Web Scraping Projects & Topics For Beginners [2020]

In this article, we’ll take a look at some exciting web scraping project ideas. We have assorted a list of multiple projects of various industries and skill levels to choose one according to your liking. 

Web Scraping has many names, such as Web Harvesting, Screen Scraping, and others. It is a method of extracting large quantities of data from websites and storing it at a particular location (a local file in your computer or a database in a table). 

What is Web Scraping? 

Whenever you want any information, you Google it and go to the webpage, which offers the most relevant answer to your query. You can view the data you needed, but what if you need to save it locally? What if you want to see the data of a hundred more pages? 

Most of the webpages present on the internet don’t offer the option to save the data present there locally. To keep it that way, you’ll have to copy and paste everything manually, which is very tedious. Moreover, when you have to save the data of hundreds (sometimes, thousands) of webpages, this task can seem strenuous. You might end up spending days just copy-pasting bits from different websites.

This is where web scraping comes in. It automates this process and helps you store all the required data with ease and in a small amount of time. For this purpose, many professionals use web scraping software or web scraping techniques. 

Read more: Top 7 Data Extraction Tools in the Market

Why Perform Web Scraping?

In data science, to do anything, you need to have data at hand. To get that data, you’ll need to research the required sources, and web scraping helps you. Web scraping collects and categorizes all the required data in one accessible location. Researching with a single, convenient location is much more feasible and more comfortable than searching for everything one-by-one.

Just as data science is prevalent in many industries, web scraping is widespread too. When you take a look at the web scraping project ideas we’ve discussed here, you will notice how various industries use this technique for their benefit. 

Now that you’re familiar with the basics of web scraping, we should start discussing web scraping projects too

Web Scraping Projects

The following are our web scraping project ideas. They are of different industries so that you can choose one according to your interests and expertise. 

1. Scrape a Subreddit

Reddit is one of the most popular social media platforms out there. It has communities called subreddits, for nearly every topic you can imagine. From programming to World of Warcraft, there is a community for everything on Reddit. All of these communities are quite active, and their members (on a side note: Reddit’s users are called Redditors)share a lot of valuable information, opinions, and content. 

Learn more: 17 Fun Social Media Project Ideas & Topics For Beginners

How to work on this project

Reddit’s thriving communities are a great place to try out your web scraping abilities. You can scrape its subreddits for particular topics and figure out what its users say about it (and how often they discuss it). For example, you can scrape the subreddit r/webdev, where web development professionals and enthusiasts discuss the various aspects of this field. You can scrap this subreddit for a particular topic (such as finding jobs). 

This was just an example, and you can choose any subreddit and use it as your target.

This project is suitable for beginners. So, if you don’t have much experience using web scraping techniques, you should start with this one. You can modify the difficulty level of this project by selecting a smaller (or bigger) subreddit. 

2. Perform Consumer Research

Consumer research is a vital aspect of marketing and product development. It helps a company understand what their targeted consumers want, whether their customers liked their product or not, and how the general public perceives their product or services. If you’d use your data science expertise in marketing, you’d have to perform consumer research many times.

Researching potential buyers helps a company in many ways. They get to know:

  • What are the likings of their prospective clients
  • What are the things their prospective customers hate
  • What products they use
  • What products they avoid

This is just the tip of the iceberg; consumer research (also known as consumer analysis) can cover many other areas. 

How to work on this project

To perform consumer research, you can gather data from customer review websites and social media sites. They are a great place to start with. 

Here are some popular review sites where you can start to get the necessary data:

These are just a few names. Apart from these review sites, you can head to Facebook to gather links as well. If you find any blogs that cover your company’s products, then you can include them in your web scraping efforts as well. They are an excellent source for getting valuable insight. 

Doing this project will help you in performing many other tasks in data science, particularly sentiment analysis. So, pick a brand (or a product) and start researching its reviews online. 

Learn more: Data Analytics Is Disrupting These 4 Martech Roles

3. Analyse Competitors

Competitive analysis is one of the many aspects of digital marketing. It also requires data scientists and analysts’ expertise because they have to gather data and find what their competition is doing. 

You can perform web scraping for competitive analysis too. Completing this project will help you considerably in understanding how this skill can help brands in digital marketing, one of the most crucial aspects in today’s world.

How to Work on This Project

First, you should choose an industry of your liking. You can start with car companies, teaching companies (such as upGrad), or any other. After that, you have to pick a brand for which you’ll analyze the competitors. We recommend starting with a small brand if you are a beginner because they have fewer competitors than major ones. 

Once you’ve picked the brand, you should search for its competitors. You’ll have to scrape the web for their competitors, find what they sell, and how they target their audience. If you’ve picked a tiny brand and don’t know its competitors, you should search for its product categories. For example, if you picked Tata Motors as your brand, you’d search for a phrase similar to ‘buy cars in India.’ The search result will show you many cars of different brands, all of which are competitors of Tata Motors. 

You can build a scraping tool that analyses your selected brand’s competitors and shows the following data:

  • What are their products?
  • What are the prices of their products?
  • What are the offers on their products (or services)?
  • Are they offering something which your brand isn’t?

