When it comes to business, data is everything. For you to succeed as a marketer, you must make data with your best friend.
The more info you can collect, the better you will do as a business. There are two ways you can use to collect data and information. You can either collect data manually or scrape it.
The manual collection of data can be very tiresome and time-consuming.
You will spend years collecting all the vital information you need. In this age and era, manual data collection should be a thing of the past.
To remain relevant in this current market place, you need to say goodbye to the manual collection of data.
Data scraping is what you should go for. A web scraper will collect the data that you need on your behalf, hassle-free!
With this tool, you will be able to get any information that you need in the shortest time possible with little or no effort at all. So, how do you scrape a search engine?
We will all agree that the internet would be a pile of mush (a big one) if we had no search engines.
We would have data and information everywhere – left, right, and center! Search engines came in to make everything orderly, organized, and above all, they made data easily accessible.
Learn about a web data collection tool in this article. But before going into details about search engine scraping, we need first to understand what a search engine is.
What Is a Search Engine?
Any guesses? A search engine is simply a tool that will enable an internet user to locate particular information on the internet.
The software is designed to search the internet (World Wide Web) in a given systematic way according to a textual query.
Today, there are a lot of search engines available. Some of the most significant search engines include:
These search engines only present content to an internet user. Search engines are only helpful in helping users in locating content on the web.
They are like an airport Help Desk – without this desk, you won’t be able to find your way out!
It is worth noting that the search engines don’t own any information. Yes, that’s right; they will only find/collect the information for you.
Many think that a search engine holds a lot of information. With the help of a search engine, you will be able to find a lot of things in a search engine such as:
- Physical objects, etc.
However, most of this content doesn’t belong to the search engine – The engine doesn’t have any critical information on its own.
When you use a search engine, you will be able to get the data but not because it is found in the search engine – the engine will only find the information and present it to you!
Why Search Engine Scraping?
Why would anyone consider scraping a search engine? What is search engine scraping?
Search engine scraping is simply crawling a search engine for purposes of collecting some specific data/information at some particular intervals.
Data scraping is useful, especially when you are dealing with big data.
Search engine scraping is not something new; it is an ancient practice which might be as old as the internet.
Search engines categorize data in an organized way, and a bot will be able to collect specific information from numerous URLs in just a few hours.
The scraped data can be useful for different purposes, including research or even reselling.
Scraping Search Engines
To scrape a search engine, you will require three tools, namely:
- Dedicated proxy
- Web scraper
- Virtual Private Server (VPS)
1. Choosing The Perfect Scraping Proxy
The first thing to do is to find the best proxy for scraping. If you don’t select a proxy server, search engines will be able to detect your IP address and consequently ban it.
The right search engine scraping proxies will at all times conceal your IP address and search engines wouldn’t be able to identify your computer irrespective of how much data you scrape from the search engines.
This way, you don’t risk getting in trouble with your Internet Service Provider (ISP).
It is prudent to note that proxies are not the same. Some might be reliable and others useless. Be wise in selecting the perfect proxy server for the job.
Of course, you don’t want to end up having problems when scraping search engines.
Choosing The Best Search Engine Proxy: What to Look For
First and foremost, you need a very fast proxy. A slow proxy won’t be able to keep track of the scraper.
Another important aspect is the bandwidth. Unmetered bandwidth will not be restrained during data scraping.
Choose a subnet that is diverse to mask your identity and keep the search engine in question on its toes.
You will also need a proxy company that will offer a proxy replacement. At times you might end up being banned.
When this happens, you need to get a replacement and continue scraping.
2. Find A Great Data Scraper
Secondly, you will require a proper data scraper. A number of tools serve this purpose.
Look for the one that you think will serve your purpose perfectly. Ensure you make a sober decision when choosing a search engine scraper.
3. Choose a VPS
If you don’t own a supercomputer, then you will require to have a Virtual Private Server (VPS).
A VPS is essential because the scraper that you will be using will exhaust a lot of resources.
The VPS will provide the necessary resources to keep the bot up and running for the longest time during the scraping process.
With a VPS, you will have the required RAM and cores (CPU) to keep the scraper working at optimal speeds.
Search Engine Scraping
Once you have these three tools, you can begin to scrape your desired search engine.
Effective search engine scraping will require some individual skills; otherwise, you might end up having your scraper detected, and your proxy blocked.
