What is Web Scraping and its Benefits?

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If you are managing an online business, then one of your needs to analyze competitors is to do web scraping. Then, how do you develop a business with web scraping? So, in this article, we will discuss web scraping, its benefits, and the techniques.

Web scraping is a way of retrieving large amounts of certain data or information to later be used for various purposes such as research, analysis and others. Compared to conducting surveys manually.

Web scraping can retrieve data practically and in a short time. What is web scrapping and what are its functions? The following is a complete explanation.

What is Web Scraping?

What is Web Scraping and its Benefits?

Web scraping refers to the creation or use of computer software to collect data from an entire competitor's website or several pages of a competitor's website.

Even when doing web scraping you can download all website pages and also things related to the main aspects of a competitor's website such as tags (title) or the contents of article content on the website for further analysis needs.

Reporting from ParseHub, web scraping is a method that refers to extracting data from a website. So, when you carry out the process of retrieving data from a website and storing it in Microsoft Excel, Google Sheet, or similar applications, that is what is called web scraping.

The web scraping process can be done manually or automatically with a tool. However, now more people like using tools and doing it automatically because it is faster.

Apart from that, when a website has a lot of data, it will be easier to use a tool to do it automatically.

What is the Best Way to Web Scrape?

Now that everything is made easy, to do your web scraping will be made easy by having an extension in the browser as well as the application. However, the results are not as good as the manual method and using coding. So, in this article, we will discuss web scraping techniques and more or less four common web scraping techniques, including:

1. Getting Data Manually

This is one of the simplest techniques, that is, you can get other website data manually. This technique is quite time consuming, because you have to retrieve and also store the information that has been obtained one by one.

2. Regular Expression Technique

One of the benefits of using this technique is the consistency of its syntax across various programming languages. This technique includes a flexible technique. Plus by using this technique, you can get data by type, for example price, product name, and email address.

3. HTML Parsing Technique

This method is done by sending an HTTP request to the server that stores the website data. By using this technique, you don't just do web scraping to static websites.

You can also get large amounts of data, but the drawback is that this technique can be prevented by a website protection. In fact, you can also be blocked from certain sites when you frequently use this technique.

4. Techniques Using Google Sheets

We know it as a Google application that is used to create spreadsheet files. Apparently, not only for these needs. You can also use Google Sheets to do web scraping very easily.

Apart from Google Sheets, you also need a browser that has the inspect element feature. Then, copy the XPath expression of the website page element whose data you want to get into an IMPORTXML command which is usually already available in Google Sheets.

Benefits of Web Scraping

Benefits of Web Scraping

After getting to know what web scraping is and the techniques that are often used, below are five benefits that you can get with web scraping, including:

1. Monitor Competitors

The e-Commerce market in Indonesia (example) has indeed made a big jump especially during the current pandemic and this digital retail market will continue to grow as digital devices can increasingly be integrated into our real lives and can change consumer behavior in shopping.

The target market is getting easier to reach, but the competition is getting tougher and not a few feel that the digital space is getting narrower for newcomers. Is there a way for the business to survive? Then you need to study how your competitors work! 

As one of the ancient Chinese generals who we often know Sun Tzu said, "If you know your enemy and yourself, you will never be defeated by him." Well, this also applies in business.

You can get data and also know your competitors so you can make changes. As previously explained, web scraping is a technique for obtaining product information on competitors' websites/e-commerce sites, so that with this data you can determine new strategies so you don't lose to your competitors.

Apart from products, you can also get advertising data for competitor products in the form of budget insights and so on. In fact, you can also get data in the form of product trend predictions.

2. Price Optimization

If you are a businessman who has difficulty setting prices, then you can get price optimization from web scraping techniques and this is very helpful. The problem with optimization is that we can't balance the point where we can't increase profits without losing customers.

Remember the principle that customers are willing to pay more for a product with more value. Meanwhile, in the digital retail business, this is important to improve your services.

With web scraping you can get customer-related information, so you can find out how you can get increased customer satisfaction with your offer, one way is by perfecting the market strategy.

With web scraping too, you can set a dynamic pricing strategy. The digital business market is not static and you have to follow all the price changes that occur to maximize service and profit. Web scraping allows you to monitor changes in market prices and the right promotion strategy.

3. Personally Targeted

Web scraping can make it easier for you to set personal targets based on prospective customer data, so you can determine how to promote them. Usually the data that you can get from web scraping is in the form of education of potential customers, company, their position, gender, and much more.

