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Search Engine Scraping – What Is It And How Can It Be Used?

Web scraping is a profound tool that helps many businesses make informed decisions based on the public data collected. There are different types of web scraping and choosing the type that’s right for your business depends on the type of data you need. Statista reported that 29% of global website traffic in 2019 came from search traffic. This indicates that search engines do contain valuable information. But what can search engine scraping be used for other than keyword research and SEO?

In this article, we’ll explore what search engine scraping is. We’ll also look at some of the different uses of search engine scraping and the importance of using residential proxies with your scraping efforts. Keep reading to discover if search engine scraping can be useful for your business.

What Is Search Engine Scraping?

Search engine scraping is the process of automatically collecting data from search engines. The data collected can include URLs, descriptions, rankings, keywords and other information from search engines. This process focuses on search engines only, which makes it different from regular web scraping. 

Scraping data from search engines also requires different specialized tools; your regular web scraper won’t necessarily be able to scrape search engines. This is why we recommend knowing the difference first so that you can use the process that will have the best impact on your business and then get the appropriate tools.

With your specialized search engine scraper, you’ll also need residential proxies to protect your scraping efforts and prevent you from getting a ban. Residential proxies hide your IP address and replace it with a real IP address from its pool. 

Useful Data That Can Be Collected From Search Engines

One of the main uses of search engine scraping is keyword research and other ways to improve SEO. However, there are many other uses of search engine scraping, and we’ll be covering those in this article.

Digital Advertising

Businesses and digital marketers can scrape search results to see where ads fall. This can be used on your own ads or competitors’ ads. Knowing where and when an ad is shown is crucial in creating an effective ad and overall strategy.

Image Scraping

Image scraping is the process of scraping images from search engines. Most businesses do this for brand protection reasons. Scraping search engine images can be a simple way to find if any of your copyrighted images or product photos are being used with your knowledge or permission. It can also be a way to find and come down on forfeiters selling fake products using your business’ images. 

Shopping Result Scraping

Most popular search engines like Google have their own shopping platforms where a range of businesses advertise their products. These product listings include the prices of products and the descriptions, images of the products, and more. Businesses can use the data scraped from search engine shopping results for pricing intelligence or monitoring the market and competitors.

News Scraping

Most of the larger search engines also feature a news platform. This can be a great resource for media researchers and businesses alike since all of the data is collected in a single database of public information that can be scraped. By analyzing search engine news results, businesses can monitor marketing trends and give users an overview of what’s happening globally. Using proxies and selecting different regions when scraping, businesses can also see how news information is displayed in other countries, which can be useful when appealing to a global market. 

Is It Legal To Scrape Search Engines?

Scraping public data is legal. However, scraping any data that is considered private or requires a login or other security measure to bypass is not considered public data and should not be scraped or used. When collecting data, you also have to be aware of how you use the public data. Using it for analysis and market research is fine but trying to pass off the collected information as your own is not legal and could infringe on copyright laws. It’s also important that when you use scraping tools, you respect the website or search engine you are scraping and not flood it with scraping requests.

Final Thoughts

Search engine scraping can be another valuable tool in your arsenal that can help you collect information to make better business decisions. Using a specialized search engine scraper connected to a reliable residential proxy can give you information to improve more than just your SEO.

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