6 Best Web Mining Tools

Best Web Mining Tools

Believe it or not, the World Wide Web is set to grow at an astonishing pace!It’s amazing that the World Wide Web is going to see an exponential growth in data- the data that we create and copy will reach 44 zettabytes or 44 trillion gigabytes by 2022.

It has become a rich source of information- the information that you can retrieve and use it for generating actionable intelligence.

You might wonder how to retrieve such massive amount of data.

No worries.

Web mining is the one-stop solution for your information retrieval and data analysis.

You can discover a lot if you wield the right sort of web mining tools. These tools can enable you to extract, clean and analyze data so that you can arrive at valuable insights with the help of data visualization.

 

Introduction

Believe it or not, the World Wide Web is set to grow at an astonishing pace!

It’s amazing that the World Wide Web is going to see an exponential growth in data- the data that we create and copy will reach 44 zettabytes or 44 trillion gigabytes by 2022.

It has become a rich source of information- the information that you can retrieve and use it for generating actionable intelligence.

You might wonder how to retrieve such massive amount of data.

No worries.

Web mining is the one-stop solution for your information retrieval and data analysis.

You can discover a lot if you wield the right sort of web mining tools. These tools can enable you to extract, clean and analyze data so that you can arrive at valuable insights with the help of data visualization.

Any guesses how web mining tools can be used for the world of business?

Yes, you are right. You can derive business intelligence by discovering correlations and network of patterns so that you can work out the future trends based on the past data. This can help you shape your business strategy.

With the growing importance of web mining, the web mining tools have also rapidly come up. There are several tools and software available to work out the business insights and intelligence.

Don’t get surprised if you come across even free open source web mining tools like Bixo with which you can carry out link analysis. You can also leverage a tool like Scrapy to mine content, for instance web scrapping.

With a variety of tools at your disposal, you can get it all mixed up. So it’s necessary to understand how each tool works and which one perfectly suits your requirements.

But before you understand different tools, it would be great to explore web mining a bit and see how it works.

What’s Web Mining?

Well, in simple terms, web mining is the way you apply data mining techniques so that you can extract knowledge from web data. This web data could be a number of things. It could be web documents, hyperlinks between documents and/or usage logs of web sites etc.

Once you have the extracted information, you could analyze it to derive insights as per your requirement. For instance, you could align your marketing or sales strategy based on the results that your web mining throws up.

Since you have access to a lot of data, you have got your finger on the market pulse. You can study customer behavior patterns to know and understand what the customers want. You can correlate it to your own business structure and strategy to see how you can reconfigure things at your end. With this sort of analysis of data, you can discover internal bottlenecks and troubleshoot. Overall, you can get ahead of everyone in terms of how you anticipate the industry trends and plan accordingly.

You will get to see more benefits of web mining later in the blog.

Web mining can be divided into three categories based on the data to be mined.

Web Mining Research

1. Web Content Mining

Web content mining has seen rapid development primarily because the web has seen rapid growth of content.

Considering the fact that there are billions of web pages with lots and lot of such data, and the web pages are getting added on a continuous basis. In addition to this, an average user is no longer just a consumer of information but a disseminator and creator of content.

A web page has a lot of data; it could be text, images, audio, video or structured records such as lists or tables. Web content mining is all about extracting useful information from the data that the web page is made of.

Web content mining applies the principles and techniques of data mining and knowledge discovery process.

2.Web Structure Mining

Web structure mining focuses on creating a sort of structural summary about web pages and web sites. Based on the hyperlinks and document structure, such a structural summary is generated.

What web structure mining accomplishes that it discovers association of hyperlinks at document level. Algorithms like Pagerank and hyperlink induced search algorithm are employed to achieve this.

Web structure mining is particularly useful in improving marketing strategies by discovering relationship and link hierarchy between web pages.

3. Web Usage Mining

Web usage mining focuses its attention on the users. It is used to work out the analysis of website users based on the web site logs.

Different logs like web server log, customer log, program log, application server log etc. come into play. Web usage mining attempts to find out useful information based on the interaction of users.

Web usage mining is important because it can help organizations find out the life-time value of clients, design cross-marketing strategies across products and services, evaluate the efficacy of promotional campaigns, optimize the functionality of web-based applications and provide more personalized content to visitors for their web space.

Best Web Mining Tools

1. Data Miner (Web Content Mining Tool)

Data Miner

Overview/Introduction

Data Miner is a well known data mining tool. It’s a great tool because it is hugely effective in extracting data from web pages. It provides the extracted data into CSV file or Excel spreadsheet.

Data Miner has more than 40,000 public recipes for many of the well known sites.

With the help of these recipes, you can easily get structured data that you require.