With this data you can determine campaign strategies and you can also determine relevant niches to implement campaigns and send newsletters en masse. However, make sure you always send information that is relevant to your customer's interests.

4. Investment Decisions

Web scraping in the investment world is nothing new. Even from time to time, many people have used this technique to collect alternative data in avoiding the risk of failure and this can help in detecting unexpected risks and more potential opportunities.

Investment decisions are complex, because they usually involve a series of processes before deciding the right steps in preparing investment decisions. The most effective way to test past investments is through historical data analysis. This can show you the causes of failure and success in investing in the past.

As a tool, web scraping can extract historical data more effectively where you can enter the data into a database. Using the data that has been obtained can increase the accuracy of the results of the analysis in making better decisions.

5. Product Optimization

It makes sense for anyone to research online reviews of a product before making a purchase. These reviews can deterministically influence prospective customers' purchasing decisions for our products. Therefore, you can analyze what potential customers think about your brand to match their expectations.

Let's say your product team is about to launch an assisted product. However, you are very worried about this new product and wondering if it can make a breakthrough and help generate revenue for the company. Well, it is important to collect feedback from customers to cross-check products and make a correction if a deficiency is found.

You can carry out sentiment analysis techniques more broadly to analyze customer attitudes, whether this can have a positive, neutral or negative impact. However, this analysis requires a large enough data. So that the process of collecting large data is faster and saves a lot of time and effort, you can use web scraping.

How do you Prevent Detection When Web Scraping?

How do you Prevent Detection When Web Scraping

How do you know that Google, for example, can still crawl and index your website, but your content is still safe and unique? You should remain vigilant and work to actively protect your data, using whatever solutions below work best for you.

a, Special bot for software management

  • CAPTCHA technology, such as reCAPTCHA Enterprise, is a layer of security to prevent various types of scripts from accessing content.
  • Cloudflare provides not only CDN and DDoS protection but also bot mitigation security.
  • Imperva (formerly Distil Networks) is a tool that manages malicious traffic on the internet, detects and neutralizes dangerous bots.
  • DataDome is another service that offers protection against scraping, scalping, credential stuffing, DDoS attacks and credit card fraud.

b. Other anti-scraping techniques

  • Robots.txt is a file that instructs search engines what to crawl and index, allowing access to legal bots and denying access to suspicious scripts.
  • SSL certificates come in the form of security extensions that protect user information. This certificate provides users not only to fight web scraping but also as a minimum level of general security.
  • Detect bot-like browsing patterns, such as an unusual volume of item views, monitor such accounts and block certain IP addresses. To do this, you can use geolocation or search a DNS-based blocklist.
  • Block HTTP requests with unwanted User-Agent headers.
  • Change your html frequently, at least at the id and class level. Since the scraper parses your html patterns and parses your markup code, small changes can confuse it.
  • Add a honeypot to trap the scraper. This solution is usually done by creating fake pages that humans will not visit. If you detect activity on these pages, you can safely block their IPs.
  • Limiting requests, for example, limiting the number of requests/actions within a certain time period.
  • Enforce Terms and Conditions by requiring users to check a box.

What is the Best Tools for Web Scraping?

What is the Best Tools for Web Scraping

From the web scraping techniques explained above, you can also use several tools or software. This software is usually used by companies or businesses if they experience difficulties in designing business strategies.

What web scraping software can you use? Let's take a look below!

1. Scrapy

One of the software used for web scraping has several features including filtering, processing and managing data received from various websites. Scrapy is also known to be the most efficient for doing web scraping with large data. You can also export data in Scrapy using JSON, CSV to XML formats.

2. Data scraper

If you use scrapy you can export data using JSON, CSV and XML formats. By using a data scraper you can export data in CSV or XSL file format. Data Scraper can also be used at no cost, and can perform web scraping of up to 500 website pages.

3. Parsehub

Parsehub can be used on all operating systems from OS such as Mac, then Linux and Windows so this software is quite flexible. However, to use this software you need to spend money because this software is not free, for the subscription plan you use twenty web scraping projects.


How do you imagine what web scraping is and what techniques are used in it? The five benefits above are only a small part of what web scraping can achieve. You can collect data and get these benefits from the references that we explain or even you have your own ideas in the implementation process so that you get other benefits that are not mentioned in this article.

Don't underestimate the power of web scraping. Because it is the best solution for businesses to get big information regularly. It is no less important when you manage a business website, besides implementing web scraping in business ideas and strategies to compete with competitors, a website that is fast to support SEO requires proper hosting.

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