The curiosities of scrapping the web, from SEO to leaks

Many of you know that there are Microsoft information filtering specialists on the Internet. On Twitter in particular, there are people dedicated to it. They are able to find images and videos of not yet featured products hosted on official websites of Microsoft and the manufacturers who work with them.

Obviously, these filters don’t go through these web pages one by one. This is where the magic of web scrapping comes in. It’s a tool that, although its original use was to get data of SEO interest, some people’s “creativity” took it much further.

But what exactly is web scraping?

Web scraping is called in different ways in Spanish, from “data mining” to its most literal translation: “web scraping”. It is a process of extracting data from various online sources.

In the vast majority of cases, software is used to perform this data extraction because it is the fastest and can extract large volumes. However, it can also be done manually if the volume is low.

Among the data that you can extract for your website, SEO data that another company, which may be from your same niche market, is using stands out. Obviously, we cannot use this data as a simple “copy and paste”, but to learn how to use it and to be inspired by it to improve our business. Otherwise, you would be violating data protection laws and could incur penalties which vary depending on the severity of the event.

What can you get from web scraping?

Web scraping can provide us with statistics, search engine results, product reviews, opinions and prices. All of this can benefit consumers because, for example, they will be able to compare the prices of the same products in different businesses online.

Concretely, with regard to SEO, it can offer us a lot of data like the famous keywords (keywords) that help us to position each specific article and, therefore, the web page. It also lets you know how you rank on search engine results pages (SERP for short).

In good hands, web scraping is an extremely useful tool for harnessing the potential of our website. Despite the window it offers for morally questionable (and, for some, legally sanctioned) uses, we cannot let that affect the overall assessment of such a valuable technique.

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