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.