Screaming Frog Custom Extractions: A Guide to Extracting Crawl Data

Screaming Frog is a powerful SEO tool with many search engine optimization features. One of the lesser-known features, Screaming Frog Custom Extractions, allows you to easily extract data from your crawls. This blog post will discuss how Screaming Frog Custom Extraction works and why it can help improve your SEO efforts!

Screaming Frog Custom Extraction

Websites have a ton of helpful information—most times, it’s too laborious or complicated to visit every page on a website to copy product data, metadata, title tags, and anchor text into a spreadsheet. Here is where Screaming Frog comes to the rescue with custom data extractions to automate the process. Custom extractions are a form of web scraping, web harvesting, or web data extraction used to scrape and extract data from websites, allowing you to store it locally on your computer.

For beginners, some questions you might have:

What is the Screaming Frog SEO Spider?

The Screaming Frog SEO Spider software is a website crawler that improves onsite SEO by extracting and analyzing your website’s data using a graphical user interface (GUI).

What are custom extractions?

Custom extractions are Screaming Frogs SEO spider functions to extract explicit information from web pages. These extractions help optimize your site for Technical SEO, including search results, gather essential data on your copy, and help locate and fix errors.

How is Data Extraction done?

The process of data extraction involves pulling the required data on your website using a Screaming Frog web spider. The information is saved within Screaming Frog’s memory, giving you the option to export your scanned results to Excel or Google Sheets for further review.

Why is Data Extraction critical?

Data extraction allows you to harvest large amounts of data quickly and efficiently. This automation gives you immediate results of web architecture. This process saves you time and resources while giving you the valuable data you’ll need to plan and strategize search engine optimization strategies.  

Screaming Frog is the go-to Web Scraper Tool for SEOs. The options are endless; here are a ton of custom web-scraping syntaxes.

How to Extract Custom Data using Screaming Frog

1. In ScreamingFrog, go to Configuration > Custom > Extraction.

Screaming Frog Custom Extraction
Screaming Frog Custom Extraction

2. Next, you will need to +Add and set up your extraction rules.

Custom Extraction Settings
Select elements of internal HTML using the Custom Extraction tab

3. Add a Title,
4. Select if you need CSSPath, XPath, or Regex,
5. Add your search function.

If you aren’t sure which selector or function you need, look at the examples below or use the inspect element function in Google Chrome Dev Tools. You can open Dev Tools by using “right-click” in the Google Chrome browser.

Example:

Here is an example of how you would scrape for a Facebook Pixel ID

Facebook Pixel ID Extraction
Facebook Pixel ID Extraction

In the Results, you can see, one of my pages is missing a Facebook Pixel:

Missing Facebook ID
Missing Facebook ID

Below are predefined custom extraction datasets to get you started.

Basic Syntax for using XPath Web Scraping

SYNTAXFUNCTION
//Search anywhere within the document
/Search within the root of the website
@Select a specific attribute of an element
*Wildcard is used to select any element
[ ]Find a specific element
.Specifies the current element
..Specifies the parent element

XPath functions

XPATHOUTPUT
//h1Extract all H1 tags
//h2[1]Extract the first H2 tag
//h2[2]Extract the second H2 tag
//div/pExtracts any <p> contained within a <div>
//div[@class='author']Extracts any <div> with class “author”
//p[@class='content']Extracts any <p> with class “content”
//*[@class='content']Extracts any element with class “content”
//ul/li[last()]Extracts the last <li> in a <ul>
//ol[@class='cat']/li[1]Extracts the first <li> in a <ol> with class “cat”
count(//h2)Counts the number of H2’s (set extraction filter to “Function Value”)
//a[contains(.,'learn more')]Extracts any link with anchor text containing “learn more”
//a[starts-with(@title,'Written by')]Extracts any link with a title starting with “Written by.”

