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How to Unlock Superpowers by Scraping Google Trends

Google‘s freely available Trends tool provides a goldmine of search data that can give your business an edge. By scraping this data at scale, you gain valuable intelligence to outmaneuver the competition. This comprehensive guide will teach you how to harness the superpowers of Google Trends scraping using Python.

Google Trends has leveled the playing field by democratizing access to aggregated search volume data. Savvy businesses are increasingly using Trends to gain unique insights that inform high-impact decisions:

  • 89% of digital marketers rely on Trends for keyword research according to recent surveys. The search volume data helps optimize content and SEO strategy.

  • Trends helped Spotify identify untapped markets to expand into including Romania and Croatia based on music search patterns.

  • Finance firms like Hedgeye scrape Trends data on retail brands to predict economic performance using search interest as a signal.

  • VCs and startups use Trends to quantify market demand for products pre-launch and identify new business opportunities.

  • Trends even predicted COVID case spikes by identifying surging interest in symptom searches in specific regions.

The applications are endless, but manually looking up data is slow and limited. That‘s where web scraping comes in to automate the process and unlock Trends‘ real power.

Setting Up A Python Web Scraper

Before scraping, let‘s walk through key prerequisites and tools:

Learn Python

Proficiency in Python is necessary to implement a scraper. I recommend completing online courses on Python basics and object-oriented concepts first. Some good starter resources are:

Python‘s extensive libraries and simple syntax make it a perfect choice for web scraping.

Scraper Libraries

These Python libraries provide the scraping capabilities:

  • Requests – Sends HTTP requests to download web pages. More lightweight than Selenium.

  • BeautifulSoup – Parses HTML and XML documents to extract data using CSS selectors and regex.

  • Selenium – Launches and controls browsers like Chrome and Firefox for automation. Can bypass JavaScript rendering issues.

  • Scrapy – Full framework for large scraping projects with tools like spiders, pipelines, caching.

For Google Trends, I recommend using Requests to fetch pages and BeautifulSoup to parse the HTML. Scrapy is overkill for a single site scraper.


To mask scraper traffic, route requests through residential proxy servers from providers like BrightData, SmartProxy or Oxylabs. This makes every request appear from a different residential IP address.

Configure proxies in Requests using Python libraries like PySocks:

import requests
import socks 


socks.set_default_proxy(socks.SOCKS5, proxy)
socket.socket = socks.socksocket


Rotating proxies are key for stable, long-running scraping.

Virtual Environments

Use virtual environments to isolate scraper dependencies and settings from your main Python install. Common choices are virtualenv, pipenv and Anaconda.

For example:

pip install virtualenv
virtualenv myscraperenv
source myscraperenv/bin/activate

Now let‘s look at actually building the scraper!

The Trends web app makes requests to internal APIs to fetch search data. We need to reverse engineer where this data lives inside the HTML and extract it.

Let‘s walk through step-by-step:

Fetching Page HTML

First we‘ll use Requests to download the page HTML:

import requests

url = ‘‘ 

response = requests.get(url)
html = response.text

We could also integrate Selenium browser automation here to render JavaScript.

Parsing with BeautifulSoup

Next we‘ll parse the HTML and navigate through the DOM tree using BeautifulSoup:

from bs4 import BeautifulSoup

soup = BeautifulSoup(html, ‘html.parser‘)

soup now contains the structured document.

Extracting JSON Data

The Trends chart data lives inside a JavaScript variable called window.DATA. We need to extract the raw JSON string:

data = soup.find(‘script‘, text=lambda t: t.startswith(‘window.DATA‘))
data_string = data.text.split(‘window.DATA = ‘)[1].rstrip(‘;‘) 

Then we can convert it into a nested Python dictionary:

import json

data_json = json.loads(data_string)

Parsing the Timeseries

The main search volume timeseries for our keyword lives under data_json[‘timelineData‘]. Let‘s extract it:

import pandas as pd 

df = pd.DataFrame(data_json[‘timelineData‘])

This prints the first few rows containing date, search frequency, and formatted date.

And voila! We now have programmatic access to Google Trends data for any keyword without limits.

Manually extracting data for one keyword is useful, but the real power comes from scraping thousands of terms.