Features

  • Extract Tables & Lists
  • 1 click scraping
  • Scrape paginated results
  • Scrape pages behind login / firewall
  • Scrape dynamic ajax content
  • Automatically fill forms

Price Free

  • Scrape 500 pages /month
  • No support
  • Restricted some domains

Paid

  • Scrape 500 pages / month ( $ 19.99 / month )
  • Scrape 1000 pages / month ( $ 49 / month )
  • Scrape 4000 pages / month ( $ 99 / month )
  • Scrape 9000 pages / month ( $ 200 / month )

With

  • Access to all features
  • Full email support
  • Scrape all domains

API Integration

  • API not available

How to download data

  • You can download data in CSV

Customer Support

  • Full Email support
  • Phone support
  • Tutorial video, screenshots, documentation are available for education and training

Limitations

  • No efficient pagination
  • Does not provide in-built deduplication
  • Technical support is paid

2. Google Analytics (Web Usage Mining Tool)

Google Analytics Solutions

Overview/Introduction

Google Analytics is considered to be one of the best business analytics tool. It can track and report website traffic.

You can effectively carry out web usage mining. More than 50% of the people in the world use it for website analysis.

Google Analytics is an important tool because it can help you evaluate how effective your company’s online marketing and presence is.

With the help of this tool, you can carry out effective data analysis for gleaning insights for the business.

It’s a wonderful tool as it helps you understand and improve the performance of your website and channel performance.

Features

  • Advertising and Campaign performance analysis
  • Analysis and testing of website
  • Audience Characteristic and Behavior analysis
  • Easy integration with Google’s product like, Adsense, Adwords, Google Display Network, Google Tag Manager, etc
  • Sales and conversion tool
  • Data analysis on site and app performance

Price

Free: For basic version

Paid: Based on your website usage

API integration

  • Custom API for data access and collection

How to download Data

  • Through API and dashboard, you can download reports.

Customer support

  • Support available for free and paid version
  • Video and documentation available for education and training

Limitations

  • 10 millions of hits (interactions) per month per property is allowed with the free version of Google Analytics.
  • Google analytics tracking will not work if user blocked cookies in the browser. In this case, no data will be recorded.
  • Google analytics does not provide organic keywords for users who are signed in.
  • Google analytics maintains the history of only 25 months.

3. SimilarWeb (Web usage mining tool)

Similar Web

Overview / Introduction

SimilarWeb is a powerful business intelligence tool. It offers traffic and marketing insights for any website.

With this tool, users can get a quick overview of a site’s research, ranking and user engagement.

SimilarWeb Pro is a market leader across the world as far as web measurement and online competitive intelligence is concerned.

It compares website traffic, uncover valuable insights about the sites of competitors and find out growth opportunities.

SimilarWeb Pro is a well known BI solution. It is renowned for its analysis of competitive intelligence and web measurement.

It uses the biggest international online panel and provides analytics tools that enable to access traffic statistics for any of your websites.

In effect, it also helps you track website traffic and traffic enhancement strategies for various sites at the same time. In all, SimilarWeb is a great tool because it can help you track your complete business health, track opportunities and make effective business decisions.

Features

  • Traffic and engagement metrics
  • Search engine optimization and PPC keywords
  • Audience interests
  • Traffic source
  • Industry leaders
  • Google play keyword analysis

Price

Free plan:

  • 5 Results Per Website Metric
  • 3 Months of Traffic Data
  • 3 Months of Mobile App Analysis Data

Premium plan:

  • Custom plan by Quote

API Integration

You can integrate API for your personal usage and share or integrate with other service.

How to download Data

  • It allows user to customize reporting and download data via dashboard or API call.

Customer support

  • Support from Phone or ticket system
  • To learn more about it, training videos and webinar are available.

Limitations

  • Traffic estimates are set to full months only; it’s impossible to set specific date ranges (in free version).
  • It estimates only desktop traffic, not considering mobile and tablets.
  • The number of unique visitors is not available.
  • Traffic estimates should be treated carefully, especially with smaller websites.
  • Does not cover 100% web traffic

4. Majestic (Web structure mining tool):

Majestic

Overview / introduction

Majestic is a hugely effective business analytic tool that provides services for Search Engine Optimization strategies, marketing firms, website developers and media analysts. With the help of this tool, you can get reliable and latest data so that you can analyze the performance of your websites and your competition. You can become completely clear about your site’s ranking in terms of backlinks.

The data you get from this tool can help you categorize every page and domain by link analysis or link mining.

Majestic can help you access the world’s biggest Link Index Database.

Features

  • Campaigns
  • Site explorer
  • Bulk backlinks
  • Search explorer
  • URL submitter
  • Keyword checker
  • Neighbourhood checker
  • Compare tool
  • Clique hunter
  • Backlink history
  • Majestic plugins

Price

Lite – $ 49 / month

  • 1 User
  • 1 million analysis units

Pro – $ 99.99 / month

  • All Lite features
  • 1 User
  • 20 million analysis units
  • Email alerts

Full API – starts at $399.99/month

  • All Pro features
  • Starts at 100 million analysis units

API Integration

  • API plans include all LITE and PRO tools and benefits, and allow up to 5 users to share a login without hitting concurrency limits.

How to download Data

  • By dashboard or API, you can easily get data.

