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Why Web Scraping Is a Double-Edged Sword for Businesses?

To attract more traffic and maximize profits, business owners consider using different tools, some of which are for web scraping.

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In recent years, companies of all sizes have recognized the value of making an online presence. Even small businesses are seeing the potential gains of the online market, with about 71% of them owning a website. To attract more traffic and maximize profits, business owners consider using different tools, some of which are for web scraping.

Essentially, web scraping is the automated collection of data from the internet. In many ways, it can be a blessing to a business, but it can also be a risk. And this article will explain why.

1. What Is Web Scraping?

Web scraping is data mining from online sites that simulates human behavior by using software to retrieve all available information, typically in HTTP format, from a target web page. The scraper can then copy a portion or all of a website’s content to another destination.

It enables the indexing and organizing of large data sets, allowing behavioral, statistical, and qualitative studies to be performed. For this reason, more and more firms employ scraping tools and bots for their initiatives. Consequently, about 80% of annual e-commerce profitability is affected by web scraping.

The “scraped” data can be applied to many promising practices. This includes availability and transparency. However, it is also prone to be exploited for malicious purposes, such as information abuse and intellectual property theft.

While much of this isn’t illegal, web scraping does fall into a gray area where law and morality are debatable. Nevertheless, it is essential to understand the pros and cons of this double-sided coin.

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2. How It Can Be Beneficial

For website owners and developers, web scraping tools save them a lot of resources. That is why well-known cloud providers, such as Amazon AWS, still provide free APIs for secure web scraping. In the right hands, it can help in many ways.

a. Automation

When working with advanced tools like bots, this is the primary benefit. It has simplified data extraction to just a few clicks, and it’s a real-life-saver as it completes the retrieval and processing of large amounts of data in a short amount of time.

You’ll be able to develop a better picture of your market and your competitors’ activity by downloading, cleaning, and analyzing large volumes of data at a fast rate.

b. Accuracy

Aside from being quick, scraping services are also precise, and simple data extraction errors can lead to severe issues later. Therefore, the accuracy of any form of data extraction is critical, and this is especially true for websites that deal with any other type of financial data.

Most humans find repetitive tasks boring, and this is perhaps why mistakes are still made even with the most straightforward assignments. Hence, many leave these kinds of jobs to robots.

c. Fewer Expenses

Manual data extraction is a costly task that demands a big team and a budget. But with automatic scraping tools, the costs can be significantly cut. Because maintenance cost is low and data is processed from the target website as a whole, data mining is now more affordable than ever.

Once the fundamental data extraction process is up and running, you can crawl the entire domain rather than just one or a few pages. This means that the one-time investment in having a scraper can pay off handsomely.

d. Flexibility

Application Programming Interfaces (API) are not hard-coded solutions for web scraping. As a result, they’re highly adaptable, open, and interoperable with other scripts.

All that is required is to design a scraper for a single significant work and then restructure it to fit a variety of tasks by making just minor modifications to the core. You can build up a scraper, an app integration, a monitoring actor, and a deduplication actor within one system.

3. Why It Is Also a Threat

Even if you use web scraping for good reasons, others may not. Web criminals and business rivals can steal your information and use it for various malicious activities using this technology. It is vital to know what risks you may encounter as a business.

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a. Phishing Attacks

Compared to hacking into an account, scraping is not as intrusive. However, it can open up the possibility of phishing attacks. Hackers can find out the names of superiors, active initiatives, and partner organizations.

This data can craft clear messages and trick people into giving what the hackers want. They can even steal most of a site’s content and take over its SEO ranking in the search results.

b. Password Cracking

Even if the password isn’t explicitly disclosed, hackers can use it to crack credentials and single bypass factor, or even multifactor, authentication mechanisms using web scraping.

Keep in mind that your employees construct passwords based on their interests, lifestyles, and other characteristics. All of these may be found on social media and other parts of the web. A skilled hacker can use this information to guess passwords, making a cyber-attack easier.

c. Price Scraping

A scraper can access the pricing information to offer a cheaper deal in their shop to boost sales. In this scheme, scraper bots are launched from a botnet to search the databases of business competition.

Web scraping allows competitors to get real-time pricing and promotion alerts, as well as product information and other plans. This can impact your revenue, website traffic, and user experience, among several others.

d. Spamming

Contact scraping is a sort of web scraping that entails searching for and obtaining contact information from a website. Bad bots collect email addresses and phone numbers with the intent of spamming new people.

Nowadays, push marketing strategies like this aren’t effective because people don’t trust them. So even if you don’t practice this type of scraping, but someone steals the contact details of your site’s visitors and spam, your reputation is still in danger.

4. Conclusion

Web scraping can do wonders. But if misused, it can tarnish a brand considerably. Understanding the intrusive nature of this threat not only raises awareness about this expanding danger. It also helps website owners to take steps to protect their proprietary information and their users’ privacy.

