go to Google, send a search query, and check the displayed results. These displayed results are then downloaded in an HTML format and parsed by other tools in order to deliver easily understandable data.
Of course, scraping Google isn’t that easy. The main hurdle in this process is the fact that Google attempts to block any bots from accessing the search engine. If they detect bot-like behavior they will often enact measures to prevent SERPs from being displayed. A simple anti-bot measure is the well-known CAPTCHA. If a CAPTCHA is displayed, results from searches will not be displayed until it is solved. After that, if Google thinks bot-like activity continues, they will perform a short term ban on the IP address.
Thus, businesses that develop Google scrapers will often have to find ways to circumvent the blocks. A common practice is to use proxies which allow users to change their IP address and send requests as if they came from a different location entirely. This way, businesses can rotate their IP addresses frequently and keep sending queries to Google consistently.
Why SEO experts scrape Google
The next big question is why SEO experts are doing data scraping on Google. Out of the many applications for Google scrapers, these three are the most important to any SEO expert.
Certain business areas are very volatile with SERP rankings changing often. Monitoring such search engine result pages for rankings changes becomes critical to maintaining the best spots in Google results. With a web scraper, data can be extracted from multiple pages and ranking keywords can be easily spotted from that data. Thus, a constant vigilant eye can be kept on any possible changes.
Additionally, a Google scraper can be used to monitor for small changes on the primary website to see how it impacts search engine rankings. If the change was negative, changes can be redone in order to return to the previous location.
Better competitive advantage
Another very important reason to scrape Google is to acquire competitor data. Google scrapers can acquire any data that is visible to Google which often means the possibility of monitoring competition for website changes, new products, and many other important factors.
In volatile businesses and markets, having all the information possible before making any decision is key. Therefore, Google scraping can be employed to always stay up to date with any business developments created by competitors.
Business customers leave feedback, ideas, and other input all over the web. Comparatively few important reviews reach the business through regular channels (e.g. customer service). Yet, understanding the wishes and needs of a customer is the cornerstone of every marketing and sales manual.
By utilizing a Google scraper businesses can collect feedback and reviews from all around the web as long as the text is visible to the search engine. By keeping up to date with customer wishes and needs, businesses can always create new products and services or improve upon old ones in order to keep ranking well and selling lots.
Certainly, every SEO expert is either currently Google scraping data or are in the process of starting to do so. With all the opportunities provided by Google scrapers, a marketer would be foolish to avoid acquiring data with this new method.