How to effortlessly monitor your competition with data scraping

Nowadays, a common denominator between an entrepreneur wanting to start a business, a CEO of a big company, a market analyst, a marketer, and even a journalist is data. Yeah, they all derive their strategies and insights from data. It looks like data is becoming the new cool kid in town. It is the core ingredient of market research and business strategies.

Whether you are starting a new business or trying out a new strategy for your existing business, you will definitely need to find a way to access and analyze the vast amount of data available out there. The question is; how? Well, this is where web scraping or data scraping comes in handy.

Data scraping is one of the best competitor monitoring tools available to analyze content. It gives you unprecedented access to your competitor’s content. Therefore, web scraping is used to automate data gathering to gain the deepest insight into your competitor’s data.

Without getting too ahead of ourselves, let’s see what web scraping or data scraping is.

1. What is Web scraping?

Well, let’s assume that data is essential for your business, and you can see data on your competitor’s website. The question is; how will you download it in a format you want? Well, most people still use the old technique of copying and pasting. But then this technique is very ineffective in the sense that Its prone to errors and takes up your valuable time, especially when you are dealing with large websites with hundreds of pages.

Web scraping or data scraping is a process of automating the extraction of data in an efficient and fast way

Thankfully, you no longer need to go to that extent, thanks to web scraping technology. Web scraping or data scraping is a process of automating the extraction of data in an efficient and fast way. With the aid of web scraping tools, you can extract data from any website, no matter how large it is, and store it on your PC.

Therefore, for your business to continuously stay ahead of the competition, it is essential to leverage the power of data scraping. Data scraping plays a significant role in getting the right data for analysis and competitor monitoring.

2. Why is web scraping useful for me?

Some businesses rely solely on their own data and their own loyal customer base to succeed. But if you really want to be great, using your data and customer loyalty will not be good enough. Without looking into what your competitors are up to, you will have minimal knowledge about the marketplace you are competing in. A robust competitor monitoring system is a necessity for any successful business.

It is paramount to understand the importance of monitoring your competition and knowing how to do so

Therefore, it is paramount to understand the importance of monitoring your competition and knowing how to do so. Fortunately, data scraping has made it a walk in the park to obtain the data you need for a comprehensive analysis of your competitors-thus, ensuring you get a competitive advantage over your peers.

Here is how you can harness the power of web scraping technology to extract the data you need to monitor your competitors by tracking your competitor’s product pricing.

Like I said earlier, tracking your competitor’s activities gives you a competitive edge. The most effective way of leveraging on data scraping is monitoring your competitor’s product pricing. This enables you to compare your own pricing to those operating in the same market niche. By so doing, you can respond to your competitor’s fluctuating prices, therefore, coming out ahead.

For instance, let’s say you are selling product A. By performing data scraping, you will know how much your competitors sell the same product in a given period. Maybe the first day you are doing data scraping, they are trading at $109.99 for a piece, but the next week they’re selling at $99.9 for the same item. With this information, you can always re-price your own supply to sell at a consistent volume.

3. How can i use web scraping to help my business?

With web scraping tools, you no longer need to log on every day to your competitor websites looking for product pricing data. That basically means no more copying and pasting, writing down, and so forth. With the aid of a web scraping tool, you can easily create your own price database without the inconvenience of doing everything manually. Competitor price monitoring is also useful in monitoring discounts and special offers.

Before second-guessing the power of web scraping, you need to remember that customers always have access to a vast amount of data. Therefore, they only take a fraction of a second to compare prices and products, so I cannot overemphasize how important for you to measure up to your competition. You may assume that your team could easily hover around your competitor’s websites doing competitor price monitoring, but that technique doesn’t provide many insights into their real-time pricing strategies.