You can add more sections, depending on your level of expertise and skill. This list is just to give you an idea of what you should look for in your selected brand’s competitors. 

Such web scraping is particularly beneficial for new and growing companies. If you aspire to work with startups in the future, this is the perfect project idea. To make this project more challenging, you can increase the number of competitors you want to analyze. If you’re a beginner, you can start with one or two competitors, whereas if you’re a little advanced, you can start with three or four competitors. 

4. Use Web Scraping for SEO

Search Engine Optimization (also known as SEO) is the task of modifying a website, matching the preferences of search engines’ algorithms. As the number of internet users is steadily rising, the demand for effective SEO is also increasing. SEO impacts the rank of a website when a person searches for a particular keyword. 

It is a humongous topic and requires a complete guide. All you need to know for SEO is that it requires specific criteria that a website has to fulfill. You can read more on SEO and what it is in our article on how to build an SEO strategy from scratch.

You can use web scraping for SEO and help websites ranking higher for keywords. 

How to work on this project

You can build a data scraping tool that scrapes your selected websites’ rankings for different keywords. The tool can extract the words these companies use to describe themselves too. You can use this technique for specific keywords and assort a list of websites. A marketing team can use this list to use the best keywords out of that list and help their website rank higher. 

While this is a simple application of web scraping in SEO, you can make it more advanced. For example, you can create a similar tool but add the function of getting the metadata of those web pages. This would include the title of the web page (the text you see on the tab) and other relevant pieces of information. 

On the other hand, you can build a web scraper that checks the word count of the different pages ranking for a keyword. This way you can understand the impact word count has on the ranking of a webpage 

There are many ways to make a web scraper for SEO. You can take inspiration from Moz or Ahrefs and build an advanced web scraper yourself. There’s a lot of demand for useful web scraping tools in the SEO industry. 

If you are interested in using your tech skills in digital marketing, this is an excellent project. It will make you familiar with the applications of data science in online marketing as well. Apart from that, you’ll also learn about the multiple methods of using web scraping for search engine optimization. 

5. Scrape Data of Sports Teams

Are you a sports fan? If so, then this is the perfect project idea for you. You can use your knowledge of web scraping to scrape data from your favorite sports team and find some interesting insights. You can choose any team you like of any popular sports. 

How to work on this project

You can choose your favorite team and scrape the websites of their official website, the organization that handles their sports, and relevant archives. For example, if you’re a cricket fan, you can use ESPN’s cricket statistics database.

After you’ve scraped this data, you’d have all the required information on your favorite team. You can expand this project and add more teams in your collection to make this project a little more challenging. 

However, this is among the most suitable web scraping projects for beginners. You can learn a lot about web scraping and its applications in a fun and exciting manner. 

6. Get Financial Data

The finance sector uses a lot of data. Financial data is useful in many ways as it helps investors analyze a company’s performance and reliability. Similarly, it helps a company in analyzing its position and where it stands in terms of finances. If you want to use your knowledge of data and web scraping in the finance sector, then you should work on this project.

How to work on this project

There are multiple ways to go about this project. You can start by scraping the web for the performance of a company’s stock in a set period and the news articles related to the company of that period. This data can help an investor figure out how different things affected that particular company’s stock price. Apart from that, this data will also help the investor understand what factors affect the company’s stock price, which factors don’t. 

Financial statistics are crucial for any company’s health. They help the stakeholders of a company understand how well (or how badly) their business is performing. Financial data is always helpful, and this project will allow you to use your skills in this regard. 

You can start with a single company initially and make the project more challenging by adding the data from more companies. However, if you want to focus on one particular company, you can increase the timeline and look at the data of a year or more. 

Scrape a Job Portal

It is among the most popular web scraping project ideas. There are many job portals on the web, and if you’ve ever thought of using your expertise in data science in human resources, this is the right project for you. 

There are many job portals online, and you can pick anyone for this project. Here are some places to get you started:

  • Naukri.com
  • Indeed.co.in
  • Timesjobs.com

How to work on this project

In this project, you can build a tool that scrapes a job portal (or multiple job portals) and checks the requirements of a particular job. For example, you can look at all the ‘data analyst’ jobs present in a job portal and analyze its job requirements to see the most popular criteria for hiring one such professional. 

You can add more jobs or portals in your search to add more difficulty to this project. It’s a fantastic project for anyone who wants to apply data science in management and relevant streams. 

Also Read: Data Science Project Ideas & Topics

Conclusion

We hope you found this list of web scraping project ideas useful and exciting. If you have any thoughts or suggestions on this article or topic, feel free to let us know. On the other hand, if you want to learn more, you should head to our blog to find many relevant and valuable resources.

You can enroll in a data science course as well to get a more individualized learning experience. A course can help you learn all the important topics and concepts in a personalized approach so you can be job-ready in very little time.

If you are curious to learn about data science, check out IIIT-B & upGrad’s PG Diploma in Data Science which is created for working professionals and offers 10+ case studies & projects, practical hands-on workshops, mentorship with industry experts, 1-on-1 with industry mentors, 400+ hours of learning and job assistance with top firms.

What do you think of these project ideas? Which one of these ideas did you like the most? Let us know in the comments.

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