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Internet

Fundamentals Of Plastic Surgery SEO

Fundamentals of Plastic Surgery SEO, Why is plastic surgery SEO necessary and What is Involved in SEO for Plastic Surgeons

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Fundamentals Of Plastic Surgery SEO

When patients go to their doctors for a plastic surgery consultation, they are likely feeling many different emotions all at once: excitement, nervousness, curiosity. Although it’s normal to feel wary about a medical procedure, you wouldn’t want your patients (or future patients) to feel that way about your practice.

Plastic surgery SEO is an excellent way for you to reach patients who are looking for you and let them know that you’re an experienced and compassionate choice that they can trust for their plastic surgery needs.

1. Why Is Plastic Surgery SEO Necessary?

SEO or search engine optimization for plastic surgery may not be on your priority list, but it wouldn’t be wise to ignore it too. SEO for plastic surgery does two things, and they are:

  • It helps plastic surgeons create a website that is easily understood by search engines (thus making them more visible)
  • Creates valuable, helpful, and informative Content to help patients wherever they are on their journey.

Why Is Plastic Surgery SEO Necessary

If your prospective patient cannot find you, or once they do, there’s not enough information about you for them to consider, they’ll end up looking for a different surgeon instead.

Low are five causes why you should not ignore SEO for your plastic surgery practice:

  • Approximately 94% of organic search traffic to your website is thanks to Google, so if you’re not visible on Google, then it’s highly likely that prospective clients can’t find you.
  • According to statistics, 50% of people read or check out at least three to five types of Content (social media posts, blogs, reviews, or landing pages) before deciding on a service or making a purchase.
  • Around 72% of searches are for local searches, with “near me” searches consistently and significantly increasing.
  • Customers give websites at least two seconds to load before clicking away—the same applies to those browsing on their mobile devices.
  • Study shows that 88% of consumers rely on online reviews much more than personal recommendations.

Lastly, the biggest reason to consider making plastic surgery SEO a priority is that the number one organic search result gets 33% of the clicks. The rest of the search results get over 75% of the clicks in total.

If your website is not on the first page of a Google search result, then it only means you’re not getting enough exposure or that you’re invisible. An excellent SEO strategy can get you to the number one spot.

2. What is Involved in SEO for Plastic Surgeons?

The same rules guide SEO for plastic surgeons as SEO for other industries. Pay attention to the following elements to attract more traffic to your site.

  1. Get a Good Website –when we say ‘good,’ we do not mean a fancy website with a flashy design. A ‘good’ website means one that has fast loading times, its strategy has been well-thought-out, provides visitors with all the information they need, is easy to navigate, and features calls to action or prompts that keep visitors interested.
  2. Expand Your Local Presence –local search is critical. Most prospective patients search for practices near them, so include your business address and contact information on your site and make sure they’re updated. Add your business listing with Google and try using Google My Business posts to engage with prospective customers uniquely.
  3. Produce High-Quality Content –producing high-quality Content and link building are two of the most important things that Google looks at to see how they should rank your page. And as we have mentioned earlier, if you are on the second or third page, you might as well be invisible.
  4. Organize Your Plastic Surgery Marketing Plan –if you plan to improve your SEO strategy, take all that good work and use it in a coordinated email or social media marketing campaign.

SEO is just the tip of the iceberg for digital marketing. Because most of your prospective clients are on social media, you need to meet them where they are and entice them with Content that catches their attention and sends them to your website for more.

3. How to Create a Plastic Surgery SEO Strategy

If you’re still new to SEO marketing, below are seven valuable tips to help get you started:

  1. Website Speed –first things first: how fast does your website load? Nowadays, people are so impatient that they refuse to wait for a page to load, so if your page is running on average speed (or lower), consider updating its speed. Your site needs to be fast and reliable to generate better leads.
  2. Keep Your Website Updated –after website speed, one of the most significant issues most websites have is the lack of contact information. If you have moved your office or have multiple locations, have hired new doctors, or have changed your contact information, update it as soon as possible.
  3. Create Content Regularly –there are a lot of articles providing information on when the best time to post on social media is and the perfect amount of emails to send. But what you need to do is put out Content regularly and consistently. Why? Because your prospective patients can end up getting used to your blogs, social media posts, and emails and look forward to them. Consider using an automatic post scheduler and develop an editorial calendar you can organize yourself.
  4. A/B Testing –A/B testing pertains to putting two pieces of Content together, each with a minor tweak, and testing which one performs the best.
  5. Find Your Niche and Customize Your Marketing Strategy –this involves finding out exactly who your target market is. Are you focusing on cosmetic surgery? Rhinoplasty? Double-eyelid surgery? Whoever it is that you want to reach, make sure you speak to them in your Content.
  6. Experiment with Different Marketing Channels –a website is just one among many different tools you can use to expand your presence online. Consider using other social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, or even TikTok, especially if your target market is on those platforms.
  7. Get Help from Professionals –last but not least, it might be a good idea to seek help from professionals who can manage all your digital marketing needs and reach new patients simultaneously.

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