With web scraping tools, such as price monitoring systems, you can receive up-to-date information on your competitor’s product pricing, i.e., what they are charging and when. This system allows you to monitor your competitors so that you are in a better position to respond to their strategies. For instance, you will be able to learn when your competitors are launching flash sales (exact date of the week), or when they are bundling their products to drive more sales. With this knowledge, you can make timely decisions on how to run your own sales. You will be able to determine which products to introduce or bundle that can drive more sales, therefore, keeping pace with your competition.

What’s more is that data scraping helps you keep up with the platforms your competitors are selling on, e.g., Amazon. As you are aware, the e-commerce powerhouse now accounts for more than half of all online retail sales. So, monitoring your competitors by analyzing Amazon data could prove to be a key differentiator for your business. Keeping tabs on your competitor’s product pricing ensures your business strategy yields maximum sales and profits. This also allows you to continuously monitor your competitors’ rankings so that you can better understand what potential customers are searching for.

If you would like to learn more about how these tools can help you grow your business simply book a free call with one of our customer success managers

How to collect data legally from a website that requires a login?

No doubt, web scraping is a very useful tool, you can access any amount of data from any website. For this reason, some website owners have opted to hide their content and data behind login screens. This practice prevents most web scrapers from collecting the required data legally because they cannot log in to gain access, without accepting websites specific terms and conditions which usually prohibits use of automation to scrape data.

In this article, I’ll take you through how to collect data legally from a website that requires login.

1. Check website terms before login.

There are couple of things you need to check on a website before you can legally start data collection, especially if the website requires you to log in first. By insisting on logging in first, website owners typically want you to accept their terms and conditions. Terms and conditions are used interchangeably with terms of service or disclaimers. Jut to be precise, there’s no provision in the law requiring websites to have this agreement. The law only requires websites to have privacy policies if the website collects personal data from users—things like email addresses, names, shipping addresses, and so on. Now, terms and conditions or terms of service agreement are rules that users must agree to follow to use a service on a website.

Most website’s terms prohibit automation tools or scripts running against their website if you have to login to the website

Most of us are quick to click “I agree” to terms and conditions we haven’t even read. While this may be harmless when all you are looking for is publicly available data, some website’s terms prohibit automation tools or scripts running against their website. Meaning using automation tools on their website might land you in trouble. Therefore, it’s essential to go through terms and conditions one by one very carefully before using any of your web scraping tools. On the brighter side, some website’s terms and conditions do not expressly prohibit data collection through web scraping tools, meaning you might be able to collect the data you need in an automated way.

2. Check website data is public information or not.

What happens if the website’s terms and conditions say you cannot perform any automation or run any web crawling tool? Well, don’t worry. There are still a couple of ways you can collect the data you want, especially if you are looking for public knowledge or publicly available information. After all, it is legal to scrape publicly available data, at least according to the US Court of Appeal ruling made late last year. The verdict was historic in many ways, especially in this era of data science. It showed that any publicly available data not copyrighted is up for grabs.

It is legal to scrape publicly available data, at least according to the US Court of Appeal ruling made late last year

Now, some data is already public knowledge or public information. For instance, most of the real estate listings are public knowledge because you can access the listings not necessarily from the website that it’s listed. Another perfect example is product pricing. You can get pricing of a product from other sources that do not require you to login or accept their website’s terms of service.

3. Hire a manual data collection service if the data is not public.

The first obvious method of collecting this data is doing it manually by copy-pasting into a spreadsheet. Of course, you don’t need to do all this by yourself because it’s a time-consuming job, but you can always find a way around it. For instance, you can always outsource. There are many outsourcing companies specializing in web scraping services. For example, scraping solutions has a cloud worker network that can collect public data from websites manually. Remember, we collect data even from websites that require login with 24-hour turnaround time.