How to Extract Common HTML Elements

XPATHOUTPUT
//@hrefExtracts all links
//a[starts-with(@href,'mailto')]/@hrefExtracts the link that starts with “mailto:” (email address)
//img/@srcExtracts all image source URLs
//img[contains(@class,'aligncenter')]/@srcExtracts all image source URLs for images containing the class name “aligncenter.”
//link[@rel='alternate']Extracts elements with the rel attribute set to “alternate.”
//@hreflangExtracts all hreflang values

Extract Meta Tags (use inner HTML element)

XPATHOUTPUT
//meta[@property='article:published_time']/@contentExtracts the article publish date (commonly-found meta tag on WordPress websites)

Extract Open Graph

XPATHOUTPUT
//meta[@property='og:type']/@contentExtracts the Open Graph type object
//meta[@property='og:image']/@contentExtracts the Open Graph featured image URL
//meta[@property='og:updated_time']/@contentExtracts the Open Graph updated time

Extract Twitter Cards

XPATHOUTPUT
//meta[@name='twitter:card']/@contentExtracts the Twitter Card type
//meta[@name='twitter:title']/@contentExtracts the Twitter Card title
//meta[@name='twitter:site']/@contentExtracts the Twitter Card site object (Twitter handle)

Extract Schema Types

XPATHOUTPUT
//*[@itemtype]/@itemtypeExtracts all of the types of schema markup on a page

Extract Breadcrumb Schema

Here are the custom extractions you use to check breadcrumbs in Screaming Frog.

XPATHOUTPUT
//*[contains(@itemtype,'BreadcrumbList')]/*[@itemprop]/a/@hrefExtracts all breadcrumb links
//*[contains(@itemtype,'BreadcrumbList')]/*[@itemprop][1]/a/@hrefExtracts the first breadcrumb link
//*[contains(@itemtype,'BreadcrumbList')]/*[@itemprop]Extracts breadcrumb names (set extraction filter to “Extract Text”)
count(//*[contains(@itemtype,'BreadcrumbList')]/*[@itemprop])Counts the number of breadcrumb list items (set extraction filter to “Function Value”)

Extract Product Schema

XPATHOUTPUT
//*[@itemprop='name']/@contentExtracts product name
//*[@itemprop='description']/@contentExtracts product description
//*[@itemprop='price']/@contentExtracts product price
//*[@itemprop='priceCurrency']/@contentExtracts product currency
//*[@itemprop='availability']/@hrefExtracts product availability
//*[@itemprop='sku']/@contentExtracts product SKU

Extract Review Schema

XPATHOUTPUT
//*[@itemprop='reviewCount']Extracts review count
//*[@itemprop='ratingValue']Extracts rating value
//*[@itemprop='bestRating']Extracts the best review rating
//*[@itemprop='review']/*[@itemprop='name']Extracts review name
//*[@itemprop='review']/*[@itemprop='author']Extracts review author
//*[@itemprop='review']/*[@itemprop='datePublished']/@contentExtracts the publish date of reviews
//*[@itemprop='review']/*[@itemprop='reviewBody']Extracts the body content of reviews

Extract Local Business & Organization Schema

XPATHOUTPUT
//*[contains(@itemtype,'Organization')]/*[@itemprop='name']Extracts the organization’s name
//*[@itemprop='address']/*[@itemprop='streetAddress']Extracts the street address
//*[@itemprop='address']/*[@itemprop='addressLocality']Extracts the address locality
//*[@itemprop='address']/*[@itemprop='addressRegion']Extracts the address region
//*[@itemprop='telephone']Extracts the telephone number
//*[@itemprop='sameAs']/@hrefExtracts the “sameAs” links

Extract Article Schema

XPATHOUTPUT
//*[contains(@itemtype,'Article')]/*[@itemprop='headline']Extracts the article headline
//*[@itemprop='author']/*[@itemprop='name']/@contentExtracts author-name
//*[@itemprop='publisher']/*[@itemprop='name']/@contentExtracts publisher name
//*[@itemprop='datePublished']/@contentExtracts publish date
//*[@itemprop='dateModified']/@contentExtracts modified date

Custom Data Extraction with Regex

Wildcards

SYNTAXFUNCTION
.Match any 1 character
*Match the preceding character 0 or more times
?Match the preceding character 0 or 1 time
+Match the preceding character 1 or more times
|OR

Anchors

SYNTAXFUNCTION
^The string begins with the succeeding character.
$The string ends with the preceding character.

