To make your business profitable, you have to be visible to your customers. That’s why you have to ensure that you’re in the top position on the search results list. Yet, even with various tools for automated search engine results page tracking, difficulties may still occur. For example, you might not be able to access content in different locations, or search engines may welcome you with a captcha after just several requests. To deal with those issues, proxies are used. How can proxies help overcome captchas, stay invisible to both search engines and competitors, take care of online security, and get real-time data? Read below.
What is SERP,
and why do you need to track it?
SERP stands for Search Engine Results Page. When you google something and see a list of results for your keywords, that’s it.
Less than 5% of people look beyond the first page of search results. And even this isn’t enough. The first link on that page gets a 25% click-through rate (CTR). It means that one person out of four who sees it follows it. The second link has a 15% CTR. The tenth link will get only a 2.5% CTR. So, your goal is for your website to appear as high as possible on that list.
Unless you pay for advertising in Google Ads, your rank depends on a lot of factors. The issue is that nobody knows exactly what parameters Google pays attention to when ranking pages. To make things worse, ranking algorithms change constantly. When this happens, it may become hard to figure out the current rules and how to get the highest rank. You may occupy the top position and, on the next day, get the fifth one due to those changes.
SERP tracking allows you to monitor your position and determine whether your current SEO strategy is effective or should be changed. It’s an important parameter that helps you keep an eye on your competitors as well. As SERPs may change fast and unexpectedly, you have to monitor them daily.
How do you track SERP?
It will be too long if you just type every keyword into a search bar and look at what Google or other search engines offer. That’s why automated tools for rank tracking exist. Basically, they are web scraping apps that collect SERP data for you. There are fewer and more sophisticated options available. However, even with those apps, problems may occur, such as IP banning, the necessity to speed up the process of tracking, and others.
How proxies help solve SERP monitoring problems
Proxies to avoid IP banning
When you execute a script to extract SERP data, you make a lot of requests to search engines in a short period of time. There is no other way, as you have to check the results for a lot of keywords. You cannot wait because you need real-time data. But search engines protect themselves from scrapers. After only several requests you’ll certainly see a captcha. Also, there is a lot of sophisticated software that detects scrapers in a matter of seconds and instantly blocks them. With your IP blocked, you can do nothing to access SERPs. Engines’ scrutiny isn’t the only issue. The web can also welcome you with different traps for crawlers, like honeypots. The outcome is the same: you may end up empty-handed or blocked.
When you use proxies, you send requests not to the web directly but to a proxy server. A server then reopens the connection and forwards your requests. Not your IP, but proxies’ IPs are visible. With it, search engines don’t understand that all the requests come from one person and that you’re scraping. All your activity looks like real customers’ behaviour. It significantly increases your chances of bypassing anti-scraping solutions used by search engines and extracting the necessary data. DataImpulse can help you with that, as we offer rotating proxies. It means you’ll use a new IP with every request. This will help you remain anonymous and successfully finish all your tasks.
Proxies to get geo-targeted content
When potential customers go online and search for a product, search engines see their location and offer local options. For example, if a person lives in London and searches for a coffee shop, a search engine will offer coffee shops in London, not in Liverpool. Geo-relevant results always appear in the highest positions within search results pages. If you want to check how your business is doing in another country or city or analyse a foreign market, it will be hard to do as your location is visible to search engines. So, they will show you results that are relevant to your location.
With proxies, you can change it. As your IP is what gives away your location, hiding it will help you get more than just local results. Using IPs from different areas, you can monitor SERP for different locations. For example, you’re in Prague and need to check your rank for Warsaw. You can connect to a proxy server that is located in Poland and see relevant search results. This way, you can learn about how your website is ranking in different places and find out about foreign markets’ trends.
Proxies to get real-time data
There is not one, but several keywords that you need to check SERPs for. You have to do it fast because well-timed data is what you need to quickly optimise your SEO strategy. But if you have a lot of stuff to scrape the web for, it may take you a lot of time and result in you getting irrelevant data and can’t react to changes or possible threats.