4. Use Google text search to scan website data.

Another technique to use is utilizing search engines like google to collect the data you want, without necessarily logging into their websites. We all know that search engines such as Google use algorithmic processes to determine what pages we access. In other words, they use web crawlers to give us the answers we ask. So, their work is to discover, understand, and organize the internet’s content to offer the most relevant results to the questions we search. Now, if you are planning to use this technique, you’ve got to be creative about how you enter your search terms to enable you to get the exact information you are looking for. Again, this is something we can help with at Scraping Solutions with fast turn around times. We help our clients with data collection without violating the terms and conditions of a specific website.

If you would like to learn more about your options please schedule a free no-obligation call

Top Tip Wednesday - How to find hidden property listings

How to find hidden property listings that are not available on mainstream realestate websites? Kristy from our sales team with another top tip Wednesday.

Link as explained in the video to find hidden property listings:

Is Web Scraping Legal?

For a couple of months now, the debate out there has been revolving around the legality of web scraping. The question out there is, is web scraping legal? Is web scraping illegal? Well, for starters, web scraping, also known as crawling or spidering, is the process of gathering information or data from someone else's website using some form of software, web scraping software to be precise. Even though some people still scrape websites manually.

The legality or illegality of such a process largely depends on the intention of the person gathering the information. In simple terms, the answer to the question; is not a straight forward answer, i.e., not a yes or no answer. Therefore, the real question should be regarding how you plan to use the data you've gathered from the website because, by the end of the day, the data on public websites is for general use anyway.

So, such information is legal to copy and store to a file on your computer. But then you should be very careful about how you plan to use such information. It is entirely ethical to use the data you scraped from the web for analysis purposes, but very unethical to use the same information as your own, say on your website, without acknowledging the owner, or getting the owner's approval.

the US circuit court of appeal upheld an injunction stating that it's legal to scrape publicly available data from LinkedIn

In fact, the US circuit court of appeal on upheld the injunction won by hiQ against the Microsoft-owned social-media company, LinkedIn, stating that it's legal to scrape publicly available data from LinkedIn. The ruling was made despite the social-media powerhouse insisting that web scraping LinkedIn violates user privacy. But according to the court of appeal, web scraping public sites does not violate the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA).

LinkedIn had stepped in to try and block hiQ from harvesting user profiles from its sites. The San Francisco-based start-up is an analytic company web scraping personal details, especially on LinkedIn profiles, for analysis purposes. The analytic start-up uses the data to analyze workforce information, such as skills shortages or predicting when employees are likely to leave their jobs.


The decision by the court of appeal was historic in many ways, especially given that it touched on the data privacy and web scraping legal compliance regulations. At the same time, it seemed to suggest that web crawlers can easily obtain any data that is on public websites and is not copyrighted. The decision, however, barred hiQ or any other web crawlers' explicit rights to use the same data for unlimited commercial purposes.

The ruling stated categorically that the entry of a bot or a web scraping software in terms of legal compliance is not different from the entry of a browser

In a broader sense, the decision not only legalized web scraping but also barred competitors from removing information from your site automatically if the site is public. The ruling stated categorically that the entry of a bot or a web scraping software in terms of legal compliance is not different from the entry of a browser. In both instances, you request publicly available data and do something with it on your side.

Now, as I mentioned earlier, web scraping does not include copyrighted data. For instance, a web scraper bot would be allowed to search YouTube for video titles, but you would not be allowed to re-post the same video on your site, simply because the videos are copyrighted. In essence, the ruling seems to protect copyright for data, including media files, regardless of how the data was obtained.

In the wake of the ruling, many site owners are desperately working around the clock to raise some technical hurdles to competitors who copy their data that is not copyrighted, such as ticket prices, product lots, open user profiles, and many more. They consider this publicly available information as 'their own', and therefore, web scraping this information, according to them, is 'theft'. But according to the LinkedIn court ruling, it's perfectly okay to scrap this information.

The court ruling further protected sites that require authentication from web scrapers or web crawlers. For instance, the decree prohibits a web crawler that logged-in to Facebook to download user data. According to the ruling, such action is illegal. The reasoning behind the decision is pretty much straightforward; users must agree to the site's terms and conditions before logging-in to the site. Virtually, those terms of service typically prohibit actions like automated data collection.

