Leveraging proxies for SEO: Residential and Mobile proxies

Learn how Residential and Mobile proxies are being used to enhance competitive keyword monitoring/research using data to perform localization, and laser-focused geotargeting
Leveraging proxies for SEO: Residential and Mobile proxies
Daniel Shashko
Daniel Shashko | SEO Specialist

In this post we will cover:

The benefits of using proxies for live SEO monitoring

Here is a B2B use case example of a company that utilized proxies in order to improve productivity/drive more accurate results. This company needed to verify live Google rankings in different countries, as well as learn about the unique features of SERPs in the target country in question while performing competitive research based on live results. This company started using Bright Data’s Proxy Networks.

Here are the top-5 insights from this case study regarding leveraging proxies for SEO: 

  1. Rankings for some specific industries change quite often – sometimes even a dozen times a day. Proxies enable companies to spot those changes live, without having to use outdated data from third-party tools (which typically only provide businesses with a  ranking check once a day).
  2. The most accurate data can be accessed using real IPs, as is the case when utilizing a Residential Proxy Network, for example. This serves you with real user-side results from the specific region, country, or city being targeted. Since these proxies are using reaI IPs, target sites like Google serve them accurate information and do not block them or enact rate limitations.
  3. Detecting blockages by mobile carriers – Mobile carriers in a specific country can block access to some of your websites. With a mobile proxy network however, you have ASN/carrier-targeting utilizing real 3G/4G mobile devices. That way, you can easily spot if any of your websites got blocked by any of the mobile carriers.
  4. Get to know the local SERP ‘behaviors’ – Different queries in different countries have different SERP features. For example, you can spot competitors with featured snippet results for varied GEOs as well as see which data Google pulls for that specific “answer box” and implement the same on your own website. Proxies can help you see the SERP as the end-users would see it, including all the featured snippets and other unique features for that specific geolocation.
  5. Toggling quickly between mobile and desktop results – by using Bright Data’s Chrome proxy extension you can easily toggle between residential and mobile IPs and get access to the SERP information you need without any delays. 

How proxies enable SEO-driven growth  

Now that we’ve established the advantages, let’s look at some real-world examples of how these types of proxies might be utilized to grow your company’s SEO efforts and potentially save you a lot of time, and resources.

Dealing with aggressive competitors

Not all competitors are playing by the same ethical rules.

Competitors may attempt to hurt your website in a variety of ways, using black-hat techniques (not in all industries). One of the less known methods, which works best in countries with severe internet censorship, is to simply notify several mobile carriers regarding your website, claiming it is spammy or contains harmful content. Mobile carriers will sometimes simply block access to your website without even looking into if the material in question is truly harmful or in violation of local regulations.

Imagine the following scenario: you’re tracking your rankings with various tools, and everything appears to be in order, but your traffic is declining and your bounce rate is rising. If you were using proxies on a regular basis to check that your website was accessible, you would notice that it was being blocked by one of the major mobile carriers in your target GEO. Without proxies (or local employees/freelancers), it could be weeks before you understood what really transpired, while simultaneously losing valuable traffic. 

Checking user-intent for a new keyword quickly

Without having to open any tools, you can simply turn on a mobile proxy for the specific target country and see the results for that keyword. Recognize any of the websites on the first page as your competitors? Then it’s probably a relevant keyword and you can dive into deeper research.

Doing SEO often means doing a few things simultaneously, so being able to quickly run a short research project about intent with the highest levels of accuracy becomes much easier when using real IP proxies, as it enables you to send unlimited concurrent requests. 

Performing competitor research 

This can be accomplished using external tools as well. But in an instance where you need to find the top-three highest ranked pages for a certain search query in a specific country and you want the most up-to-date data to finish the research that same day and the results for that query haven’t been updated for a few days on those tools.

You’ll switch to using proxies for your SEO efforts, as this is the best alternative. Not all queries are updated on a daily basis and sometimes you can find a true “gem” or a “rising star” that went under the radar of the tracking tools. 

Competitor websites that blocked your country of origin 

 A good example here is a company based in the United Kingdom that is involved in running websites in Asia. When attempting to access a competitor’s website for competitive idea generation, running ‘PageSpeed Insights’ or ‘Lighthouse’, see what products they are offering, and more. You may very well discover that the competition is using a Content Delivery Network (CDN) in order to prevent traffic from the UK from accessing their web pages. 

Proxies can be an extremely effective tool in this case scenario. You can simply route traffic through a local desktop or mobile device, thereby circumventing geolocation-based blockades. 

Double-checking rankings in addition to SEO tools reports

Results can change in minutes, and if your SEMrush report (or any other keyword tracking tool) states you are ranked as number two for a certain query, this could have changed since the last crawl the tool ran. By using proxies, you can double-check the search rankings for the keywords that are most important to your business, by getting the latest live data from the SERP. 

How to find the best proxies for local SEO?

Finding the best proxies for localized SEO may sound challenging, but in fact, there are only a few important rules to making this process easy, quick, and efficient. First of all, businesses should always aim to use real peer-based proxy networks. By opting for a network of this caliber, companies are essentially reducing the chance of being blocked while searching Google to zero, while being served the same results as end-users, and competitors. 

With the above said, in most cases, it’s not enough to have just residential proxies in your arsenal. Based on an analysis of your traffic, if mobile traffic exceeds 20%, it’s worth considering the use of real IP Mobile Proxies. Mobile traffic is very important and sometimes surpasses desktop traffic, so it can’t be ignored in most industries. You should use the mobile proxies to analyze the competition and see what they are doing differently for mobile.

The bottom line 

Residential and Mobile proxies aren’t going to replace tools like SEMrush or Ahrefs, but they’re a great addition to your tool arsenal. These proxies can be used when other tools can’t provide you with the information you need or can be a great daily tool that saves you time when researching new keywords and double-checking information you see on other SEO tools. Using SEO proxy services is an ideal and cost-efficient solution.

Daniel Shashko
Daniel Shashko | SEO Specialist

Daniel is an SEO specialist here at Bright Data with a B2C background. He is in charge of ensuring that businesses get exposed to articles that help them become more data-driven. He is fascinated by the intricate inner workings that the digital world is comprised of and how these can be navigated for hypergrowth.