How do SEO tools get all their data about your site and Google?
There is no shortage of SEO tools available today for any business or website that wants to appear more prominently in Google search results.
Google is one of the few businesses to have become a verb. We all talk about “Googling” something, rather than saying “search online”. Google wields an extraordinary amount of power and influence over the way we use the internet, as most of us would be completely lost without it.
Google holds an astronomical amount of data about the internet at large as well as individual websites. Needless to say, there are a number of businesses and individuals who would love to use this data to their advantage. Websites are in fierce competition to get to the top of search engine results pages (SERPs) and Google is the biggest search engine out there.
Search engine optimization (SEO) refers to a variety of techniques that websites can employ in order to increase their website’s prominence in search results listings. The data that Google has is extremely valuable not only to average internet users but also to both developers of SEO tools and website owners who want to improve their ranking.
There are a plethora of SEO tools out there that businesses can use to analyze the performance of their current SEO techniques and formulate solutions for raising their SEO score and moving to the top of SERPs. These tools manage to be very accurate and very useful, despite not having access to the vast troves of data that Google holds.
Whereas Google can harness the awesome power of its vast advertising network in order to gather data, SEO tool developers have to rely on other techniques. Many SEO tools, such as ahrefs and Semrush, offer more than just the ability to analyze your SEO score and can also track your ranking over time and alert you if it drops to a certain point. You can even use these tools to receive keyword suggestions or alerts whenever one of your competitors wins or loses a backlink.
Ahrefs and Semrush are both popular SEO tools whose developers employ some of the same techniques that Google does in order to gather data about websites.
A web crawler is a software script that browses the internet automatically and gathers information about every page that it finds. A crawler begins with a list of URLs, called seeds. It then visits each seed and looks for any hyperlinks and adds those hyperlinks to its list of URLs to visit, and the process repeats itself.
Crawlers can gather information about every page on a website in a relatively short amount of time, although this will, of course, vary depending on the size of the website. Both Google and SEO tools use crawlers to get any relevant data for searches.
A data aggregator is a form of data mining that is used to propagate information about a business online. A data aggregator gathers data about a business and then shares it with various other sources, including search engines. The alternative to data aggregation would be to manually update websites whenever information about a business change, a herculean task for even the most well-staffed website.
Rank tracking is an important part of SEO. As the name implies, rank tracking tools will monitor the performance of a website for particular search terms over time. This enables websites and businesses to track their performance and ensure that their SEO isn’t fading over time.
SEO tools use all of the above techniques to analyze Google itself. However, this means each tool tries to connect to Google millions of times every day. That is why the search giant takes steps to try and prevent SEO tools from overloading its servers and using its data.
Google is like any other business, it would rather not have to compete with anyone else. Google also doesn’t want too many people to end up profiting from their hard work. As such, Google has blacklisted the known IP addresses of third-party crawlers and many other websites also don’t allow crawlers unless they are from Google or another search engine.
These obstacles make the life of an SEO tool developer quite a bit more difficult. In order to gather the data they need for their tools to work properly, developers need to circumvent the barriers that Google and others put in their way, SEO developers utilize robust proxy networks.
A proxy server is a server that acts as a middleman between a user and the internet. There are a number of things that can be achieved by using a proxy network, but it is the ability to disguise the IP address of the device connecting to the internet that is appealing to developers. By using the IP address of a proxy server, rather than their own corporate IP addresses, SEO tool developers are able to circumvent Google’s IP address blocking.
Proxy servers come particularly handy when aggregating large amounts of data from other websites. In order to prevent getting blocked by Google, companies can use web scraping proxy solutions to obtain the data they require without getting their IPs flagged for gathering excessive data.
The data that is gathered by the developers using their proxy network then needs to be analyzed for backlinks. This requires the use of complex data analytics algorithms and computing power.
Investing in SEO
Most of the traffic on the internet today flows through search engines. But, while the search engines can return many millions of results, the first three or four results will account for the overwhelming bulk of the traffic generated. Appearing near the top of SERPs means more traffic, more revenue, and a larger audience.
There are a multitude of ways that a website owner can go about improving their SEO score and if you become proficient in these methods then you can manage your own SEO with relative ease. However, if you are at all unsure of how to best manage your SEO, it is worth hiring a professional to do it for you.
The cost of improving your SEO score is more than worth it for the benefits it brings. For any business, better SEO means better overall performance. But for some businesses, a better SEO score is the difference between success and failure.
There is no shortage of SEO tools available today for any business or website that wants to appear more prominently in Google search results. Improving your SEO score will give your business or website an edge over your competitors. The cost of investing in proper SEO management is more than worth it for the benefits that it brings. Despite not having access to the same vast data networks that Google does, SEO tool developers are still able to employ many of the same techniques in order to accurately measure SEO performance.
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