Even though site owners may find it difficult to take any legal action against web scrapers, especially after the LinkedIn court ruling, technically, they can still limit web crawling. For instance, sites can implement techniques like 'rate-throttling' to limit the number of web pages that can be downloaded at the same time.

Another method that has come in handy nowadays to test whether a human or a web crawler is requesting a web page is the use of CAPTCHA technology. These techniques are used to prevent malicious bots that overload the website, causing it to crash. But it has also proven to be effective in controlling automated scraping, thus making it less cost-effective for the web crawling companies.

Existing web scraping legal compliance framework


While the court of appeal decision seems to have settled a long-time question on the legality of web scraping, it remains to be seen whether LinkedIn will take it further to the Supreme Court or be contented with the decision. However, not all the decisions that are appealed in the highest court in the land are actually reviewed. But they nonetheless have a chance.

6 Common Misunderstandings About Web Scraping

Many businesses nowadays are looking for ways to gather a wide range of data from various websites because a large pool of data could give them a competitive advantage in the market. Many businesses utilize web scraping techniques to help them meet this need.

While many businesses have started using web scraping, misunderstandings about this data scraping technique still exist. I'll try to debunk some of those misconceptions here to help you have a deeper understanding of web scraping.

1. Web scraping is illegal

Perhaps this is the biggest myth surrounding web scraping technology. The misconception out there is that web scraping is all about stealing content from others. As we mentioned in an earlier post, web scraping in itself is very much legal, unless the motive behind the process is malicious. In other words, web scraping is illegal only when you use it for evil purposes; for instance, using copyrighted data as your own. But you can use web scraping to help with your analysis. To be on the safe side, always read and understand the terms of service before using the data you obtained from websites.

2. You can scrape any website

The truth is that not all websites can be scraped easily. Some site owners have implemented anti-scraping techniques such as IP, CAPTCHA, AJAX, UA, and many others to prevent scraping because they do not want their information to be freely accessed. Even though you can work around these techniques, it will take you a long time, and you will waste a lot of money, which may not be worth it in the end.

3. You must be a programmer

Many people believe that they must be good at programming to scrape data from websites. The truth is, there are many software solutions so that you really don't have to worry about coding. All you need to do is search for any visual web scraper or web scraping software in any search engine, and you will get a ton of solutions for your problem without coding.

4. Web scraping is expensive

Naturally, many businesses outsource web scraping services to companies offering the service or freelancers. And just so that we are clear, web scraping is cheap in terms of the ROI it provides in the long run. Well, it is essential to understand that hiring a company specializing in web scraping service will definitely cost you a dime. But then the returns are worth it. First of all, you need to determine how complex your project is. If you have a broad and long term project, hiring a vendor will be more profitable for you since they usually guarantee you'll get your data every time on time.

Another advantage of hiring a web scraping company is that some provide additional services like further processing data to fit your needs. Therefore, even though getting some professional service may cost you some money, the benefits far outweigh what you've spent. Actually, if you do your math, you will realize that these companies will get you a large amount of data at a relatively low cost.

5. It's hard to set up

No doubt, web scraping comes with its challenges, especially when you are starting. Challenges you must learn to overcome. But then there are plenty of ready-to-use tools that will help you navigate through the initial stages if you're don't have any prior knowledge of data science. They always come with detailed instructions that will help you understand the process. In addition to that, you really don't have any reason why you shouldn't consider outsourcing scraping. Many companies offer top-notch web scraping services and are always ready to give you well-structured and easy to process information. It will save you a lot in terms of time and effort because you won't have to dive into details and do everything on your own.

