The Best SERP API for 100% Successful Google Search Result Scraping
Introduction: Different Ways of Acquiring Google Data
In today’s internet, businesses use multiple methods to extract data from Google Search Engine Result Pages – SERPs, in short. However, Google has implemented various security techniques to prevent malicious bots from harvesting its pages. Even if someone wants to extract the data without breaking any laws, they may still face these technical difficulties, raising a question: what is the best way to get large-scale Google search results? To find out, let’s first take a brief look at a few different methods.
Building a Custom SERP Scraper
Some companies choose to build a Google Search scraper themselves. It’s a complex process, but it helps them adjust the scraper to their needs or targets. To develop a scraper, engineers typically use Python with Beautiful Soup, a library that allows you to extract information from multiple markup languages, including HTML and XML.
On the downside, a custom scraper requires constant maintenance since Google regularly changes its SERP structure and overall algorithm.
Using a Web Scraper
Another method is to use a third-party web scraper. Usually, these tools are designed to extract different web search data types, not just Google SERPs. Unless you use a scraper with high-quality residential proxies, you may end up having to deal with IP bans and CAPTCHAs.
Using a SERP API
Such API will gather and deliver Google search results based on your submitted request. The biggest advantage here is that software providers will take care of IP rotation and CAPTCHAs, ensuring you 100% success in result delivery.
The Best SERP API
If you’ve decided to go with an API for Google search scraping, here’s an overview of three robust tools to help you pick the best one.
Search Engine Crawler
Fast and scalable API that support all major search engines.
Bright Data, formerly known as Luminati, offers the Search Engine Crawler API that can scrape data from all Google products, including Google Search, Images, Maps, and more. It allows you to choose browser, device, and location parameters and delivers requested results in raw HTML or structured JSON format. The tool supports other search engines as well, such as Bing, Yahoo, and DuckDuckGo.
Search Engine Crawler integrates like a proxy server, which may be a plus to those that are used working with proxies. The provider offers an interactive playground in its dashboard that writes the code for you in main programming languages. The API performs very well, as it’s built on Bright Data’s robust residential proxy network.
Search Engine Crawler’s pricing starts at 500 USD per month for 200K search results ($2.5/1,000 results). Meanwhile, the Plus plan includes 1.76M results and costs 3,000 USD monthly. It’s safe to say that the service is geared towards medium to large-sized companies and enterprises. So, if you work with small-scale projects, it may not be for you.
Very cheap and robust Google scraping API.
SERPMaster offers multiple APIs for different Google products: Google Search API, Shopping API, News API, and more.
It can scrape all SERP features, such as featured snippets, People Also Ask boxes, paid ads, reviews, and others. Based on your preferred browser, location, and device, SERPMaster gathers and delivers data in raw HTML or structured JSON format. What’s unique about the tool is that it delivers hyper-localized results on a country, city, or even coordinate level.
SERPMaster’s plans target small to mid-sized companies. The entry plan costs $20 for 5,000 results ($4/1,000 results), while the advanced plan gives you 100,000 results for $200 ($2/1,000 results). This is among the cheapest in the market. For those needing more volume, SERPMaster has a custom plan that can deliver an unlimited number of requests.
On the downside, the service currently doesn’t have a live chat, so it may take some time to get a response. But if you have their Regular or Advanced plan, you’re eligible for priority support provided via phone.
Search Engine Proxies
Affordable Google scraper that integrates like a proxy server.
Search Engine Proxies offered by Smartproxy is another solution for acquiring Google search results. The service, too, guarantees a 100% success rate since it runs on a reliable, high-quality residential proxy pool and takes care of IP rotation or CAPTHAs.
Search Engine Proxies deliver all types of data and SERP features from Google Search (Maps, Hotels, etc.). It can integrate like a proxy server or by sending the request via an URL.
The service starts at 100 USD per month for 35,000 results ($3.5/1,000 results) and goes up to 500 USD for 250,000 results. ($2/1,000 results).
What Are SERPs?
