Embracing Big Data may sound complicated but it need not be. Web scraping (aka. web crawling, web data extraction, web harvesting, screen scraping, etc) is a technique used for acquiring large amounts of data from the web, such as social media, news portals, government reports or forums and turn it into structural datasets such as Excel, CSV, or database. This data can then be analyzed or processed for various purposes. Despite that web scraping is really nothing new, not many of us are aware of the web scraping activities happening around us every day. So in this article, I want to share the ways real businesses are using web scraping to achieve their strategic goals. If you are lucky, you may be enlightened by some of these ideas.

1. Content Aggregation
Collect articles of any topics from UGC platforms such as Quora or Medium conveniently. Broaden the scope of your original content by including other’s people’s perspectives.

2. Competitive Monitoring
Stay tuned of what your competitors are doing, their events, product developments, pricing strategies, and marketing campaigns. Knowing what those competitors are up to can help you stay ahead of the game and always be ready to fight back.

Also Read – What is Web Scraping?

3. Sentiment Analysis
Understand customer sentiment and feedback by extracting reviews from E-commerce portals and other public sites.

Know your customers better and how they are perceiving the products and services offered by your business. Depending on the specific industry, Yelp, Amazon, Trip Advisors, and the other dozens of rating and review sites are great places to explore.

4. Lead Generation
Simply find a website where your prospective buyers can be found, fetch the information you need such as phone numbers, emails, addresses. Web scraping can help you collect thousands of leads within minutes.

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5. Gather real estate listings
Scrape property details and agent contact details from real estate websites (eg. Zillow, Realtor, etc)

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6. Market Research
Turn any data you find online into structured data and analyze them using any BI tools. Custom analysis can effectively reflect public demand and behaviors that are important for any business.

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7. Create product catalogs
By scraping product information (price, images, rating, reviews, etc) from retailer/manufacturer/E-commerce websites (eg. Amazon, eBay, Alibaba, etc.)

8. Know Market Trends
Find out what’s trending in the market by collecting data from different social media websites (eg. Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, etc)

9. Video Collection
Fetch video, including titles and subtitles from YouTube and other similar video hosting sites.

10. Machine Learning
Crawl all the data you need, let it be data points, images, or files for training your bots from the largest repository of data, the web!

Also Read – Why business require data scraping services?

11. Search Engine Optimization
Scrape metadata (eg. title/description/etc) from any websites or crawl internet search engine results for Search Engine Optimization monitoring.

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12. Price Intelligence (Competitive Price Monitoring)
Use web scraping to monitor what your competitors are offering in real-time. Learn about your competitors’ pricing strategies and increase your profits.

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13. Job Board Create
Build a job board by scraping job pages on company websites or job sites (eg. Indeed, Glassdoor, etc).

14. Content curation
Crawl forums and communities to extract data including posts and authors.

15. Daily update from Regulatory
Scrape regulatory or statistical information from Government websites.

16. Hotel, Tourism Data & Review
Extract hotel data, compare data such as pricing or review rating to stay competitive or aggregate this data to build your own platform.

17. News Aggregation Website
Build News aggregation sites by crawling news data from different news portals.

18. Amazon Product Scraping
Identify best-selling products on Amazon buy customer buying patterns.

19. Own price comparison site
Build your own price comparison site for all kinds of products and services.

20. Get Insurance Coverage Data
Scrape insurance coverage from providers’ websites.

21. Brand Monitoring/Online Reputation
If you have a brand that people talk about via different channels, such as social media, forums, or others, you might want to set up an automatic mechanism to fetch those data relevant to your interest and implement sentiment analysis for better decision marking.

22. Detect fake reviews
Use web crawling to filter out fake reviews (shillings) for more accurate analysis.

23. The target audience in advertising
Scrape customer profiles for accurate ad targeting. Understand your customers better by analyzing their comments or reviews, such as their genders, age groups, spending habits even hobbies to make better-targeted ads based on the observed patterns. If available, use profiles information for accurate ad targeting.

24. Hospital & Health Care Information
Scrape health physicians or doctors including their contact information from the various directory or hospital/clinic websites

25. Historical Judgment for Legal
Scrape historical judgments report as case reference for legal purposes

26. Scrape restaurant menu
Get restaurant menu, review, rating, and price from famous websites like Zomato, Swiggy, Uber eats.

27. Financial Statistics
Extract financial data in real-time, such as stock and fund prices.

28. Medical & Pharmaceutical
Extract medical information, such as medicine details from Pharmaceutical Websites

29. Sports Data
Fetch sports data from different sports portals of Cricket, Football, Volleyball, Badminton, Tenis.

30. Car Parts Information
Scrape car data or vehicle parts information from the web

As Carly Fiorina, former executive, president, and chair of Hewlett-Packard Co. had said, “the goal is to turn data into information, and information into insight”. Having the World Wide Web around means having the world’s largest and unbiased database, creating unprecedented business opportunities. Act now and stay ahead of the game.

Author's Bio: 

Hir Infotech is a leading global outsourcing company with its core focus on offering web scraping, data extraction, lead generation, data scraping, Data Processing, Digital marketing, Web Design & Development, Web Research services and developing web crawler, web scraper, web spiders, harvester, bot crawlers, and aggregators’ softwares. Our team of dedicated and committed professionals is a unique combination of strategy, creativity, and technology.