6. Web scraping and web crawling are the same

Even though there is a very thin line between the two, they are still not the same. They have different features, and they are used for different purposes. Web crawling is essentially the act of automatically downloading data from a given site, together with all the hyperlinks involved. Web scraping, on the other hand, is the process of downloading data from the target site and fetching detailed information from it.

In conclusion, web scraping is not some outer space knowledge, and it's way easier to learn and use than you think. With many dedicated and ready to use tools available nowadays, most businesses can take advantage of this service. Of course, you will encounter some challenges when you are starting, but they are not difficult to overcome. On the plus side, you don't need to do it yourself. You can outsource this task and let professionals do their thing. This will guarantee you a high-quality data that's easy to work with.

To learn more about our web-scraping service or to discuss your project with us please contact us

How To Capture LinkedIn Leads: The New Way vs. The Old Way

What is the biggest challenge facing a budding entrepreneur or business owner? Well, most of them struggle to generate good quality leads that can be converted into loyal customers.

No doubt, the advent of the internet in the 90s and subsequent birth of digital marketing has led to the adoption of diverse lead generation techniques. You can no longer rely on old way tactics like manual searching, saving to spreadsheets, cold calling, and promotional SMS. Perhaps you could change tact and focus on using different social media platforms such as LinkedIn for lead generation. LinkedIn has grown tremendously since its debut in May 2003.

LinkedIn started out as a professional networking platform, or so many people thought. However, the platform has slowly evolved into a mighty media for lead generation and brand building. It is not surprising that LinkedIn has so far attracted more than 690 million users from more than 200 countries around the world.

Of course, when you think of social media marketing, LinkedIn is not always the most obvious choice. However, this professional networking platform offers a goldmine of business marketing opportunities. According to Sophisticated Marketer's Guide to LinkedIn, 80% of social media business leads come from LinkedIn. It is so because LinkedIn is home to leading influencers, industry thought leaders and decision-makers.

With the right strategy, you can take advantage of this platform and grow your business. Not only that, but you can also use LinkedIn to build your website traffic and reinforce your brand credibility. No doubt, a robust LinkedIn lead generation strategy can transform your business. However, using LinkedIn to promote your brand can be extremely tricky. You have to seize the limelight without coming out as overly promotional.

The old ways of LinkedIn Lead generation

We're all in agreement that the advent of the internet has changed everything in our lives and business. Consequently, lead generation has too changed. Even so, the goal of lead generation remains the same, i.e., to find someone who wants to buy something you sell. It can also mean finding someone who can be compelled to take some action, whether they realize it or not.

In the past, lead generation meant educating potential customers who have never heard about your product before. But with the onset of the internet, buyers are informed. They have a pool of information at their disposal; they do their research. In fact, most of them are more likely than ever before to take the first steps toward a purchase on their own.

Here are some old school lead generation tactics and why you should not rely on them in this age and era.

1. Manual Lead Generation

Salespeople are a busy lot who spend most of their time taking sales calls. It is, therefore, extremely difficult for them to spend the little extra time they have doing any sort of manual research. This is how painstaking and inconvenient manual lead generation can be. The process is too time-consuming, and this will inevitably hurt their sales. It takes ages to find your ideal prospect details from the web and then manually find the business contact information of the person. For this reason alone, it is often advisable to avoid manual lead generation at all costs.

2. Using a spreadsheet to manage leads

Back in high school during a math class, we used to think, 'when am I ever going to use all these numbers in the real world?' well, you suddenly find yourself in the real world, only to realize that numbers play a vital role in what we do, especially in sales. The problem is many salespeople are right-brained, which means spreadsheets filled with numbers and formulas aren't all that inviting.
Surprisingly, there are many salespeople still using spreadsheets to manage sales leads, calls, and meetings. The truth is, there's a far better way to manage leads, and it's incredibly efficient. No doubt, the spreadsheet was the gold standard a decade ago, but not anymore.

