SERP Scraper: Building or Buying

Search engines are now presenting a wealth of information to users more than ever on any given query. Did you know that Google, the most commonly used search engine, processes about 3.5 billion searches on a daily basis? That’s a lot of searches.

Businesses trying to make their site rank have to compete with innumerable content pieces in their respective niches to make it to the search engines’ first page. Unfortunately, many brands and individuals fail to make it.

According to Ahrefs, a majority of all pages published receive no digital traffic, and a slight percentage of them get 10 or fewer visits a month, which is pretty dispiriting. So, what should be done to make websites more visible to their audience or customers?

This is where Search Engine Results Pages (SERP) scraping enters the picture. This process of collecting and using the information on your competitors for better rankings is performed via a scraper.

This post will cover the SERP scraper, as well as its uses for businesses and SEO experts. Also, there will be some pros and cons to help you decide whether you should consider building an in-house scraper or buying one from third-party providers.

SERP Scraper: What Is It

Search Engine Results Pages (SERP) scraper is a scraping tool that crawls search engine results pages and extracts data in structured formats, such as CSV, XML, or JSON. Using the SERP API, users can extract organic and paid results, featured snippets, product ads, related queries, prices, reviews, and additional custom attributes from these results pages.

Uses of SERP Scraper

A number of SEO experts, marketing professionals, and researchers use the SERP to understand user behavior and optimize their strategies. Below are the main uses of a SERP API:

  • SERP scraper helps analyze search engine rankings of certain websites and keywords, spot the high-ranking webpages, and study the characteristics to boost a site’s ranking.
  • The scraper collects data on competitors’ digital marketing strategies, including their landing pages, keywords, ad copy, etc.
  • It offers useful insights into industry trends and customer behavior and preferences by examining the search results for particular products/services.
  • It is used to aid content creators in identifying popular trends, forming new ideas, and optimizing their content for search engines.
  • SERP scrapers retrieve the contact information from search results and generate leads for various purposes.
  • It monitors mentions of a brand, product, or service in search results, offering insights into reputation, sentiments, and customer reviews.
  • These scrapers help track and analyze paid advertisements on SERPs to optimize ad campaigns and boost ROI.

Building an In-house SERP Scraper

Many professionals prefer building their own SERP scraper, considering its amazing benefits; however, this approach also comes with some drawbacks.


  • You get complete control over the process, allowing you to customize the scraper as per your needs.
  • It can be a cost-effective choice, especially if you don’t need a scraper often or for a limited data volume.
  • Users can find a good learning opportunity since building an in-house SERP scraper can improve their coding skills.
  • Unlike third-party scraping tools, which require raising a support ticket and waiting for some time, in-house teams come up with quicker resolution of issues.


  • Maintaining an in-house setup can be a serious challenge. It demands experience with coding and constantly keeping up with changes to the site getting scraped.
  • Server costs, proxy costs, maintenance costs, and recruiting trained staff make in-house scraper quite costly.
  • There can be certain legal risks with scraping if an in-house team lacks sufficient experience.

Buying a SERP Scraper

Another popular choice among SEO professionals is to purchase a SERP API from a third-party provider to save some time and effort. But, similar to custom-built scrapers, these scraping solutions may also have their cons.


  • Third-party scrapers are easy to use, especially for those new to web scraping and with less coding experience.
  • These scrapers often include helpful documentation and support resources.
  • They consume a limited time since there is no need to build your scraper from scratch.
  • They employ advanced tactics to overcome various web blocks you may encounter online.


  • SERP scrapers can be expensive for basic or individual use cases.
  • Limited customization or flexibility is another drawback of a third-party SERP scraper.
  • These scrapers are less reliable than custom-built scrapers because they require a third-party team to fix issues.


To conclude, SERP scraper is extensively used by businesses and marketers to crawl search engine results pages for a number of reasons, such as market research, SEO research, competitor analysis, content creation, lead generation, keyword data collection, brand monitoring, and ads data tracking.

Scraping SERPs is possible through two approaches: leveraging and maintaining an in-house scraper or outsourcing one from third-party vendors. Based on your project requirements and scope, you can either choose to build your own infrastructure or buy a third-party tool for your next web scraping project. Good luck!

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