Search engines hold the answers to many questions roaming the minds of internet users today. But it also is the key to brand growth.
For instance, by collecting data from search engines, brands can tell how well their websites are performing when compared against their compe-titors.
And because the information contained on results pages of search engines or SERPs often implies how visible a brand is on the internet, brands can then use the above results to make the necessary adjustments and increase their exposure.
But there are some things that a brand needs to keep in mind when scraping search engines, including the type of data that can be collected, what such data can be used for, the challenges that the brand might face when trying to extract this data, and what tools can help make the process more seamless.
How SERP Scraping Is Important for Informed Business Decision-Making
We have noticed how search engines like Google have been evolving over the years – a service that at one time only provided direct results to direct queries has grown to now understand search intent so that it can provide more accurate answers.
For instance, results are now provided in not just texts, images, and videos but in featured snippets and paid ads.
This means internet users get a complete result for a simple query. This is important to prevent them from wasting time searching one keyword after another. A keyword is best described as a word or phrase a user enters into a search engine to get results.
For businesses, this could mean anything from better exposure and visibility to seeing what they need to improve on to get more customers.
Hence, due to the amount of information on search engines, brands are urged to perform regular scraping of search engine result pages (SERPs) to help them make better business decisions.
This can help a digital company adjust its website to make it user-friendly, craft high-quality and personalized content, make better ad copies, or find the best prices to sell its products and services.
Examples of Data That Can Be Extracted From Search Engines
Search engines like Google contain an enormous amount of data seeing that it receives over 3.5 billion interactions every day with millions of new entries. However, not all of this data is important to the growth of your brand.
There is the need to focus on what you need and avoid wasting time on data that will not be useful in making business decisions.
Most of the data you would need to focus on is found on the SERP, and you can find what you need on the other pages and not just the first or second page.
Examples of the different data collected include keywords, videos, images, maps, ad copies, and product prices.
How This Data Can Be Used
There are several ways the above data types can be applied and used once extracted, including the following:
- Keyword Research
Keywords, as defined above, are words and terms that users input to bring out results to answers they need.
Often, this is connected to search intent and very much tells what the user is thinking about. Then once the results are displayed in order of relevance, the user clicks on one or a few that they find appealing.
Performing fundamental research helps you craft the kind of content that pops up at the top of the first SERP. This means more users will click on your content, and your website will receive more organic traffic.
2. SEO Monitoring
Search engine optimization is a critical step used to set up a brand’s website and content so that search engines display them easily when users enter a specific search query.
Once you optimize your website and content, you can be sure that it will receive more clicks and traffic.
The first step to optimizing your website and content is closely monitoring search engines to see what is most recent, outdated, and what other businesses are doing.
3. Digital Advertising
Digital advertising is the process of sending out communications that inspire customers’ desire and interest in your products and services. This process is important to build visibility and brand awareness. It is the paid version of SEO monitoring and keyword research.
To do a successful ad, you will need to have a buyer’s persona and then create the ad to target that type of person. You will also need to create a compelling copy.
All of these can be done by scraping data from search engines.
4. Market Research
Aside from knowing how to push the word out about your brand, it is also vital that you understand the market at all times. Things are constantly changing, and doing market research regularly is a way to stay ahead of the curve and dominate the market.
And you can gather enough data to understand a market at every turn by simply scraping SERPs.
Challenges of SERP Scraping
Like any other thing, scraping SERP can also be challenging. And some of the most common challenges include:
- Changes in Website Layouts
In trying to harvest data from SERP, one of the most significant challenges people have to deal with is the constant structural changes in website layouts.
Websites must change their layouts to remain relevant, but this can easily translate into a challenge for those scraping data from that website. Some scraping scripts are developed to scrape specific layouts, and once that layout is changed, they become useless.
2. Unstructured Data
Nothing confuses a business owner like having unstructured data. Unstructured data is sometimes impossible to read. Analyzing them to create insights, therefore, becomes impossible as well.
And most scraping scripts collect data in the most unstructured format without providing a way to make sense of it.
A final pain of scraping SERP is geo-restrictions or the techniques used in barring users from specific regions from reaching some parts of the internet.
These users are identified by their internet protocol (IP) address and blocked if they reside in a forbidden location.
For this challenge, a brand seeking data cannot reach the website before attempting to scrape.
How SERP Scraper API Can Help Mitigate These Challenges
The above challenges sound dire, but there are many solutions to these problems in the market. Some web scraping bots and tools effectively overcome all these challenges at once.
One such tool is the SERP scraper API, designed to interact directly with those websites, collect unstructured data, and then parse and transform it before storing it in a local storage system.
A scraper API can also adjust quickly to website structural changes so that it doesn’t become obsolete simply because a layout has changed.
And finally, a SERP scraper API works like a proxy to switch IPs and location, thereby helping users evade geo-restrictions.
There are a lot of search engines that can help you build a successful brand, and once you focus on the right things, you will be more efficient.
Scraping this data may prove challenging, but using web scraping tools such as scraper APIs can help you overcome any of these problems.