It becomes even worse when you are using a shared spreadsheet. Sometimes you try to save your work only to receive a notice that the workbook is currently in use. You are now faced with a choice between closing out and losing all your input or saving a second-version of the file and promising yourself to go back and merge the data later. Of course, you rarely do, and your team ends up with multiple copies of a spreadsheet, each one carrying a part of the truth.

3. Using Chrome browser extensions to generate leads

Well, using chrome browser extensions aren't too old fashioned, but they can be dangerous. Chrome browser extensions could help you collect robust contact data. The problem is extensions can be downright malicious. Chrome extension often have higher levels of access to your computer resources which can be used by hackers to gain access to your private data.

The risks of using these old school techniques can be devastating. In fact, more often than not, there is an outcry from salespeople because they received that heartbreaking notification email that their accounts were banned. Even though some accounts get reinstated later, a couple of companies are never allowed to use them again. Once your account is lost, it will be hard to add connections back again. You also risk losing credibility when sending automated messages if your account is lost.

Thankfully, you don't need to use these old school techniques anymore. There are more effective and efficient ways you can generate your leads. Let's dive into how you can capture LinkedIn leads using the new methods.

The New ways of LinkedIn Lead generation

Lead generation is a game of numbers. It is not any other game of numbers, though; it does not involve one type of figure. Contrary to what many believe, the goal of lead generation is not just to generate more leads; it is to generate the right leads. As a salesperson, that's what you should be aiming at.

A recent court ruling that it's legal to scrape LinkedIn for publicly available LinkedIn data, despite the company's claims that this violates user privacy, is a welcome move for the marketers. A San Francisco-based start-up, HiQ lab captures LinkedIn profiles. It uses them to analyze workforce data, for instance, predicting when the employees are likely to quit their jobs, or where skill shortages may emerge. This move had angered LinkedIn, arguing that the start-up was violating its user privacy policy. LinkedIn subsequently went ahead and blocked the company from harvesting profiles, but HiQ filed a case challenging the move.  The start-up won the case with a 3-0 decision-forcing LinkedIn to remove the block.

"There is little evidence that LinkedIn users who choose to make their profiles public actually maintain an expectation of privacy with respect to the information that they post publicly, and it is doubtful that they do," wrote circuit judge Marsha Berzon.

Here are the 3 most sophisticated ways to generate your linkedin leads

1. Optimize your profile for connection

Even though this may seem basic, the LinkedIn profile matters a lot. In many instances, you'll be connecting with people you don't know. For this reason alone, you need to make sure your profile is optimized as much as possible; otherwise, you could be marked as a spammer. To understand how important your LinkedIn profile is, you need to look at what LinkedIn users see. When you send an invitation to another user, they see a mini preview with your details like name, title, and the start of any message you sent.

People at this stage don't know you; therefore, you won't get many invitations accepted just from this. They are only interested in learning more about you. So, this is where you need to start optimizing. Make sure you use a professional profile picture. No one will take you seriously without one. Then write a descriptive bio and profile summary, customize your profile URL, and finally optimized your skills and add your accomplishment.

2. Use LinkedIn Sales Navigator

Capturing LinkedIn leads has been made easier with the sales navigator tool. It is one of the amazing tools offered by LinkedIn used to connect buyers and sellers in a unique way. Some of its amazing features include:

This is definitely, the right starting point if you are starting out as LinkedIn lead builder. It not only allows you to connect with your ideal leads but also sell to your prospects.

3. Use a LinkedIn data extraction provider

Use the LinkedIn data extraction provider to build a prospect list, which has personal information, company data, and email addresses. These service providers will do the massive lifting job for you; web scraping and combing LinkedIn company pages so that you can concentrate on other essential tasks.

The good news is you don't have to worry about getting your accounts banned when using these latest techniques. Time is money, so they say. This is especially true in the business world. Therefore, use these service providers, and you won't have to waste time on browser extensions or manual work.

Want to connect with LinkedIn lead generation talent?

Head to to find out more.