Groups

SYNTAXFUNCTION
( )Match enclosed characters in the exact order
[ ]Match enclosed characters in any order
Match any characters within the specified range

Escape

SYNTAXFUNCTION
\Treat character literally, not as regex.

Regex Custom Data Extraction

REGEXOUTPUT
["'](UA-.*?)["']Extract the Google Analytics tracking ID
["'](AW-.*?)["']Extract the Google Ads conversion ID and/or remarketing tag
["'](GTM-.*?)["']Extract the Google Tag Manager and/or Google Optimize ID
fbq\(["']init["'], ["'](.*?)["']Extract the Facebook Pixel ID
\{ti:["'](.*?)["']\}Extract the Bing Ads UET tag
adroll_adv_id = ["'](.*?)["']Extract the AdRoll Advertiser ID
adroll_pix_id = ["'](.*?)["']Extract the AdRoll Pixel ID

Extract All Schema Markup and Schema Types

REGEXOUTPUT
["']application/ld\+json["']>(.*?)</script>Extracts all of the JSON-LD schema markups
["']@type["']: *["'](.*?)["']Extracts all of the types of JSON-LD schema markup on a page

Extract Breadcrumb Schema

REGEXOUTPUT
["']item["']: *\{["']@id["']: *["'](.*?)["']Extracts breadcrumb links
["']item["']: *\{["']@id["']: *["'].*?["'], *["']name["']: *["'](.*?)["']Extracts breadcrumb names

Extract Product Schema

REGEXOUTPUT
["']@type["']: *["']Product["'].*?["']name["']: *["'](.*?)["']Extracts product name
["']@type["']: *["']Product["'].*?["']description["']: *["'](.*?)["']Extracts product description
["']@type["']: *["']Product["'].*?["']price["']: *["'](.*?)["']Extracts product price
["']@type["']: *["']Product["'].*?["']priceCurrency["']: *["'](.*?)["']Extracts product currency
["']@type["']: *["']Product["'].*?["']availability["']: *["'](.*?)["']Extracts product availability
["']@type["']: *["']Product["'].*?["']sku["']: *["'](.*?)["']Extracts product SKU

Extract Review Schema

REGEXOUTPUT
["']reviewCount["']: *["'](.*?)["']Extracts review count
["']ratingValue["']: *["'](.*?)["']Extracts rating value
["']bestRating["']: *["'](.*?)["']Extracts the best rating

Extract Local Business & Organization Schema

REGEXOUTPUT
["']@type["']: *["']Organization["'].*?["']name["']: *["'](.*?)["']Extracts organization name
["']streetAddress["']: *["'](.*?)["']Extracts the street address
["']addressLocality["']: *["'](.*?)["']Extracts the address locality
["']addressRegion["']: *["'](.*?)["']Extracts the address region
["']telephone["']: *["'](.*?)["']Extracts the telephone number
["']sameAs["']: *\[(.*?)\]Extracts the “sameAs” links

Extract Article or BlogPosting Schema

REGEXOUTPUT
["']headline["']: *["'](.*?)["']Extracts article headline
["']author["'].*?["']name["']: *["'](.*?)["']Extracts author-name
["']publisher["'].*?["']name["']: *["'](.*?)["']Extracts publisher name
["']datePublished["']: *["'](.*?)["']Extracts publish date
["']dateModified["']: *["'](.*?)["']Extracts modified date

The possibilities are endless; please let me know if you want any extractions added to this list.


Published on: 2021-03-10
Updated on: 2022-10-28

Avatar for Isaac Adams-Hands

Isaac Adams-Hands

Isaac Adams-Hands is the SEO Director at SEO North, a company that provides Search Engine Optimization services. As an SEO Professional, Isaac has considerable expertise in On-page SEO, Off-page SEO, and Technical SEO, which gives him a leg up against the competition.
en_CAEnglish