Scrape Google services – a task seemingly as huge and impossible as scraping the whole wide internet, don’t you think? But worry not, here on the web, we have fought even bigger internet dragons. In this article, we’ll be exploring how to extract the most accurate data from this huge library named Google, and showing you how you can use that data to improve and amplify your business.
Why businesses should get data from Google
Google has become, without a doubt, the gateway to the web for billions of people. It’s so ubiquitous that if your business is not on Google Search, there’s a high, quantifiable chance that it’s missing out on huge opportunities to promote its products on the market, be seen by, and attract new customers. We’re living in a world where a google search is done way before actually entering a restaurant, an office, or an event, so this fact alone already makes the whole difference for customers and businesses alike.
With this in mind, every day, Google Search processes over 5.6 billion searches. It can be considered a big open library with lots of data just waiting to be collected, analyzed, and recombined into new ways of seeing the market. The amount of data provided by Google, most of it open to public access, is a nearly infinite source of information not only about your business, but also about those of your competitors, including their products, as well as brands in adjacent spheres and potential business partners. Here we will briefly describe how to extract data from three of the most used Google services on the web: Google Maps, Google Search itself, and Google Trends, and ways to use the collected data to benefit your business.
Collect data from Google Maps for a clear business vision
Some might consider Google Maps no more than a handy website for orienting yourself here on Earth, but an insightful business owner will see there’s much more to it than just a user-generated map. And once you notice it, it’s hard to unsee the opportunities offered by Google Maps data which include, among other things: location and contact details, reviews, opening and closing hours, rating, popular times to visit, images and much more. Whether it is to build your own database, scan the field of competition or collect information for potential customer groups, there’s always more applications left to data from Google Maps.
However, as often happens with massively useful websites such as Google Maps, the official API they offer imposes considerable limitations on the amount of data users can extract – if they offer an API at all, that is. The official Google Maps API does exist and its capacities are sufficient for extracting some data, but only if your request isn’t complex. For example, with the help of the official API, one user can download 10 images and 5 restaurant reviews max. Some data is completely impossible to get, such as popular place times. If you want to engage in business scale scraping, you’d have to be able to download much more than that, and preferably for free, at least in the beginning.
Fortunately, there are great solutions out there that can surpass the limitations of the original API and deliver high-quality results in a quicker amount of time. For instance, a Google Maps Scraper can extract everything a business owner might need from Google Maps and wrap it into a ready-to-work-with format.
Scrape Google Search for better visibility on the web
If you’ve ever googled your own name or perhaps the name of your company, then we don’t have to explain to you how the google magic works. As a business owner and/or decision-maker, you can search for your own company’s name and how it ranks on the google hierarchy list judging from your location, your web preferences and lots of other factors. However, if you look at the same search query from your friend’s/coworker’s computer, the results might be quite different. Better yet, try it from someone else’s phone or tablet. All of these aren’t truly objective, average results that represent your company’s place on the web; nor are they a solid basis for organizing your promotion campaigns and attracting people that would actually be interested in and benefit from your product. You can’t possibly see the whole picture and what your business web page will look like for the average internet passerby. And let’s not forget: google will also promote certain results and put them higher on the list because they were paid for.
Unfortunately, Google Search does not provide a fully-equipped public API to let you monitor your website ranking. In such circumstances, a good way to monitor search results and your website’s position within that system is to use data extraction methods such as web scraping. They can provide insights into the way your website is shown on the web and a solid foundation on how you can improve it to be more visible and visitable.
Other ways to use the results of Google Search scraping for your business include but are not limited to:
Analyzing display ads for a set of keywords of interest
In order to properly understand and be able to make progress in advertising strategies, businesses need data. Objective criteria and cold numbers can create a real boost in terms of marketing if applied correctly. And if you can gather and extract that data from Google, for example on display ads shown for a specific set of keywords, seeing and applying those insights to the marketing strategy would be a matter of time.
- Keeping an eye out for your competition in the industry through organic and paid results
No matter whether your business is doing well or not, whether it’s freshly green or a veteran on the market, it’s always a good idea to know what your competitors are up to. The knowledge you gain may reveal gaps in what you can offer to the market or even serve as an inspiration for your own product. It also gives you an idea of how big the demand is and how much to charge for the products and services you’re offering or about to launch. In this case, good data is again your best companion, because you will be able to see how well you’re doing in terms of pure demand (organic results) and where it would be worth giving a boost so you’re more noticed in the search (paid results). Both of these options are possible by working out a web scraping workflow.
- Composing a list of URLs aimed at specific keywords
This approach comes in useful if you need a starting point when crawling web pages that contain specific phrases. The most logical way to go about this would be to just create a list of links for specific keywords so that you know who to contact, which websites are relevant to you, or which websites you want to target for other web scraping projects. The web scraper tool should be able to follow your list and the schedule of scanning the web pages automatically. This approach makes your web scraping a completely customizable experience and it’s only up to the business owner how to organize and prioritize their data extraction process.
All of these things are quite achievable with the right tool at hand. Luckily, there are affordable or even free google scrapers like Google Search Results Scraper available that can provide businesses with tangible data in a short amount of time.
Stay one step ahead by scraping Google Trends
What can be more powerful for a business than being able to predict emerging trends and investment-worthy ideas? This is where Google Trends is especially useful since it lets you see what people are interested in enough to type it into a google search bar. And if enough people around the world do it at the same time, you’ve got yourself an emerging trend you can capitalize on. Here are just a few ways how data from Google Trends can provide guidance for accurate business decisions and allocation of resources:
- E-commerce retailers can determine the best products by observing whether certain products or brands are trending upward. Dropshippers can adjust their products and increase their profit margins significantly.
- Keyword research can help you optimize your business and find related keywords or topics.
- Based on location or time frame, journalists and media researchers can accurately look into current affairs and pay close attention to the interests of target audiences.
- If you are looking for new business opportunities, you can use Google Search Trends to detect and take advantage of the niche markets, thereby organizing your business in the best way to benefit from seasonal trends.
- As a property investor, monitor ever-changing property values. Checking the number of searches in a particular area allows you to successfully buy the property or provide services right nearby.
- Keep a close eye on your competitors by observing their performance versus your brand’s.
Unlike Google Maps and Google Search Scraper, Google Trends does not provide an official API at all. So the only conceivable option here seems to be using the API tools available on the market. There are plenty of these, but two of the scrapers in the market particularly stand out, because they allow you to scrape data over different periods of time. Google Trends Scraper will extract data collected over the years and Google Trending Searches will collect any popular search done from today and up to one month. The first scraper can be useful for long-term strategic observation while the daily one is better suited for more dynamic projects that need closer attention.
Proxies for Google SERP
Last but not least, web scraping can be a simple analytics solution for businesses, but the process itself can be overwhelming for the website. That’s why it’s important to use proxies while executing your web scraping projects – in that way, you have better chances of finishing your scraping quickly and efficiently without getting blocked. Some web automation companies offer a free SERP proxy trial to be able to scrape anything – from a small local project to the whole internet from the first try. Now that you’re all set, good luck with your web scraping projects! There will come a day when web scraping will be such an intrinsic part of building every business that it will be laughably strange that people didn’t use it regularly before. But till that day, you can be among the pioneers and enjoy unique web scraping benefits for your business.