Web Scraping: Why So Many Businesses Use It and Why You Should Too!

Over the years, web scraping has become an integral part of many small and large business structures. In order to scale up your business, streamline your business services and drive your profits, it is necessary to implement data scraping techniques. After all, the grounds on which business’ operate are always changing- at any given point you may be the very best of your industry and within a few months your status can change dramatically. 

With competition rising rapidly it is crucial to gauge what developments have been implemented in order to stay ahead in the ever-changing market of the business world. With that being said, what is web scraping, and how can it benefit your business? Below, we discuss why so many businesses use web scraping and why you should utilize it too!

How businesses utilizing the power of web scraping?

1. Product Information

Automate the retrieval of key product information that is crucial to how your business runs by scraping the appropriate sites and analyzing the trends of what products are popular, what price they are being bought and any other information needed. This is an especially useful use case of scraping for the running of eCommerce type services, analyzing competitors on marketplaces like Amazon and eBay, or creating a marketplace of your own.

2. Lead Generation

If your business is looking to hire, network, or reach out to professionals in a certain field, scraping can also be utilized in order to automate the search and retrieval process of finding these people. Scraping sites such as LinkedIn, Craigslist, Gumtree or Seek to find personnel looking to provide a service or searching for your service can save you or your business days of manual searching and laboring. Use scraping in this situation to reach out en-masse to people looking for a job in a field you are advertising. Or to compare and find the best business for a job you need doing.

3. Reputation monitoring

Having a deep understanding of how your customers feel about you and your brand is vital to any business’ success. You may have a vague idea based on some customer interactions, but it can be difficult to have an accurate account supported by data. However, with web scraping tools, gathering customer reviews from a variety of sources and other website inputs allows for concrete data evidence. Therefore, you can facilitate your reputation monitoring quite easily and all it takes is a few minutes to extract the data. Web scraping gives you the opportunity to understand your customers’ needs and view in order to serve them better.

4. Pricing optimization

If you're finding it difficult to balance your product pricing with customer demands, web scraping can be very useful.  Consumers will always be inclined to pay more for a valuable product which means the demand for such products will increase. By scraping customer information about such products, you can ensure that the highest demanding buys are always available at your store. You can also implement a dynamic pricing strategy since the market is bound to fluctuate one way or another. Your pricing should always reflect market demands so that you can maximize profit and ensure customer satisfaction. Web scraping enables you to keep up with these changes and implement them in a timely manner so that you don't fall short while your competitors rise high.

5. Allows for predictive analysis to occur

Predictive analysis allows you to analyze existing data and figure out patterns indicative of future performance or trends. Although trends may not accurately predict future occurrences, it is all about weighing up the probabilities of the patterns reoccurring or taking a new path. In a business scenario, predictive analysis can be utilized to assess, study and understand consumer behaviors in order to prepare a list of risks and opportunities that may be presented. However, an analysis of this sort can only be based on vast amounts of existing data which is why web scraping has become a significant factor. Web scraping is capable of extracting data to this degree and therefore is paramount for predictive analysis.

6. Provides benefits to your SEO campaign

Search engines such as Google, Mozilla Firefox or Yahoo give us an insight into how the world of business moves. Content is always fluctuating, and the use of web scraping tools can aid your understanding of what goes on behind the scenes of search engines. If you're serious about SEO, you've most likely come across tools like SEMrush and Ahrefs, these tools would not exist without data extraction. Using such tools enables you to find your SEO competitors popular search terms and optimize your campaign to outrank theirs. By analyzing their title tags and the keywords they are targeting, this will give you an idea on the factors which drive traffic to their website.

7. Content Marketing

Web scraping is used to collate data from a number of sources which aids in the content marketing process. The data that has been extracted can be used for creating new and engaging content designed to drive customers to your business. Being able to provide engaging content is a key factor to business growth as it increases web traffic and customer retention.