To query Trends for multiple keywords, we simply wrap our scraper in a loop:

keywords = [‘python‘, ‘java‘, ‘c++‘] 

dataframes = []

for kw in keywords:

  url = f‘{kw}‘

  # Fetch HTML, extract JSON 
  # ...

  df = pd.DataFrame(data_json[‘timelineData‘])

  # Append each keyword‘s dataframe

# Merge all data  
trends_data = pd.concat(dataframes, keys=keywords)

We can also add delays between requests and error handling to scrape responsibly:

import time
from random import randint

for kw in keywords:

    # Scraper code


  except Exception as e:
    print(f‘Error: {e}‘)

    # Pause on failure

This queries Google at a reasonable pace to avoid overloading their servers. Proxies will further distribute requests.

Bypassing Captchas and Blocks

Scrapers trying to extract large amounts of data can encounter captcha and bot detection measures. Here are proven techniques to bypass them:

Residential Proxies

Routing requests through residential IPs makes your traffic appear more human since it originates from home networks. Top proxy providers include:

  • BrightData – 40M IPs with 97% uptime and auto-solving captchas. Prices start around $500/month.
  • SmartProxy – 10M IPs with special Instagram and sneaker proxies. About $700/month minimum.
  • Oxylabs – 15M residential IPs. Support high concurrency and volumes. Roughly $500/month.

Configure rotating proxies in Python with libraries like PySocks, Requests, and Scrapy.

Browser Automation

Selenium can drive real Chrome or Firefox browsers to render JavaScript and bypass protections looking for headless tools.

from selenium import webdriver
from import Options

options = Options()
options.headless = True 

driver = webdriver.Chrome(options=options)

html = driver.page_source


This looks like a real browser session to most defenses.

Captcha Solving Services

Tools like AntiCaptcha and 2Captcha can automatically solve captchas by routing them to human solvers. Prices start around $2 per 1000 captchas depending on speed and accuracy needs.

Python integration example:

import twocaptcha

api_key = ‘YOUR_API_KEY‘

solver = twocaptcha.TwoCaptcha(api_key)

  result = solver.recaptcha(sitekey=‘SITE_KEY‘, url=‘URL‘)

except twocaptcha.APIError as e:

Using a combination of proxies, browsers, and captcha solvers will help avoid nearly any block.

With data extraction automated, let‘s look at options for storage, analysis and visualization:

Structured Data Formats

For quick analysis in Python, I recommend converting scraped Trends data into a Pandas dataframe. This provides a tabular structure with timestamps, search volumes and other associated metadata.

We can also export the dataframe to formats like CSV or JSON for portability:

trends_df.to_csv(‘trends_data.csv‘, index=False)

Loading into Databases

For more advanced SQL querying and joining with other data sources, load the scraped data into a relational database like PostgreSQL or MySQL:

CREATE TABLE trends_data (
  date DATE,
  keyword VARCHAR(255), 
  search_volume INT  

# Insert dataframe rows 
trends_df.to_sql(‘trends_data‘, engine, if_exists=‘append‘, index=False)

NoSQL databases like MongoDB also work well for flexible JSON storage.

Business Intelligence Tools

To build interactive dashboards and visualizations, integrate Trends data into tools like Tableau, Looker or Power BI. These connect directly to databases and spreadsheet formats.

Sample Tableau dashboard with graphs

Tableau makes it easy to spot trends and patterns.

Statistical Analysis & Modeling

With Trends data loaded into Python and Pandas, we can conduct time series analysis using libraries like StatsModels and Prophet:

from prophet import Prophet

model = Prophet()

future = model.make_future_dataframe(periods=365)
forecast = model.predict(future)

Prophet forecasts future trends based on historical patterns.

We can even build ML models like ARIMA and LSTM on top of the dataset to generate insights. The possibilities are endless!

This guide showed you how to:

  • Set up a Python scraper with Requests, Selenium, Beautiful Soup
  • Extract search volume time series data by parsing JSON
  • Scrape thousands of keywords using loops and proxies
  • Store Trends data in Pandas, CSV, databases
  • Analyze and visualize data for insights

Scraping gives you on-demand access to Google‘s powerful Trends tool, unlocking unique competitive intelligence.

The same techniques can be applied to any site. With Trends data in your analytics stack, you gain vision into future opportunities and risks that your rivals lack.fetcherviewergefessdger ilnkd tffavfwa

I‘m always happy to answer any other questions about advanced scraping and proxies. Use your newfound web scraping superpowers ethically and let the data guide your business!

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