Proxies are a handy tool to speed up your rank-tracking process. With DataImpulse, you may have 500 connection threads running simultaneously. Imagine that you open Google on several devices and look for different queries at the same time. That’s what you get with us. This allows you to save a lot of time and be aware of any changes regarding SERP in a matter of seconds. A proxy server uses different IPs for each query. This way, search engines won’t know that only one person is conducting all the searches. In other words, they won’t understand that you’re scraping, and you won’t be blacklisted.
Proxies to get objective data
When you’re online, sites collect cookies, preferences, etc. It helps them provide you with content that may be potentially interesting to you. It influences SERP ranks as well. For example, Bob is interested in gardening, and Tom is interested in cars. Both of them check out a lot of content regarding their hobbies. They both live in the same city as well. Their browsers already “know” what content they usually look for; they have their cookies and bookmarks. If Bob types “roses buy” in a search bar and looks for it, he will get different results than if Tom does it. The same link may be shown in the first place for Bob, but it will occupy only the seventh position for Tom.
It means that you have to check the SERP as objectively as possible. You have to collect data that has nothing to do with your preferences. If you have to visit your site hundreds of times per day, when you search for it, surely it will appear in the first place. But you don’t need a good-looking illusion; you need a real picture. That’s where proxies can help. Using them, you impersonalise your online activity and can see what other people see when they search for a certain keyword. This way, you get real data about your rank and can optimise or change your SEO strategy to improve your performance.
How to choose proxies for SERP monitoring
As the process of SERP checking has its own specifics, there are several key points that you should consider while choosing proxies.
- Diverse locations
To get valid results from rank monitoring, you need to switch between different locations. It means that the more locations available, the better. There are 195 countries in the world, so the number of locations should be close to that. Some providers also have special country plans if you need a lot of proxies from a particular area. It’s convenient and reasonable, as you pay only for what you need.
DataImpulse offers proxies from 194 locations. If you need IPs from a particular country, we’ll provide you with the best addresses from your chosen area. You just have to select a country while configuring your proxy server. You can do it in a matter of seconds via our dashboard. You may use both your PC and a mobile device to access it. If you don’t need this feature anymore or want to switch to another country, it’ll take you just a couple of clicks on the dashboard.
- Number of IPs
The more IPs you have, the higher the possibility that you can stay undetected by anti-crawlers. That’s because your IP is constantly switching, and search engines don’t understand that all the requests come from the same device. For all that, you need many IPs to use a new one with every rotation.
Having a lot of proxies available is also convenient in terms of speed. There are two reasons for this. The first one: the more proxies a provider has, the less loaded they are. For example, provider A has 1 million proxies, and provider B has 4 million proxies. Both providers have the same number of users. So, whose proxy servers are more loaded? It’s obvious that provider B’s proxies have x4 users. It may result in a low-speed connection. The second reason is that with so many IPs available, it’s much easier to find a proxy close to the target server. For instance, provider A has 10 IPs in Poland. And provider B has 100 IPs. Naturally, provider B’s network is more spread out, so you can choose the closest proxy server to a target location. The closer a proxy server is located to the target server, the faster the connection.
DataImpulse provides you with more than 5 million addresses. We constantly grow our pool of proxies for you to have a higher-speed connection. In such popular locations as the United Kingdom or the United States, we offer you several thousand IPs. So, you can connect to a proxy server close to your target server and avoid drops in speed.
As discussed above, speed is really important for successful rank checking. Besides the number of IPs, there are other factors that influence speed, like the quality of software and hardware. Providers have to take care of it for you to have a high-speed connection. Normally, it’s written on a provider’s site how fast their proxies are. For example, a one-second response time is a good option. This way, you can scrape the web and have the necessary data almost in real-time. You can even see a 0.5-second response time, but you should know that speed depends not only on a proxy provider. Your internet service provider and the quality of your hardware are also important. But you’ll have to pay more for such fast proxies. So think it through twice to see if it’s really necessary for you.