Web scraping is an essential asset to have in the modern-day technological world. Ensure you're at the top of your industry by backing yourself up with the right web scraping tools.

What do you require to get started?

Depending on your strategy, to get started using web scraping is as easy as reaching out to professional scraping businesses. These businesses can help you automate the scraping of web pages, start email outreach programs and help visualize the information that has been scraped. Going through a professional scraping service allows you to worry more about the utilization of the scraped data instead of the actual scraping process. This is why services like Scraping Solutions, who handle all the scraping behavior for you, exist.

In the case of Carl above, he can worry about his more important restoration work and purchasing of bed frames instead of the administrative tasks like outreach to potential sellers and searching for new bed frames.

If you have more of an understanding of web scraping and want to handle it yourself, UI based tools like Octoparse enable you to scrape any website without writing a single line of code. They also have built-in templates to guide you in case you are finding it difficult to wrap your head around. For the really tech-savvy programmers out there, there are tools like Puppeteer and Scrapy that allow you to program your own web scrapers.

But for the majority of non-technical users like Carl, it makes sense to use a cloud-based scraping service like Scraping Solutions where he doesn’t have to do any work except submitting his requirements.

Then the data extraction experts will set up everything for carl, and he simply receives a daily new emails reports. After all Carl’s focus should be working on his own business than spending hours learning how to run web scraping tools.

Where can you learn web scraping?

If you're still feeling a little uneasy about the whole web scraping journey or want to improve your skills, there are a number of courses available at your convenience. Online platforms such as Team Treehouse and Codecademy have a variety of options available depending on the skills that you seek to learn. Some of these require you to have a little background knowledge in programming languages such as Python, as well as being able to understand the general structure of a web page.

At its core, web scraping is the art of taking any web page that one can access through the internet and retrieving some information from that page. The main idea behind it is to be able to automate this retrieval in order for it to be done in a quick, easy and reproducible way. Whether a user is looking to automate a business service or is interested in finding information on their favorite sports team, web scraping is the tool to use! In this blog, some examples of how web scraping would be used in a business are discussed. Here’s a simple example to further help understand what scraping is:

Assume that Carl runs a bed frame restoration company and wants to find second-hand frames for under $100 that he can restore. In order to do this, he has two options. His first option is to trawl through all the bed frame listings on marketplace sites like eBay, Gumtree and Craigslist looking for bed frames that match his criteria, manually writing down the contact information of the seller for each frame that he finds. Once Carl has searched through all the sites that he wants, he writes an email to each frame seller that he has come across to enquire about purchasing the bed frame.

Carl spends every morning looking for new listings and sending out these emails. This sounds like a lot of work. Carl’s second option is simpler.

He sets up a scraping system that:

  1.   Provides him with a list of all the viable bed frames and the seller information from all the sites that he wants to look at.
  2.   Sends out an automatic email that inquires about purchasing the frame to each seller that his scraping system comes across.
  3.   Achieves all this in the time it takes for Carl to prepare his morning coffee!

This is the power of web scraping. Turning a task that would usually take a lot of time, into an efficient, streamlined process that takes no time at all. The above example was quite trivial but when it is scaled to scraping thousands of web pages and tens of thousands of bed frames (Carl’s bed frame business is booming), web scraping becomes not only a better option than manual labor but essential to the smooth and efficient running of a business.

If you ready to find the best scraping provider for your business, to increase your sales while saving time you should read Top 10 Best Data Scraping Services, Platforms & Tools.

Trivago Data Extractor

The main purpose of this application is to allow you to easily monitor your competitors rates.

You can use this program to perform pricing research to help adjust your pricing strategy, as well as researching pricing for specific locations and dates.

Please note that we do not perform any automation, scripts, robots or web crawlers that violates terms or conditions of through this product. We do not encourage any kind of automation to scrape as it's against Trivago terms and conditions.

All data is generated through our cloud worker network using 100% white hat techniques.