Google Colab for search engine optimisation: Tips on how to get began


Google Colab has been round since 2017 however has gained extra recognition just lately from search engine optimisation professionals sharing code samples. 

SEOs love Colab as a result of, not like GitHub, you may truly run the code straight on the platform.

What’s Google Colab?

Google Colab is a software that enables customers to shortly run Python straight on the platform with little to no setup. Google Colab is a hosted Jupyter Pocket book that makes use of Google’s internet hosting providers within the cloud.

In case you’re new to Python, a Jupyter Pocket book is a free on-line software you need to use on-line to write down code, resolve math issues, make graphs and present your work. It’s like a digital pocket book that helps you retain all your venture elements in a single place and share them simply with others.

The most effective half about Google Colab? It’s free.

When you require extra computing energy, there’s a tier pricing system. As of scripting this, I pay $9.99 monthly for the primary paid tier. The following tier is $49.99 monthly after which there’s a customized enterprise model.

Advantages of Google Colab

I’ve personally reaped the advantages of Google Colab for a number of years and am happy to share what I’ve discovered to be its greatest advantages for SEOs. 

Quick to start out

When you’ve ever put in Python in your native machine, then you realize firsthand how annoying it’s to get Python arrange. Additionally, in case you’re making an attempt a brand new little bit of code, then you definately’re doubtless having to put in new libraries to get your code to run. 

The most effective half about Google Colab is that the majority widespread Python libraries are already put in on Google Colab. If one thing is lacking, you may merely run:

!pip set up new-library

The one nuance right here is that you just want the exclamation level earlier than pip to put in a brand new library. 

Doesn’t use your laptop’s bandwidth

I typically use Python to compute giant datasets, which might take fairly a little bit of time. I’ve run some bits of code that take hours to compute as a result of dimension of the information. 

In search engine optimisation, we frequently run crawls and different analyses within the background whereas we work. Have you ever ever run a Screaming Frog crawl that fully slows down your laptop, making it practically unimaginable to do different search engine optimisation duties?

With Google Colab, you may seamlessly run compute-intensive code and work on different search engine optimisation duties whereas the code runs.


Google Colab is supposed to be simply shared with collaborators or the world. As somebody who believes within the energy of open supply, I imagine that Google Colab is nice for me to share code with the search engine optimisation group.

AI integration

Google has built-in Gemini straight into Google Colab. So, in case you’re struggling to construct a brand new characteristic in your code, you may leverage AI to assist generate new code options.

I’d urge warning when doing this, as it’s possible you’ll end up debugging greater than serving to your self.

Dig deeper: Can AI carry out technical search engine optimisation evaluation successfully?

Get the day by day e-newsletter search entrepreneurs depend on.

Tips on how to use Google Colab

Let’s dive proper into tips on how to use Google Colab. I’ll run you thru the eight most necessary options to get you proper to coding for search engine optimisation.

Tips on how to run code

In all probability the simplest step right here is to know tips on how to truly run the code.

When you’re able to run your code, click on the play button. 

How to run codeHow to run code

Tips on how to open the folder pane

To run code that depends on any supply knowledge or exports outcomes right into a file, you’ll want to have the ability to open the folder. Fortunately, similar to working code, this is only one button, particularly the one that appears like a folder.

How to open the folder paneHow to open the folder pane

How to hook up with Google Drive

One of many nice issues about Google Colab is that it’s a part of the Google suite of instruments, permitting you to attach on to recordsdata in Google Drive and even save your outcomes to Google Drive.

To hook up with Google Drive, you first have to mount It by clicking the button proven within the screenshot under.

How to connect to Google DriveHow to connect to Google Drive

As soon as Colab finishes mounting Google Drive, your Google Drive folder will seem within the recordsdata pane. 

How to connect to Google Drive - MountedHow to connect to Google Drive - Mounted

From right here, you’re in a position to reference any of these recordsdata by right-clicking on the file, choosing a replica path and pasting it wherever you reference a file in your code.

How to connect to Google Drive - Copy pathHow to connect to Google Drive - Copy path

Tips on how to add recordsdata manually

Earlier than importing recordsdata, notice that something you add is not going to be saved and can solely be used as momentary recordsdata. These recordsdata will disappear when you refresh the web page or shut it.

In order for you the recordsdata to remain accessible, you’ll want to make use of Google Drive and hook up with them that means (see earlier steps). 

When you’re OK utilizing recordsdata briefly, then you might have two choices. You possibly can drag and drop your recordsdata out of your laptop to the recordsdata pane or click on the add button.

How to upload files manuallyHow to upload files manually

Tips on how to create new recordsdata straight in Google Colab

Typically, I discover it simpler to create new recordsdata straight in Google Colab.

For instance, if I’ve a bunch of key phrases I wish to analyze, it’s simpler for me to repeat them and paste them right into a file in Colab relatively than create a brand new file domestically on my laptop and add it.

To do that, simply right-click on a clean house within the recordsdata pane and click on New File. From there, you may identify it no matter you need, and paste your knowledge after which put it aside along with your hotkeys (Command + S or Management + S).

How to create new files directly in Google ColabHow to create new files directly in Google Colab

Tips on how to obtain outcomes

When you’ve run the code, you could have an exported file created within the course of.

You possibly can preview the file by double-clicking on it, however if you wish to obtain it, all you want to do is right-click on it and choose Obtain.

How to download resultsHow to download results

How to hook up with a runtime

When you’re working code that will take a extra heavy compute load, it’s possible you’ll wish to experiment with a sooner runtime.

To do that, choose Runtime within the high menu after which within the dropdown, choose Change runtime kind.

From there, you’ll see some choices you can change. 

Please notice that in case you’re going to vary the runtime, any recordsdata within the file pane will disappear. 

How to connect to a runtimeHow to connect to a runtime

Tips on how to use the AI integration

One of many newest options in Google Colab is the combination of Gemini. Google has made it straightforward to make the most of this new characteristic by including a Gemini button within the high proper of the display.

By clicking that, a sidebar will seem so that you can ask it prompts. 

How to use the AI integrationHow to use the AI integration

Free code to get you began

Now that you just’ve taken the crash course to getting began with Google Colab, it’s time to attempt some code! 

In one among my earlier articles, I’ve supplied 5 Python scripts for search engine optimisation you can attempt proper now in Google Colab.

In that article, it is possible for you to to see the context of the scripts, tips on how to set them up and I present the precise code so that you can attempt.

It’s by no means been simpler to get began in Python for search engine optimisation. Glad coding!

Contributing authors are invited to create content material for Search Engine Land and are chosen for his or her experience and contribution to the search group. Our contributors work beneath the oversight of the editorial workers and contributions are checked for high quality and relevance to our readers. The opinions they specific are their very own.