At DataImpulse, we offer you one-second response-time proxies. We don’t resell proxies from other providers. It means that we can control how many people use our servers simultaneously and balance the load. At your request, we can provide you with a personal server. With it, you can send a lot of traffic without any restriction or drop in speed.
Proxies see your real IP and locations. Proxies see all that you input on the websites you visit, including credentials like passwords and payment details. Proxies can cache files. It means that they know pretty much everything about you. So, proxies should be safe to use. It’s not an option to use free proxies, as they hide a lot of dangers. A reliable proxy provider is the best way. Pay attention to how providers obtain their pools of IPs. For example, some providers have special apps. People install those apps and opt-in to sell a part of their traffic to a provider. A provider pays for it. Or a provider may allow people to use its paid apps or services for free in exchange for traffic. Those are legal and ethical ways to obtain IPs. Typically, those providers set up some restrictions for their partners about what sources they can access with their devices. Such proxies are the safest option, as these limitations usually concern illegal sources like pirate sites that may be infected with viruses or malware. With such proxies, you can conduct your SERP tracking tasks and take care of your business without worrying about your safety.
DataImpulse provides you with ethically obtained and safe proxies. We buy traffic that matches our criteria. We do it via the app of our own development. In addition to it, we have the HTTPS protocol available. With this protocol, you can have an encrypted connection. It means that your data is encoded in the process of transfer. Even if somebody manages to intercept it, it’s impossible to decipher that information. With all of that, you have a high level of online security.
Sticky or rotating proxies?
A rotating proxy is a type of proxy server that changes your IP per every new request. Sticky proxies are a type of proxy server that holds the same IP within a set time period of 10, 30, 60 or even 120 minutes. With both types, the change of an IP happens automatically. Here you can find a detailed article about rotating and sticky proxies. For rank tracking, you need to mimic real traffic and make it look like all the requests come from different people from different locations. So, rotating proxies are the top choice. If you try to use sticky proxies, engines will receive a lot of requests from the same IP within a short period of time. In this case, it’s meaningless to use proxies at all since search engines will understand that you’re scraping and you’ll face obstacles, for example, captchas.
DataImpulse offers you both rotating and sticky proxies. You can switch between different types via the dashboard every time you need to. For sticky proxies, you can set a rotating interval from 1 to 120 minutes. Our system will strive to keep the same IP for as long as possible.
Residential or datacentre proxies?
Residential proxies are the IPs of real households. Internet service providers assign those IPs. Datacentre proxies are the IPs of companies and corporations that collect data. Those IPs have nothing to do with internet service providers. Datacentres proxies are generally cheaper and slightly faster. Yet they are much easier to detect. It may lead to blocks. So, when you decide between those two options, consider the scale of scraping and your budget. If you have a big scraping project, you should opt-in to using residential proxies. If you don’t have grand plans and care about cost efficiency, datacentre proxies deserve your attention.
At DataImpulse, we specialise in providing you with residential proxies. They offer you a higher level of anonymity, which is necessary for rank tracking. Our proxies are compatible with monitoring apps and software.
To wrap up
While tracking rank, you may face several key issues, including subjective data, geo-based limitations, IP bans, and creaky data. Proxies can help you solve all of those issues. As they change your IP, they hide your real identity. This way, your preferences don’t influence the results of rank checking. With proxies, you can reach everywhere you need to. You can have your IP rotated automatically with every request, so search engines won’t stop your crawlers with a captcha. Proxies will help you have numerous connection threads simultaneously to track your ranking quickly and get real-time data.
DataImpulse can provide you with more than 5 million legally obtained IPs with a one-second response time. With us, you can reach 194 countries. To scale up your SERP tracking, we offer you country plans, a personal server for limitless requests, up to 500 connection threads, and 24/7 human support. Contact us at [email protected] or click on the “Try now” button in the top-right corner to start.