While today search engines are just a normal part of life, one we’ve come to rely on quite a lot, it’s worth remembering just how primitive they once were.
Just a decade ago, you could climb to the number one spot in the SERPs by using link farms. The 2000s were plagued by websites stuffed to the brim with keywords, both visible and invisible to regular users. Compared to that archaic time period, the search engines of today are geniuses and that’s excellent news, because it means that their SERPs are full of relevant and useful data.
We don’t have to explain the process of someone searching for information, finding and reading it. Instead, we want to focus on the results page itself, while maybe just a few of those results are actually useful, knowing what the search engine considers most relevant is an advantage in and of itself.
Let’s leave reminiscing and broad statements aside and go right into what matters to you, use cases, and the benefits the data can bring:
A clear path to search engine optimization
When deciding your SEO strategy, a good first step is coming up with a large list of keywords. These will most likely be terms that relate to your business or product. For example, if you offer website development services, you’ll want to look into keywords such as “website development”, “build a website” and more complex terms like “development agency to create an eCommerce website”.
The thing is — some keywords, even if they are very similar, will return very different results. For example, both “website development” and “build a website” return tutorials and guides, but as far as businesses go, the first term returns more agencies while the second more platforms through which non-developers can create a website. So, in a sense, the two similar keywords return different types of services.
By using an API to gather data from search engine results pages for various keywords, you can get an overview of what each term presents, what your competition might be, and what kind of paid ads are used. With all that data, you’ll be able to know both how fierce the fight is for those keywords and how others are working for the number one spot.
A magnifying glass over local markets
If you were to execute a search for the previously mentioned keywords in a search engine, you’ll get some local results for website development agencies in your area. While this may seem inconsequential at first glance, you’re actually identifying your local competitors. Development services rarely depend on geographical distance, but that’s not the case for all businesses.
Let’s say you want to open a bakery. By harvesting the data a search engine sends when you type in “bakery”, you’ll get a list of all the similar businesses in your area. From there, it’s child's play to investigate each result, check their addresses, product listings, operating hours, and prices.
The beauty of using a SERP data extraction tool is that you can do that for any location, not just the one you’re in. So, if you want to expand to a new city or even country, this data will be invaluable in understanding the local markets and your future competition.
A way to test your ads
As effective as paid ads can be, a poorly thought-out strategy or lack of verification can turn them into money pits that don’t produce any results. Thankfully, you don’t have to rely on luck to avoid that scenario.
With a powerful SERP data API, like Searchdata, you can choose any location or language (both for the search and the results) to see if your ads are displayed correctly for the keywords you chose.
When you’re doing this check, look at the organic results as well. The point of paid ads is to get your page at the top of search results, but if your page has nothing to do with the organic results, you might have chosen the wrong keyword to invest in. The search engine usually understands the intent of the people that search a certain keyword, and if your ad doesn’t fit with that intent, it’s unlikely that you’ll get many clicks.
A mountain of data for machine learning
As clever as your AI script may be, it will still need plenty of sample data for training. Luckily, the Internet is full of information, and search engines are built to help you find said info. So, it’s quite the match, right?
Here’s a classic example: you want to develop an AI that recognizes Spiderman in photos. To help it give accurate responses, you’ll need heaps of images that contain Spiderman plus plenty of photos that don’t.
Search engines will have plenty of images for you, but if you need to get 1000+ photos, gathering them all manually will be both time-consuming and unbearably boring, as cool as Spiderman is.
The solution is simple: use a SERP data extraction tool. You’ll still have to validate the gathered data since search engines are not perfect, but with a list of image URLs, a quick script will get you gigabytes of data faster than you can say “I want pictures of Spiderman!”.
Disclaimer: no Spidermen have been harmed in any shape or form during the making of this article.
A fast lane to all the latest trends
It’s no secret that public interest tends to focus on a few specific topics at a time, then quickly change to others. While today a subject is the hottest news, tomorrow no one is likely to know or care about it.
With a volatile audience, one of the most important things you can do is know what the current hot topic is. This way, you can create content on that specific subject and capitalize on the surge of traffic it’s generating.
As you might have guessed, extracting data from SERPs can give you the competitive advantage. It’s simple: you make a script that checks results pages for specific keywords every day in the morning, asking for the newest results. When you go to your computer, you can see what people are talking about and create your own piece on the subject.
This way, you’re always at the top of the traffic wave.
Leveraging SERPs data doesn’t have to be difficult
The reason why people love computers and robots is that they do the unpleasant, time-consuming, and repetitive work for us. Spending hours on end on a search engine, copy-pasting data checks all of those marks. That’s why you should leave the task to an API.
The SearchData API is built to do just that, deliver SERP data in JSON format for you to review, or better yet, forward it to other apps to process it for you.
Still not convinced of how easy it can be? Why not give the API a try, we’ll give you 100 free searches to play with, no credit card required!