Hotel listings contain everything from price data to reviews. If you run a travel website, you can give your business a big boost by scraping hotel listings and using the information for your website. There’s a good chance that you aren’t quite sure how to get started, though. Follow some simple tips and you will be engaging in hotel data scraping like a pro in no time. Then, you will finally be ready to take your website to the next level.
Table of Contents
- 1. Start with the Right Tools to Scrape Hotel Data
- 2. Make Sure to Scrape Hotel Listings that Meet Your Needs
- 3. Make Your Scraper Act Like a Human When Web Scraping Hotel Sites
- 4. Not Go on Scrape Hotel Data Overload
- 5. Scrape Hotel Listings Repeatedly to Keep Your Data Fresh
- 6. Do Not Double Your Work When Web Scraping Hotel Prices
- 7. Use Your Hotel Data Scraping the Right Way
Start with the Right Tools to Scrape Hotel Data
You want to make the process as quick and painless as possible, which means you need to get the right tools in order. No matter how prepared you think you are, poor tools will stop you right in your tracks.
Choosing Your Proxies
This starts with proxies. You need to choose private proxies to conceal your identity when you scrape hotel listings. These proxies should be located in your country of origin to limit lag. In addition, you need to make sure that you buy several proxies so you can rotate them out. Hotel websites do a good job of identifying bots, and if they notice you are using a bot, they will shut you down. If you rotate your proxies, it will be much more difficult for the websites to notice that you are scraping data. Instead, it will look like a bunch of different people are accessing the website. You need a proxy that works incredibly fast at 1Gbps and has reliable uptime with impeccable customer service. You can get all of that with Blazing SEO. Look at our proxy packages today to learn more.
Choosing Your Scraping Tool
You also need to get a scraping tool. This is where some people make some mistakes. They get the wrong tool so they aren’t able to get the data they need. First, there are people who think that the more money they pay on a hotel scraping tool, the better. They find the most expensive tool out there, and they are disappointed with the results. There are certainly some quality high-priced tools out there, but you can also find some affordable tools. That is why you should always read reviews and make sure that the scraper does what you need before you spend a dime. Otherwise, you could end up spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars on a tool that doesn’t provide you with the right results. Second, there are people who think that they should never go with an open-source scraper. There are some great open-source scrapers that don’t cost a dime, and there are some awful open-source scrapers. Again, it comes down to the reviews. Always read the reviews to find out if the scraper has what you need. Don’t just read the reviews on the website, either. Do some research on Google to get the scoop on what people are saying about the scraper. Third, lots of people think they need to find a web scraper that specializes in the hotel industry, but that isn’t necessary. You can get a scraper that handles a broad range of duties. That way, you can use it if you decide to branch out and scrape other websites. This will be helpful if you decide to expand your business. Once you pick out your tool, you will be well on your way to getting hotel data. You still need to follow a few more tips, though.
Make Sure to Scrape Hotel Listings that Meet Your Needs
Sites with hotel listings often don’t display all of the data at once. Instead, you have to click “See More” to get everything that you need. Configure your scraper so it is able to scrape the data that’s available after clicking “See More” or “More Info.” You can typically find this feature in the settings. Just go to the settings and poke around. Then, enable the scraper to click for additional information. If you don’t do this, you will likely only get about half of the data you want.
Make Your Scraper Act Like a Human When Web Scraping Hotel Sites
Your proxies will do a good job of concealing your identity, but if your scraper is too aggressive, hotel websites will still catch on and shut you down. You need to configure your scraper to act like a person so it will blend in when scraping data from the website. So just how do you do this? For starters, you need to space out the requests it makes when scraping hotel listings. If your scraper makes a ton of requests in a short period of time, it will tip the website off and let it know that someone is scraping the data. That’s a best-case scenario. It also might think that you’re orchestrating a DDoS attack.
