So you just discovered web scraping and you’re excited to get started on your first web scraping project.
But sometimes, it’s hard to get your creative juices going and come up with an idea for your first project.
Today, we will propose a couple of ideas that can get you started with web scraping.
What is Web Scraping?
Before we get started, you might be wondering what web scraping is in the first place. In short, web scraping refers to the extraction of data from a website on to a more useful format.
In most cases, web scraping is done with an automated software tool rather than manually. If you’d like to learn more about web scraping, check our in-depth guide on web scraping and what it used for.
Web Scraping Ideas for 2022
We have put together 5 different ideas for you to start your first web scraping project:
- Price Comparison
- Simple Investment app
- Scrape a Subreddit to Find Popular Topics and Words
- Scrape a Leads Database for Someone Else (or sell it!)
- Take on a Real Web Scraping Job
We have built some of these examples to also allow you to realize the power of web scraping with further analysis.
Taking Price Comparison to the Next Level
One project a lot of people like to start with involves scraping ecommerce sites for product data and price comparison. While this project is a good place to get started, we suggest you take it to the next level and analyze the data from your scrape to find the best purchase in a certain category.
For example, you could scrape data about all tablets available on Amazon and analyze the dataset to figure out what is the best bang for your buck when comparing both pricing and review score data. You can make this analysis more detailed by filtering out products with a low amount of reviews.
You’d be looking to answer the question: What is the best rated tablet you can purchase for the lowest amount?
Ready to get started? Here’s our guide on how to scrape Amazon product data.
Build a Simple Investment App (No Coding)
This might project might sound a bit intimidating. However, building a simple investment app is easier than you’d think.
The goal of this app would be to setup your web scraper to scrape a few specific stocks from Yahoo Finance every day. This scrape will then be fed into a Google Spreadsheet and once any stock drops under a specific price, a “buy” notification will be sent to your email.
You can start this project by checking out the following quick guides:
- How to scrape Yahoo Finance data
- How to import your web scrapes to Google Sheets automatically
- How to send an email notification from Google Sheets based on a cell’s value
Scrape a Subreddit to Find Popular Topics and Words
If you’re like me, you might have a few subreddits that you love to browse.
Do you sometimes wonder if there are specific words or topics that get more upvotes than others within that community? Or which topics get more comments and create more discussion?
You could scrape this subreddit and create graphs such as word-clouds to present the insights you’ve found.
You could then take these graphs and insights from your project and share them with that specific subreddit to spark further conversations (and get some sweet reddit karma!).
Interested in this project? Check out our guide on how to scrape reddit data.
Scrape a Leads Database for Someone Else (or sell it!)
You might know someone in your family or circle of friends who runs their own business. Why not help them by building a database of leads for their business?
First, you’d have to ask them about the details of their business and what kind of leads they would find valuable. After this, you can setup your web scraper to scrape leads data from the internet to build your database.
If you do not know anyone in your circle that might need a leads database, you could also try to sell it!
Want to complete this project? Here’s our guide on how to use a web scraping for lead generation.
Take on a Real Web Scraping Job
Why not get started with a real-world example of a web scraping job?
Numerous one-off web scraping jobs get posted on job boards every day. These are great to get started with, since they are examples of what web scraping is being used for in the real world.
A great place to start is UpWork, where you can search for “web scraping” jobs and apply to take them up or just complete them regardless for learning purposes.
Here’s the search results page for “web scraping” in UpWork.
What Web Scraper Should You Use?
At this point, you might already know what your first web scraping project will be.
However, you might still be wondering what web scraper you should be using to carry out your project. The truth is that the best web scraper for your project might be different depending on the needs of your project.
However, every single project on this list can be completed using ParseHub, a powerful and free web scraper.
What web scraping project will you tackle first?
Originally published Nov 4, 2019, updated February 1, 2022