Thanks to information technologies, the internet makes data accessible to everyone. An average human today can acquire more knowledge than their ancestors could in multiple lifetimes. The growth of power and data transmission is so high that it dramatically exceeds our personal needs but remains desirable to improve machines and accelerate progress.
Ironically, even with so much information at our disposal, data has become the most crucial resource in modern society. Because everyone has access to public information, its magnitude brings surprisingly little value to an average internet user. So, what exactly makes this knowledge so valuable?
The beauty of information lies in its proper management. Companies cherish new and precious data due to data parsing and scraping. With efficient extraction and distribution into understandable packets, businesses can use this knowledge to improve many dynamic factors with great precision.
Web scraping and data parsing are crucial elements of data analytics. The high demand for efficient information extraction and analysis has driven many programmers to invest their time in this field. While it is not always their primary occupation, web scraping has become a profitable freelance opportunity for tech enthusiasts.
Businesses pay hefty fees for efficient scraping and data parsing. Companies can possess tons of information about other competitors in a readable and understandable format and stay ahead of the curve. Read more if you are interested in earning money from data parsing. For now, let’s focus on data extraction and what makes it a profitable side hustle.
How Freelancers Make Money From Web Scraping
While some basic programming knowledge is necessary, a lot of data analysts are not seasoned coders. Most scrapers, especially beginners, utilize frameworks like ParseHub, Octoparse, and ScrapeBox to their advantage. As an experienced freelancer, you will always find clients hungry for data on platforms such as Upwork and Fiverr. Afterward, hustlers can scrape leads and automate outreach to them.
Because web scraping services are necessary in a modern world, building a stable client base of recurring customers will help you make enough experience to aim for the bigger fish or expand your expertise in data analytics.
You Control Your Own Pace
If you do not seek fast growth, sticking to small web scraping tasks as a side hustle does not require you to commit and develop an advanced skillset fully. A real battle begins once you decide to progress to very scalable data scraping. Getting comfortable with the best frameworks will help you apply these tools to different situations without encountering roadblocks.
If you are starting from scratch, you are still in luck! Python is the most popular programming language in the world. Hundreds of guides and books help beginners acquire the necessary coding knowledge before transitioning into data parsing and web scraping.
Learn to Use the Tools at Your Disposal
You will most likely target scrape-friendly websites by following the initial guides or your first web scraping projects. In these ideal circumstances, you can test your acquired skills and feel for the whole process.
However, once you move to more meaningful projects, third parties will know your bots targeting their website. Every established connection will reveal your IP address to the opposing server.
Because web scrapers are far more efficient than a real user, they are more noticeable. Owners cherish this kind of traffic because it helps evaluate how well a website reaches potential clients and captivates their attention.
Do Businesses Limit Scraping
Businesses have many justifiable reasons to limit scraping on their website. Despite the lack of authenticity, robots are faster and more efficient than human users. It is up to you to determine the scraping speed, but the faster you go, the more noticeable you get.
Not only do web scrapers skew the data about real users, but a significantly higher amount of connection requests can also slow down or even crash a recipient server. We need to calibrate data extraction tools to find the balance between efficiency and noticeability.
But every web page has a different policy on getting scraped, and one mistake can get your IP banned. Ironically, a great example of protectionism is big tech companies that profit from data extraction but do not allow others to aggregate data from their platforms. To get the most out of data extraction and increase the scale of their operations, every scraper has to start using proxy servers.
There are many reasons why the demand for proxy providers is at an all-time high. With a pool of real proxy IPs, you can tinker with your web scrapers and find an optimal setup without the fear of getting banned.
A legitimate proxy provider is the main contributor to creating larger web scraping systems. Multiple robots running on the same IP address is an obvious red flag to targeted websites, but proxy servers make them look like separate users connecting from different locations.
There are different types of proxies tailored for the unique needs of clients. Learn to use them, and you will protect your scraping tasks from any interruptions.
If you have never tried automating data extraction, it can be a unique and empowering experience. Learn to use popular frameworks and complementary tools, and you will start your coding career in no time! For beginner programmers that struggle with finding purpose in their craft. Web scraping is the best way to learn the basics of data science and implement their knowledge for profit.