Hurrah! I found a viable way to automatically, reliably, and fairly simply grab a CSV of Google Search results. With URL, title (anchor) text, and even the sample snippet. This is, of course, only intended for academic use — to speedily build useful lists of subject-specific links.

1. Download the free MozBar addon for Firefox. It’s SEO stuff for webmasters, but it’s free and it works. Note that the CSV export feature is only present in the Firefox toolbar. Not the Google Chrome version.

2. Temporarily turn off any Firefox addons you might have for modifying the appearance of Google Search results, such as GoogleMonkeyR.

3. Go to Google Search, go to Search Settings, and turn on Google Instant if you have it disabled. Turn the number of results to 100. Save. Now do a test search.

   No SERP Control Panel showing up? Click on the new SEOMoz toolbar (it’s sitting up near the top of your browser), click on the grey cogs, and select Google…

   

   The SERP Control Panel overlay should now appear over to the right of the search results. Note that you may also need to repeat this step, for each new search or page, in order to get the data cued up correctly for a fresh CSV output, if you have Google Instant turned off.

4. On the SERP control panel, click on “Export to CSV”…

Note than we can also do this with Bing and Yahoo, and perhaps others if you can make profiles for them. Possibly it might work with Google Scholar?

5. Open the resulting CSV file with Excel…


Above: Click on picture to see full-size version.

You even get the description/snippet from the search results, although prefaced with some junk — simply delete everything in front of keyword “Undo” in the relevant column, by using Sobelsoft’s Excel Remove (Delete, Replace) Text, Spaces & Characters From Cells Addin for Excel…

Also delete the columns with the SEO junk in them. You now have three clean columns: URL, title, and snippet. Use a formula to convert these to pretty linked HTML in a fourth column, and/or paste them into a mega-file of subject-specific results for further weeding and sorting.

None of the above is as robust or simple as the broken Google Extract Data and Text, and it’s to be hoped that Sobolsoft fixes this software soon for Windows 7 + IE9.

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