How to Scrape SERP Data at Scale With Proxies
Web scraping refers to the extraction of data from publicly available websites. RankTank makes use of this technique to access SERP data from the web for use in keyword rank checker tools. These days data, and most importantly, information is something that people desperately need to drive their decision making. As SERP data and web intelligence are becoming increasingly needed for businesses to succeed, it’s vital to find the best technical solution for SERP scraping and crawling.
Why do you need proxies for SERP scraping?
SERP scraping is easy when it’s simple, but it’s very difficult when it comes to Google and other popular search engines. The hard part is not writing a piece of code to grab the SERP data. You can easily do it after a little bit of practice, and with minimum coding skill. Better yet, using a scraping library like Scrapy, Jsoup, or a headless browser like Puppeteer doesn’t hurt.
The hardest part of SERP scraping is to be able to make successful requests at scale. After a while you will need more SERP data and you will need it more frequently. And if you’re not using premium SERP proxies or not managing them correctly, you will not be able to get data. It then becomes a question of how to find working SERP proxies and how to manage them so they keep working long term.
Proxies can provide a solution to your special SERP scraping needs or when the website you’re targeting is simply unreachable without proxies. Generally speaking, there are three specific problems you can solve with proxies:
- Accessing different geographic locations
- Need for more SERP data, more frequently
- Getting around CAPTCHA and anti-bot systems
SERP proxies need to be managed correctly to maximize their value. Without proper proxy management, you will destroy your proxy pool and eventually run out of proxies.
SERP scraping at scale
When scraping SERPs at scale, you will come across a series of problems and challenges. You may need to make your requests from a specific location or country. Or you may want to work around CAPTCHA and other anti-bot solutions. You may simply want to make requests more frequently, to get data more frequently. Whichever the case, SERP scraping at scale is only possible if you use rotating proxies and make sure to be extremely respectful and ethical with your scraper (especially when it comes to Google).
Be respectful and ethical
It’s very important to emphasize that when you are SERP scraping you need to make your scrapers behave respectfully and ethically. Whether you’re using SERP proxies or not, being nice to search engines is critical for long term success. Let’s get specific, what you can do to be nice with your SERP scraper:
- Limit the number of requests you make
- Adhere to the rules defined in robots.txt
- Use high-quality SERP proxies if you need scalability
- Scrape when there’s less traffic (non-peak hours)
If you follow these simple guidelines, you will have a higher chance of being able to extract SERP data not just today but also in the future, while keeping data quality high. On the other hand, if you fail to be nice to the search engine, you can get in trouble and you will never be able to extract the SERP data you need.
A Smart SERP Proxy Solution
Now, if you want to scrape SERPs at scale and you don’t want to struggle with the headache of finding SERP proxies and managing them, you just want to enjoy the data, there’s a solution for you: use a proxy network! One such popular proxy network is Crawlera and we make use of them extensively at RankTank.
Crawlera is a smart proxy network, specifically designed for SERP and web scraping / crawling. Their job is to make your life easier as a web SERP scraper. Crawlera helps get successful requests returned and extract SERP data at scale from any website using any web scraping tool.
The challenges Crawlera solves for you, in one package:
- Finding high-quality SERP proxies
- Automatic SERP proxy rotation
- Retrying and failovers
- Auto-throttling requests to keep proxies safe
- Header management
- Maintaining sessions
- And other features that make SERP scraping a breeze…
How Crawlera works?
Crawlera is a smart HTTP/HTTPS downloader. It has a super simple API that you get your requests through. When you make a request in your SERP scraper using Crawlera, the request will be routed through a pool of high-quality SERP proxies. When necessary, it automatically introduces delays between requests and removes/adds IP addresses to overcome different crawling challenges. Overall, what you will experience is that getting successful requests and being able to extract SERP data becomes hassle-free.