Scraping Web Provides Useful Content Databases

One of the most common questions that I get from people is how they can start and build a website if they have no interest or inclination in writing the content. Well, there are tons of sites out there where the website owners did little to no writing at all. One option is to scrape content.

Now, we’re not talking about scraping copyright content from popular websites. Instead, we’re taking a look at a service called Scraping Web, which serves as the subject of today’s review. Let’s have a look at what they have to offer and how you can build that into a profitable online property.

Web Content in Pre-Formatted Containers

For those of you who aren’t as familiar with the term, web scraping refers to “web content mining.” This is when you “harvest” content that you find on the web, extract the useful information, and restructure it all into pre-formatted containers that can then be re-utilized on your own web properties.

And that’s the crux of what this web scraping service does. Rather than selling you on a subscription that provides full access to all the of the content that they have already scraped, Scraping Web packages them into individual databases that are available for purchase.

Some of these databases can be implemented as valuable resources on their own, while others are perhaps better suited as part of a larger overall project. In any case, buying these databases can give you a huge amount of content for your site right off the bat.

All Kinds of Content for Sale

When you go to the Buy Databases page on Scraping Web, you’ll see that the index of databases is quite extensive. These databases are said to be updated on a regular basis with most seeing updates on an annual or even semi-annual basis.

These include databases in the realm of language and reference, society and humanity, business and directory, geographical and locations, and ISBN and books, among others. For example, if you are putting together some kind of mapping website for the United States, you may be interested in the database containing 42,741 zip codes complete with information about latitude, longitude, and area code.

Want to put together a website where people can find companies that provide certain services? The yellow pages database, available for both the US and UK markets, can be very useful for that purpose. As you can see, “scraping web content” does not need to be equated to piracy and copyright infringement.

How Much Do the Databases Cost?

Each database has varying value and amount of data, so it makes sense that not all the databases carry the same price tag. Prices range from about $19.95 on the low-end up to $589.95 on the high-end.

For example, the abbreviations and acronyms database fits somewhere in the middle, priced at $289.95. This is a one-time purchase. As soon as you buy and download the package, you can presumably use that data in whatever fashion you’d like. In this instance, the database is also available in three formats: MySQL 5 SQL dump text file, CSV, and MS Excel.

If you are familiar with database and database structure, each product page will also give you a breakdown of the schema, a phpMyAdmin screenshot, and the table details. This can help you better prepare how you are going to use the content on your own website or for your own project.

What If I Want a Custom Job?

While the types of databases available for purchase are quite varied, you might have something much more specific in mind. That’s why it’s good to see that Scraping Web offers custom work as well. If you want to make your own lyrics site or your own version of dictionary.com, for example, they can do that.

This is more expensive, of course. Pricing ranges from $1995 to $2895 per site, depending on the volume of your order. From there, you can optionally tack on an additional $1495 to have them custom develop a website from a database.

Web scraping has taken on a bad name in recent years, but it’s really about what you’re scraping and how you’re using it. Scraping Web sticks to content that isn’t privately copyrighted, like business listings, and that’s how you’ll stay on the legal and ethical side of the equation.


29 thoughts on “Scraping Web Provides Useful Content Databases”

  1. Abhik says:

    Hmm!! Looks like a nice service..
    But, won’t those contents treated as duplicate?

    1. Trulia says:

      My take is, in SEO, the idea of duplicate content is out, website usefulness is in. Lots of online shopping sites use the same piece of description for the same product, are they penalized by Google? No. They all do well in Google. Lots of business directory / yellow pages sites use the same business title, address lines, phone numbers, etc. for the same company, yet again, they are NEVER penalized for that by Google – because they are the right information in the first place. Lots of reference sites use the same licensed entries from the same dictionary for word definitions, but they are all good in rankings.

      Duplicate or not, that’s not the key. It’s being actually useful to the users that matters. Original may be better, but it’s expensive and more geared to actual content sites – articles, blogs, reviews, writings, etc.

      1. PPC Ian says:

        I generally agree with this point of view. Comparison shopping sites are very different than a blog or content-heavy site when it comes to Google’s duplicate content rules. A scraping service like this may help one present data in a new, valuable way which could earn good rankings. That said, when it comes to editorial content, it’s never a good idea to duplicate. The best way to look at this is to just do what’s best for the user and Internet.

    2. Whitney says:

      I’m almost certain that this would be duplicate content. I’m surprised to see Michael promoting something like this! Original is always better.

  2. Dealbulous says:

    The contents, are they unique? If they are simply duplicates, I would think that it is worthless

  3. I would also like to know that. The content will be duplicate, right?

  4. I recommend trying to buy up an existing blog or web page that is a few years old and has a similar content that you will be working with.

    1. PPC Ian says:

      That is a great suggestion. Age counts. If you have an older site, it will perform better, generally speaking.

      1. Yes, And oftas have it a little PR and a good set of in-links that Google likes.

  5. fazal mayar says:

    are those duplicate? because unique content has more value

  6. Whitney says:

    I’m sorry Michael, but I just don’t see this as profitable. All in all, in the end you will just get penalized for having duplicate content, and you will probably get nowhere. Original content is always the best. Maybe I missed something? Sorry, not trying to be a douchebag or anything, I’m just a big fan of unique content.

  7. If the contents are unique, then there may be some value in them, if not then the jury is still out on it

  8. Pam Britton says:

    John’s content database info is helpful as writing unique content is a challenge for many. It’s also useful to have a ‘swipe’ file handy. I sometimes use lead-in topic sentences which I have on hand to jump start my ideas, like these, for example:
    One secret that almost no one knows about _________ is _____________
    The absolute biggest mistake you can make in _______ is _________
    The three top websites for _____________ is ___________
    A secret weapon I use for ________ is ______________
    Here’s why you should never be afraid to ______________
    Five proven ways to _____________ is _____________
    The best example I’ve seen for ____________ is _____________
    Here’s what you should do when _______________ happens
    My super-juicy secret to ______________ is ____________

    Always Going On Beyond,
    Pam

  9. I’ve always considered this type of thing to be attributed with a bit of a gray hat service. Will certainly look into it a bit further now.

  10. I am a bit skeptical with this one. I doubt that there won’t be any copyright or trademark infringement with these. If it’s not now then may be later! Never came across any such thing before… so pretty hesitant in buying this.

  11. Games Dunia says:

    I think it is a great service indeed.

  12. fas says:

    Interesting services. People are coming up with unique ideas.

    1. fazal mayar says:

      you can be surprised at what people can do for money ;D

  13. If you do not enjoy writing you can always get it written by someone else – Better alternative to scraping.

    You only need to look at John Chow and ShoeMoney to realise that the chances of success are greater when you write your own stuff – This is the only way that your unique writing style or personality can come through.

    Another reason is ‘G’ – which appears to have a Auto learning or Auto tuning algorithem.

  14. Games Dunia says:

    Yes they are a good service provider.

  15. The service looks very good. A bit high priced on the custom work though, but all in all it looks very good.

  16. Yes, They are providing very good service indeed.

  17. Erwin Miradi says:

    Well, that’s a very good service indeed. But aren’t they charge it way too much?

  18. Is there an assurance that these weren’t published before or are still existing on article submission sites?

  19. Lalit says:

    It seems to be a good service and at the same time it is probably a different idea.

  20. I have heard about such services. But my question is that what will you do with a million of book listing with IBSN ? In the era where these things are easily available on google, why on the earth anyone will want to know this details?

  21. Hi friends,

    Thanks for a great blog. I was able to get the information that I had been looking for. Thanks once again!

  22. scraping is really work well to optimize our website content without any duplications

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