Data shows that over half of all traffic online comes from bots and spiders. Good bots working for social media apps, search engines, and data gathering tools produce at least 23% of all web traffic generated online.
The Googlebot, for instance, crawls over 96% of all sites online. The web crawler's activity is closely seconded by the Baidu Spider, which crawls over 82% of all websites online. Bad bots, on the other hand, which include hacker tools, spammers, impersonators, and some scrapers, produce over 29% of all web traffic.
This amount of traffic generated by bots is going to keep rising as businesses begin to appreciate the deep insights that online data gathering has to offer.
The impact of increased internet access is also a great contributor to the increase in web scraping as more data comes in from all corners of the world.
What is web scraping?
Web scraping is the process of indexing and extracting massive amounts of data from online sources. The web scraping bots are designed to transform webpage data into structured and well-organized formats.
Businesses use the downloaded data to glean data-driven insights. The need for web scrapers is going to keep rising as more businesses make a move to e-commerce.
There are billions of web pages holding massive amounts of data that can only be accessed via automated data harvesting tools.
Web scraping is big business
According to data extracted from job sites such as LinkedIn and Glassdoor;
- Most business sectors, from computer software, financial services to oil & energy, are looking to hire more web scraping masters.
- Non-technology based businesses such as research, business development, human resources, and marketing are also looking for employees with web scraping skills
- Skills such as data scientist and senior data engineer are high paying jobs in Glassdoor. The industries focused on data analysis, and extractions are some of the best paying there are.
These metrics show that web scraping is now an essential skill in the digital world as all types of businesses get into the new arms race; data.
Fortunately, automated web scraping tools such as Octoparse, scrapinghub, Crawlera have become smart, and most people can use them without any need for programming knowledge.
Any business can access a web scraping tool and immediately empower themselves with Big Data insights.
Reasons why web scraping is big business
Web scraping use in retail
- In manufacturing and retail, data gathering can enhance processes such as competitor price monitoring to help your business keep track of the dynamic changes in prices. Manual price monitoring is a slow and inefficient process since prices can change a few times every day to match demand and supply.
- Automated web scraping tools can analyze and download price intelligence data from competitor websites to ensure that your business's strategies are as competitive.
- Retailers can use web scrapers to fetch product descriptions and images from various manufacturers for e-commerce purposes.
- One other great application for web scraping in retail is in the monitoring of customer sentiment. Data from customer reviews and feedback can be gathered from different web pages and social media platforms to help form better customer satisfaction strategies.
Web scraping use in financial and equity research
- Data gathering can help aggregate different news articles and market data to avail actionable intelligence to aid research.
- The process can also access multitudes of financial statements to help map out investment decisions.
- Insurances can also use data gathering and analysis to develop insurance policies and products.
Web scraping in data science, data gathering
- Can perform real-time scraping to help businesses in the field to access data on credit scoring and customer satisfaction metrics. The data collected can also help eliminate fraud and give better strategies that increase business revenue.
Data gathering as a discipline will continue to rise alongside the proliferation of inert based businesses. Data is key to all decision making, and web scraping is the easiest method of data access and its collection. Is your business Big Data ready?
Other web scraping applications
- In risk management, businesses can use web scraping to run employee, customer, or partner background checks
- In marketing insights gleaned from data, the gathering can build data-driven marketing, lead generation, and content marketing strategies. The process can also help develop robust search engine optimization strategies.
- Reputation monitoring is also a critical aspect of brand protection. Data scraping can scour the internet, accessing even geo-locked websites to gather data on social media mentions, reviews, and feedback.
- These tools can also mine brand infringement or piracy data from various websites globally. The data gathered can help build a well-informed brand protection strategy.
- Journalists use data gathering to access data that backs the claims and arguments made by their stories. Such data can help build visual stories through graphs or infographics.