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Economics of Web Scraping Report

August 29, 2016

Through analysis of top web scraping platforms and services, Distil Networks uncovers the ubiquity and danger of this practice in a new study. The Economics of Web Scraping report outlines how the democratization of scraping lets perpetrators effortlessly steal sensitive information on the web.

Web scraping is a software method used to extract information from websites. It often includes transforming unstructured website data into a database for analysis, or repurposing stolen content for the scraper’s own online operations. Not only does web scraping pose a critical challenge to company branding, it can also threaten sales and conversions, lower SEO rankings, or undermine the integrity of content that took considerable time and resources to produce.

Key findings in the Distil Networks report reveal that:

  • 38% of companies engaged in web scraping do so to obtain content

Web scraping is also used for research, contact scraping, price comparison, weather data monitoring, and website change detection.

  • Real estate sites are the number one web scraping victim

Other industries plagued by web scraping include digital publishing, travel, online directories, e-commerce, marketplace, and classifieds.

  • Web scraping services cost as little as $3.33 per hour

The average web scraping project costs roughly $135.

  • The average web scraper earns $58,000 annually

When working for a large company specializing in web scraping, some individuals gross up to $128,000 per year for their efforts.


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