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Web Scraping Projects for Beginners and Experts

Web Scraping

Web scraping has become incredibly popular across various industries in recent years, and with good reason: companies all over the world are quickly realizing the benefits of this practice and how it can enhance and streamline their business operations. However, web scraping is not exclusively beneficial for businesses — many individuals have also found ways to benefit from its practical applications by automating tasks for their day-to-day needs.

In this article, we will cover several different project ideas that you could try your hand at, no matter if you are new to web scraping and wish to gain some non-theoretical knowledge and projects to add to your portfolio, or if you’ve been coding web scraping projects for a while and simply want to take your skillset to the next level. There are plenty of free web scraping tools that are available to assist you with the following or any other web scraping projects you put your mind to.

Let’s get started with exploring possibilities!

Scraping for Best Prices and Discounts

This project is designed to help you or your client get the greatest bargains on an online shopping website’s products. The pitch for this would be that finding the best deals on electronics, vehicles, or clothing items on the internet could take hours of manual research; however, web scraping can automate this process and produce the desired data in a matter of minutes.

In order to get started, pick the online retailer of your choice (e.g. Amazon) and start collecting information about the items they have on offer, such as product names, prices, and links. Once you’ve scraped the many pages of the online store, your tool will need to continue tracking prices using the collected links and be programmed to notify you once the price of a certain product drops. 

The more advanced version of this idea would be to create a tool that tracks product prices on several different websites instead of just one (e.g. Amazon, eBay and Target). Beginner coders may choose to start with one or two, whereas advanced ones can go as big as they see fit. You can also play around and add more categories to analyze (such as different product specifications or materials) depending on your skill level.

Since some websites use your data to track when you check the prices, you could consider using a VPN to make sure the prices won’t grow the next time you visit.

Scraping for Best Prices and Discounts

Scraping for Job Advertisements

When done manually, sifting through pages upon pages of a job portal looking for new positions to apply to and verifying the qualifications needed for each of them, as well as filtering them by salary range or other benefits, might take you hours. Thankfully, a few lines of code in a Python code editor could easily automate this tedious process, thus making job hunting less challenging and time-consuming. 

This is a relatively straightforward, but also quite popular web scraping project concept. Essentially, you would be building a scraping tool that collects data from one or more job boards and verifies the qualifications of the specified role. You may, for instance, view all of the Data Analyst positions available on a job board, and the data that you scrape may be used to examine the most common requirements for hiring an expert DA, as well as the average pay range. To up the ante for more experienced programmers, you can choose to include different job portals in a single scraping tool.

Scraping for Job Advertisements

Scraping for Competitive Analysis and Data Protection

Web scraping can be used to perform market or competitor research for brands who wish to improve their business or marketing strategies. This method could help small and large businesses better understand the market that they’re operating in by obtaining insights about the products and services that their competitors have on offer, as well as what they may or may not be doing better when it comes to targeting their audiences.

The starting point of this project would be to pick a specific business or brand whose competitors you would like to analyze. For beginner coders, a general recommendation would be to choose a smaller company as they tend to have a smaller pool of competitors as opposed to larger businesses. 

The scraping tool may include pertinent data such as competitor prices, product categories, special offers, discounts and more. In addition, shopping websites often have review sections underneath each listed item, so the comments, ratings or reviews left by customers can also provide valuable insight into what other companies are doing better, or even show which consumer needs are not being met (so that the business doing the data collection may address those needs first). Companies could also use the information gained from this to price match much more effectively. 

You can also use this approach to analyze what business data is available to third parties. By scraping the web for data on your own business, you might learn about potential data security issues. You can then use this information to secure and encrypt the data that you want to protect from unauthorized access.

Scraping for Competitive Analysis and Data Protection

Scraping for Flight Prices

Scraping for Flight Prices

People always want to find the best prices for flights when arranging a holiday. However, in order to purchase airplane tickets at a lesser cost, you would typically be required to do a lot of prior planning and research. But did you know that flight prices sometimes tend to drop sharply at unusual hours? If you could be notified of these sudden price drops the moment they occur, you would have the opportunity to purchase tickets to your desired destination close to the date of your trip for much less than you usually would.

To complete this project, all you need to do is choose an online travel search engine like Kayak and input your desired specifications, such as flexible or fixed flight dates, destination(s), and even airlines. You will use this information to program a scraping bot that will crawl the website and immediately notify you of price decreases according to your desired criteria.

Generally speaking, since you will be inputting a certain amount of personal data for a scraping tool like this to work (such as your current location), you may choose to find proxy providers for web scraping in order to protect your identity while scraping the web for similar purposes.

Conclusion

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We hope you found this list of web scraping project ideas useful and engaging. If you’re interested in learning more about web scraping and its numerous applications, as well as getting more inspiring ideas, be sure to visit our blog where you can find a wealth of practical information for beginners and advanced coders alike.

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