Typically, search engines will try to block any scraper. Search engines assume that any user using the tool is doing it for the wrong reasons.
Well, to some extent, this might be true, but some users scrape data for the right reasons and motives.
To protect themselves from scrapers, search engines, will use CAPTCHAs and might end up flagging and banning IP addresses associated with scrapers.
These pro tips will help stay on top of your game.
● Setting Your Proxy’s Query Frequency
Your proxy server will require some fine-tuning. Go to the settings and select the right setting for your query frequency.
The query frequency refers to the rate at which the proxy will be sending the requests.
Choose time intervals wisely. Anything above ten seconds and less than a minute will do – the idea is to have your scraper mimic typical human behavior and not to appear to the search engine as a bot.
● Use a Referrer URL
Usually, humans will conduct a web search by going to the search engine and searching for a URL or a keyword.
For example, one will open google, then search for information using a specific set of keywords.
Bots, on the other hand, will not go to the search engine as the humans do; it will go straight to collecting data.
This might be damaging and can lead to some IP flagging and banning. To avoid sending a red flag to search engines, you can have your scraper go through the search engine step like a real person.
This can be done by setting the search engine in question as your referrer URL.
By doing this, your scraper won’t have to skip the search engine step thus acting like a normal human being gathering information and not a bot at work.
● Avoid Using Search Operators
Always avoid making use of search operators during data scraping. Many marketers like using these search operators when scraping data.
Real human beings don’t use search operators when surfing the web. These operators can only be used by bots, and search engines are very much aware of that.
Search engines will keep an eye on search operators, and when they notice their overuse, they will flag the scraper in question.
This is often the case when using different search operators in a single search. The more you use these operators, the more likely you are to be caught. Avoid using these operators completely or remain low-key.
● Scrape Data Randomly
A human being will access information from a search engine, randomly. In the same way if you are looking to imitate human behavior, then your scraper should scrape data randomly.
Don’t let your scraper work throughout like a bot. Try as much as possible to avoid patterns.
The more you can prevent these patterns, the better your bot will work. It will be hard for the search engines to notice any scraper activity.
To ensure random data access, set divergent proxy rate limits. Make sure that the proxies conduct these searches at totally different times to perfectly imitate human behavior.
● Change User Agents
Your proxy can be flagged due to your user agents. Your user agent tells more about your operating system and browser.
Sending too many queries from the same operating system and browser will raise a red flag.
The search engine will notice some unusual activity and might ban your proxy server. To avoid your proxy server ban, ensure that you switch user agents.
● Don’t Use Identical Keywords at The Same Time
Scraping tools and proxies can be so powerful when deployed together. Many marketers would consider using the duo tech to carry out numerous searches all at the same time.
Some of them even deploy up to 100 proxies to search for the same set of keywords concurrently.
Using multiples proxy IP addresses to search the same set of keywords can raise some doubts.
Deploying different proxies to search for the same keywords can, at times, be damaging.
It might not lead to IP banning, but you can end up with a few CAPTCHA to handle.
Be patient. Don’t be in a hurry to collect all the information you need in just a single day; you still have some more time.
Stagger your requests, and you will still collect data in a faster way than using the traditional methods of collecting data.
With these pro tips, you can perfectly scrape any search engine effectively.
Scraped information can be useful in marketing your business better or even creating a new niche site – after all, you have all the information that you need.
Don’t stop there; continue gathering more information to improve your business. Regular search engine scraping will always keep your brand up there.
No matter the business you are doing, scraping will keep you competitive and on top of your game and industry.
Proxies are essential when it comes to search engine scraping. Truth be told, without proxies scraping will almost be impossible. Search engines don’t want you to scrape and obtain vast amounts of data in just a short time. Instead, they want you to browse the internet like any other human beings.
Proxies come in to mask your real IP address. The fact that you can rotate proxies makes them ideal for scraping.
In case your IP address is detected as a scraper then you don’t have to worry. You only need to get a new proxy server and continue scraping.
Imagine your original IP address being flagged and banned? You guessed right; your online life would be miserable leave alone landing into problems with your Internet Service Provider (ISP).
Every time you decide to scrape a search engine, ensure that you use the right scraping proxies.
It is also essential to limit your threads in such a way that you imitate real human behavior to minimize the risk of being banned or blocked.