Customer support

  • Lots of how-to-videos for education and training
  • Forums and email support for help
  • live demo

Limitations

  • Not easy to compare backlinks to competitor sites
  • Need a lot of time to analyze data to get the most out of the tool
  • Does not have a “pretty” interface-the data leaves a lot to be desired
  • Some charts are difficult to read/interpret
  • No keyword difficulty rankings and management.
  • No SERP results or landing page alignment.
  • No CPC/PPC metrics.
  • Custom Majestic metrics can be confusing.

5. Scrapy (Web content mining tool)

Scrapy

Overview/Introduction

Scrapy is a great web mining tool. It can help you extract data from the websites. It is considered to be a complete solution as a web scraping tool because it can manage requests, preserve user sessions, follow redirects and handle output pipelines.

Features

  • Selecting and extracting data from HTML / XML
  • Interactive Shell Console
  • Cookie and session handling
  • HTTP features like compression, authentication, caching
  • Requests are scheduled and processed asynchronously

Price

  • Free and Open Source

API Integration

  • Well defined API for extracting web data

How to download Data

  • You can download data in multiple formats like JSON, CSV , XML and store them in multiple backends (FTP, AMAZON S3, local file system)

Customer support

  • Communities (in Github, reddit, StackOverflow and Twitter) provide help.
  • Nice documentation to learn Scrapy

Limitations

  • Slow when extracting data in bulk
  • Can’t parse JavaScript

6. Bixo (Web structure mining tool)

Bixo

Overview/Introduction

Bixo is an excellent web mining open source tool that runs a series of Cascading pipes on top of Hadoop.

By building a customized Cascading pipe assembly, you can quickly work out specialized web mining applications that are optimized for a particular use case.

Features

  • Fetch Subassembly
  • Parse Subassembly

Price

  • Free & Open Source Tool

API Integration

  • No API

How to download Data

  • You can download in local storage or in AWS-S3

Customer support

  • Yahoo Groups , Issue Tracker and Online Contact for Help
  • Documentation to learn

Limitations

  • Less documentation to understand this tool
  • No Data visualization

Why Web Mining is so important for you?

We live in the world defined by e-commerce, e-governance, e-market, e-finance, e-learning and e-banking etc.

It’s simply challenging to maintain live contact with customer and understand how they think and feel. Processes have anyway gone online and hence the live contact and human interaction have gone down.

However, it is imperative for a business to keep tracking how customers feel and how they behave. Therefore, intelligent marketing strategies and CRM are the need of the hour. Web mining tools serve as the same for discovering insights and models to improve business further.

There are various reasons why web mining crucial for the growth of business. A few of them are discussed below:

To analyze website traffic

You need to keep tracking how your website is doing. You would naturally want to know from where the user arrived at your website, what they did and whether or not they converted. In addition, you would want to know a lot of additional and miscellaneous details.

This is where web mining tools come into play. They can enable you to extract the data and discover insights and connections related to the aspects of your website traffic quite easily!

For Competitive Analysis

The world of business has gone to the next level of competition. The competition actually defines the rules of the game in e-commerce etc. You would definitely want to keep track of how your competition is going about things. You would want to carry out competitive analysis, identify strengths and weaknesses of your competition and work out the more effective marketing strategies for your products and services.

Look no further, all you need to do is leverage these web mining tools!

For Lead Generation

Web mining tools can transform the way you identify leads, page popularity, the time users spent on your website, entrances, conversion, bounce rate, exit rate, users’ geographical locations, device usage (mobile, tablet or desktop), landing pages and behavior flow.

You can have a competitive advantage if you capitalize on the power of web mining tools.

For Collecting Data

Web mining tools can also help you if you wish to extract web data from analytics providers, market research firms, business directories, industry blogs, news sites, e-commerce websites etc.

For Website Improvement

Your website is your online presence in the digital space. Users eventually look at your website to judge how good you are in your business. So it is crucial that you keep looking for ways to improve your website.

If you want to check website usability, loading time, accelerate mobile pages, all you need a robust web mining tool. With the help of tools listed in this article, you can keep improving your website and enhance your online presence on a continuous basis!

For Business Intelligence

Today, the businesses which do well are invariably businesses which leverage business intelligence. They have access to data and analyze it to the minutest of details to glean business insights to propel their business to the next level.

They keep striving to understand customers’ purchasing intention a lot better, the trends of purchase behavior, and identify the potential customers for their products and services.

You are no different; you can also boost your business with the help of competitive advantage that business intelligence can produce. You simply need to effectively use the web mining tools and you will be in a much better position to understand and work out strategies for your business.

Whether it’s better relationship with customers or effective resource planning, you can do it all quite effectively based on the insights you generate from the web mining tools.

Rounding it Off

Web mining tools are many and each one has its pros and cons. It depends on what your business is and the kind of insights you are looking for.

If you can identify your needs and accordingly look for a tool that maps with your needs, you will be able to generate the competitive advantage you are looking for.

The world of web mining continues to grow and expand. Many more tools are out there that you might come across. If you come across a great tool, we would love to hear about it.

Do drop your comments in the comments section!

Do write to us about how this succinct guide regarding web mining tools helped you!

We wish you happy web mining!