The internet exists to give you access to data. Whatever kind of information you’re searching for, you can find it within seconds on any search engine – airfare prices, the stock market performance, sports and betting data, movie release dates, you name it.
While all this information can undoubtedly be entertaining and educational, it can also become valuable for your business if you use it right.
Extracting and analyzing data freely available from your Search Engine Results Page (SERP) in a process known as web scraping arms you with the information you need to ensure the success of your business. Of course, if you’re to benefit from it, you need to be familiar with what SERP scraping is.
Take a look below to learn the basics of a SERP scraper and find out how this powerful little tool can help you out.
A closer look at web scraping
Web scraping is an old concept, used ever since the world wide web went public in 1993. However, it’s only recently that web scraping for business purposes really took off.
In essence, web scraping is any kind of data collection method where you pull relevant pieces of information from different websites. The information can be anything that’s freely available online – company contact information, user reviews and testimonials, pricing information, even image and video information.
Once you’ve extracted and imported the data to your preferred program, you can analyze it to gain valuable industry insights.
Technically, you could perform manual web scraping. Simply visit a website that contains the necessary information, copy it, and paste it into your data analysis program. This approach could be effective if you need just a few pieces of information for analysis.
However, if you need insights to perform a thorough competitor analysis, for instance, you need to automate the process. Otherwise, it would take you weeks to extract all the required data.
You can use any programming language to create a web scraping bot that can automatically crawl through websites extracting relevant information. A process that would take inordinate amounts of time to complete manually can be finished within minutes using a web scraper bot.
How about SERP scraping?
Most commonly, you’ll perform web scraping by feeding your bot with the URLs you want it to go through. However, you don’t always need to collect information solely from specific websites. You can also pull data from search engine results pages by using a SERP scraper.
Through SERP scraping, you can collect information from all the top results you’ll find on Google for a specific keyword, for instance. You can choose whether you want to gather data on the first or even the first hundred results for your chosen keyword.
Just like you’d feed a web scraper with URLs, you can feed your SERP scraper with your keywords or key phrases and even include location details if necessary. Additionally, you can choose whether you want to collect information from organic results only, paid ads, or both.
Some of the information you can collect through SERP scraping includes keywords and key phrases that the best sites rank for, their metadata (meta titles, meta descriptions, etc.), featured snippets, graphs, and even product categories and prices.
Of course, SERP scraping is prone to the common challenges of web scraping in general. You can encounter CAPTHCAs and similar anti-scraping technologies or get blocked by websites and even search engines. You may also come across geo-restrictions that prevent you from collecting the information you need. Therefore, you’ll need to be prepared and devise a plan to overcome these challenges.
Why you need a SERP scraper
SERP scraping can be an indispensable process for businesses across industries. Its vast quantity of data can help you in more ways than one:
Using SERP scraping allows you to understand how your website compares to others. You’ll learn how the top sites maintain their high-ranking positions, how they respond to common and uncommon queries, and what you can do to optimize your site;
Learning how to improve your SERP ranking can help you attract more organic traffic and boost conversions;
Track industry developments:
Search engines like Google are devoted to delivering timely, relevant content 24/7. By scraping SERPs, you’ll gain real-time insights into the major developments relevant to your industry, then use the information to prepare your business for any upcoming changes;
Monitor competitor pricing:
Understanding your competitors’ pricing can help you adjust your pricing to ensure continued profitability.
If what your company does falls into any of these categories, click here to learn more about a quality and efficient SERP scraper.
SERP scraping is a valuable process that can help you stay competitive and profitable. By programming simple scraper bots, you can collect and analyze gigabytes upon gigabytes of information within hours, ensure the utmost data accuracy, and make data-driven decisions that push your company forward.