Before moving forward to the nitty-gritty of SERP scraping, let’s figure out what SERPs are.
The “SERP” abbreviation translates to Search Engine Result Page. It refers to the page Google (and other engines) returns after a user submits a query. Usually, SERPs include both organic and paid search results.
What Is SERP API?
To answer this question, let’s first find out what API is.
API is an acronym for Application Programming Interface. It’s used to describe the bridge that allows two different applications to communicate. That said, a SERP API is software that helps you get Google search results at scale. Usually, people submit a search query, and the software delivers results to them accordingly. They can select location, device, browser, and other parameters to get the exact specific Google search results needed.
Is There Any API for Google Search?
Google offers Custom Search JSON API, which allows software developers to add a search box to an application. As a part of this service, you also get Google Search API, which helps you to retrieve SERP data according to your preferred country, language, and other parameters.
However, Google Search API is relatively pricey: although it allows you to make 100 search queries for free daily, you’ll have to pay an additional 5 USD per 1,000 requests. Not to mention, it’s limited to 10,000 requests per day.
Search Engine Scraper or SERP API – Which One Should You Choose?
An alternative way to gather Google search results on a large scale is using a web scraper. Let’s do a quick run-through of two popular web scrapers – Octoparse and ScrapeBox.
Octoparse is a web scraping software that’s known for its easy-to-navigate user interface. It offers a free plan, limiting users to 10,000 records per export. Since the free plan doesn’t provide any advanced features, it’s more suitable for small-scale projects.
Octoparse also offers plans for medium-sized companies and enterprises. These plans cost 75-250 USD and deliver unlimited data exporting capabilities, automatic IP rotation, scheduled result extractions, and other extra features.
Many appreciate how easy-to-use Octoparse is and that it doesn’t require any coding skills. On the other hand, only its Premium plan includes priority support. So, if you have the standard or free one, it may take quite a while to get issues resolved. Also, Octoparse doesn’t guarantee 100% success in data delivery, possibly resulting in request errors.
ScrapeBox is an all-in-one web scraper designed for SEO specialists and agencies for 97 USD a month. It offers various services helping you ensure all your SEO bases are covered: a keyword and metadata scraper, backlink checker, search engine harvester, and more.
Although ScrapeBox mainly focuses on SEO, it allows you to acquire all sorts of web data: emails, phone numbers, or comments. It also offers additional services such as Contact Form Submitter for posting information to website contact forms automatically; or Name and Email Generator, which creates fake names for accounts or blog comments.
ScrapeBox is a powerful, obfuscated search engine optimization tool; however, its interface is not the most user-friendly one. You may need some technical guidance to get used to it. Also, the service doesn’t guarantee 100% success in data delivery, meaning you may get invalid requests.
As you can see, there’s this tendency with web scrapers: they may not return Google with a 100% success rate. To get a successful response, you’ll have to deal with these issues, requiring some technical knowledge or help from customer support.
If you decide to go with a web scraper to harvest Google search results, make sure you’re using high-quality residential proxies; otherwise, you’ll encounter various technical problems. If Google determines that you’ve been checking rankings or tracking specific keywords too often, it may permanently ban your IP address or bombard you with CAPTCHA tests. However, if you use residential proxies, the provider ensures that the IP addresses rotate regularly. This way, you can control your sessions, prevent CAPTCHAs and avoid IP bans.
To find a high-quality residential proxy provider, ensure their proxies have high uptime and are sourced ethically from legitimate sources. We’ve made a list of the best residential proxies to help you.
CAPTCHAs are one of the greatest difficulties of web scraping. To confirm a visitor is a human, websites ask them to complete various tests, i.e., select all images showing boats. The images are usually blurry and low-quality, making it nearly impossible for bots to complete the test.
The best way to deal with CAPTCHA is to avoid it in the first place: i.e., don’t scrape the entire website, rotate proxies, or try to mimic organic human behavior. However, not all CAPTCHAs are avoidable, so you should either use specific CAPTCHA-solving services or crawling tools that are designed to handle them.