Is it legal to scrape Google Trends?

Feb 20, 2024 ยท 2 min read

Google Trends provides valuable aggregated search data that can be useful for market research and analysis. However, their terms of service prohibit scraping or bulk downloading this data without permission. So when is it okay to collect Google Trends data? Here are some key factors to consider:

Non-Commercial Personal Use

Scraping a small amount of data from Google Trends for your own non-commercial use in a research project or analysis is generally fine. Their terms allow personal, non-commercial use cases like these. Just don't overdo it or sell the data.

Commercial Use

If you want to use Google Trends data commercially, such as in a business intelligence reports or tools you plan to sell, you need explicit permission. Google does have paid APIs and partnerships available for those who want to license the data.

Research Exceptions

There are also exceptions for academic research and journalism. Scraping reasonable amounts of data for a university study, news report, or non-profit research is often tolerated under fair use laws. But try to credit Google and link back.

Method and Volume of Scraping

How and how much you scrape matters too. Scraping a ton of data methodically via an automated tool or script is more likely to trigger issues than manually viewing and capturing some charts. Don't overload their servers.

In summary - scraping for personal, non-commercial use in moderation is usually fine. But any systematic, excessive, or commercial scraping requires permission. When in doubt, reach out to Google to discuss your intended use case. And consult an attorney if you have additional legal questions.

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