Web scraping & crawling: Growth Hacks (Series 2/3)

  • 19/12/2017

While there are many growth hacks one can leverage to boost their digital presence and persona, the ones next on list are ones you may have not encountered easily but is sure to add tremendous value to you.

3. Sidestep useless guest post prospects by scraping RSS feeds
If a blogger has not posted in many weeks it is quite likely that he has lost interest in the particular blog and has moved on in life. It is futile to try and pursue these bloggers for a guest post on your website since they will turn you down, either by ignoring or in a polite manner – but will almost certainly be of no use to you.

It really helps to check the last published date to ascertain the activity status of the blogger. However, checking this manually is quite a cumbersome process and if you can automate this process with some simple scraping fundas, there’s nothing wrong about it, right?

The simple two-step process is to find the RSS feed of the blog and scrape the “PubDate” field from the feed.

The RSS feeds for most blogs can be found at This makes life much simpler because all you have to do is add ‘/feed/’ at the end of the domain URL. Not that this is a sure way to navigate around, but it sure is helpful in most cases.

The next step is to open a google sheet and enter “IMPORTXML” function and use the query “//pubDate” to populate the date of last post in the google sheet.

4.  As a digital marketer, one usually has the sense about what is working and what is not. However, it is always advisable to rely on real data. Talking about blog content, it is interesting to understand what kind of content is getting more readership, what categories are gaining popularity, how are multiple authors for the same platform faring against each other and similar more.

This is quite an interesting insight to determine future course of actions where a marketer or blogger can strategise in a manner to play on their strengths and fix whatever is going wrong with the weak links.

The best way to run this process is to scrape it in a systematic manner using platforms like screamingfrog. However, it is worth noting that such a scraping mechanism may yield actionable insights only if the blog is categorized in a disciplined fashion. Random categorization can lead to generating a false image and contribute to further disillusionment and fallacy in the strategy.


While these are pretty simple hacks, it sure to take your marketability to the next big level. Sometimes, the trick lies in knowing just where to hit the hammer hard.

Watch this space for more interesting growth hacks while leveraging web scraping and take your blogging and marketing skills and profile from zero to one. Coming up next, one of the most tried and tested hacks to yield organic traffic and make your digital self a star on the internet

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