Then, there’s your own system to consider. If your bot goes crazy with requests, your system will have a hard time keeping up. It will get sluggish and that will make it hard for it to get data from the websites. You can avoid these problems by adding some extra time between the requests. You don’t need to slow it down to human speed, but keep it in that ballpark. That way, your scraper will trick the websites into thinking that it’s a person. You should also configure your bot to vary its actions. If it goes from page to page, always doing the same things, it won’t take long for the website to figure out that a bot is crawling it. Have your bot mix things up a bit so that the website does nest figure out what is going on.
Do Not Go on Scrape Hotel Data Overload
Are you a data hoarder? Not sure? Look at some of the symptoms. You take way more data than you need, and then you store it for some unknown reason. The data get old and outdated, and you never use all of it. You might not use the data, but you do use a lot of resources gathering and storing it. In fact, if you get too much data, it will slow down the scraping process and make it hard to make it through.
Some people don’t hoard data on purpose. They take as much as they can because they don’t know what they need. You can avoid this by coming up with a plan before you start scraping. Determine what you are going to do with the data so you know what you need to take. Once you know what you need, you can go out and get it and nothing more. Keep in mind that you should only get what you need now, even if you might need more in the future. You can always go back and get additional data if you need it at a later date. There’s no reason to get data you might need later now. After all, the data won’t be fresh a few months down the road. Get the data when you need it so you can scrape faster and have fresh data at your disposal.
Scrape Hotel Listings Repeatedly to Keep Your Data Fresh
When you’re scraping hotel listings, you likely need to know prices and other time-sensitive information. Prices change from week to week in the hotel business. In fact, they can even change from day to day, depending on bookings. If you’re going to have the most up-to-date information, you are going to have to scrape the data often. Otherwise, your data will be stale and outdated. That won’t do you any good. Some people go as far as to scrape data every day. You might need to do that, depending on the purpose of the data. At a minimum, you will likely need to scrape the data every month.
Of course, if you’re just listing a hotel’s amenities and don’t include pricing information, you won’t need to scrape the hotels quite as often. In that case, you can scrape the websites every few months to find out if the hotels have added or taken away any amenities. For instance, a hotel might add a spa into the mix, or the pool might be closed. You need to keep an eye out on the listings just in case something like that comes up.
Do Not Double Your Work When Web Scraping Hotel Prices
With so much hotel data to get, the scraping process can be time-consuming. With that in mind, you want to make sure that you don’t double your work. You don’t want to do the same thing twice, so you need to follow a plan that prevents that from happening. Otherwise, you will spend more time scraping data than necessary. That will take you away from your other duties. First, cache all the pages that you scrape. Then, if your scraper goes back to the same page to get more data, it can load the cached version instead of loading the site once again. This will reduce the load on the servers and ensure that you can scrape quickly.
Word to the wise, though. Do not use cached pages when you re-scrape the site the next day or the next week. If you need to check for updated data, you are going to have to go onto the website once again. If you fail to do that, you won’t get fresh data. Second, keep a file that contains all the pages that you scrape each time. Your scraper could shut down during the scraping process, and if that happens, you don’t want to start from the beginning. You will feel much better if you know what work you have already completed. Then, you can jump in and start scraping again with minimal downtime. Make sure to start a new file for every new project. You are going to scrape thousands of pages, so start fresh with a new file each time.
Use Your Hotel Data Scraping the Right Way
Knowing how to scrape hotel listings and then scraping the data is only part of the equation. You also have to use it, and this is where things can get tricky. Some website owners make the mistake of building their entire site around the data that they scrape. For instance, let’s say that you scrape TripAdvisor for hotel listing data. Then, you copy and paste the results on your website. You would essentially be copying TripAdvisor’s website and business plan. That’s basically stealing, and you want to avoid that at all costs. Instead, you need to use the data to gather information, but you can’t copy it. Be smart about how you use the data so you do not run into any problems along the way.
It’s finally time to formulate your plan. Decide how you are going to perform your hotel data scraping and then get started. Gather your tools and deploy them so you can get the information you need. Then, use the information to grow your business. With the help of the data you gather, you can increase your web traffic, provide people with useful information, and build an online presence. Then, you can find ways to make money off that online presence.
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