April 7th 2020
It’s safe to say that the amount of data available on the internet nowadays is practically limitless, with much of it no more than a few clicks away. However, gaining access to the information you need sometimes involves a lot of time, money, and effort.
This is where web scraping comes in – an automated data gathering method that provides quick and easy access to a large amount of data that is freely available in the public domain.
Revealing the usually hidden, unseen part of online life, web scraping forms part of the growing big data industry and often provides access to valuable information such as the contact details of potential clients, pricing data for price comparison websites, and so much more. Therefore, it’s clear that web scraping can be useful for both businesses and consumers alike.
With that in mind, the following article will provide an overview of the web scraping trends that were discovered throughout the course of 2019, and will also take a closer look at what you can expect over the next 12 months with regard to web scraping.
The rise of web scraping
In the current day and age, it’s incredibly important for businesses to continually analyze trends concerning the purchasing habits of consumers as this allows to gain an advantage over rival businesses as they have the ability to keep tabs on the prices that any competitors are charging.
But in previous years, gathering data was an incredibly lengthy, tedious, and expensive process, as it had to be done manually which often lacked accuracy. Thankfully, this problem was solved thanks to the introduction of web scraping software – that sped up and simplified the data gathering process and provided access to the most up-to-date information possible.
Substantial growth during key periods of the year
However, the highest number of requests from businesses was actually in October 2019, which is likely to be the result of early preparations for the busy Christmas period. The fact that Black Friday occurs in November is another likely reason for the large surge in requests, with over 93m US shoppers taking advantage of the biggest e-commerce event of the year according to an Oxylabs case study. Insights like these help businesses prepare their sales and promotion strategies, plan stock and cashflow.
Other events including Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day were also covered in the Oxylabs report. The former saw e-commerce clients increase web scraping activities by 6.79% and raise traffic per IP by 26.61%. The latter e-commerce event, on the other hand, saw data gathering increase by 14.37% alongside a 72.86% rise in traffic per IP.
Growth of Web Scraping in Asia and North America
North America and Asia appeared to be the two regions in which web scraping grew the most throughout 2019. The former saw a staggering 35.96% increase in web scraping activities, mostly occurring in early 2019. Despite this, the Data Analysis department at Oxylabs doesn’t foresee any significant growth in North America, at least in the early stages of 2020.
Where Asia is concerned, an Oxylabs analysis indicated that from late September onwards, there was an average growth of 12.5% in the data center proxy traffic of clients located within the region. Throughout the year as a whole, Asia experienced a healthy 20% growth in data center proxy traffic – indicating that companies are increasing web scraping operations to gather publicly available data.