Search Engine Results Page Data Extraction: Law and Ethics

Extracting data — legal or not?

Declassifying Data

  • Names;
  • Addresses;
  • IPs;
  • Email addresses;
  • Phone numbers;
  • Dates of birth;
  • Credit card information.

Some Terms of Service may apply

How to get valuable data without stepping on any toes

  • Read the website’s Terms of Service to learn their stance on data extraction.
  • Do the same for the robots.txt file. It’s kind of the same thing as the ToS but made for the robots themselves to read.
  • Only gather the data you actually need. A “measure twice, cut once” approach ensures that you don’t waste time on useless info while also sending as few requests as possible through the data extraction tool.
  • Avoid collecting personal information. Unless you have a really good reason to gather it, stay away from information that is protected through GDPR or similar legislation.
  • Be mindful of copyright laws. The rules are clear on intellectual property, and taking them seriously is key in not getting a surprise lawsuit.
  • Extrapolate, don’t reuse. The power of SERP data is in the insights that you can gather from them and the superior strategies that you can craft. Searching for top-ranking content just to copy it is unneighbourly.



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