What is Web Mining? How it is different to data mining?

What is Web Mining?

Web mining is the use of data mining techniques to extract useful information from the web. Web mining is categorized into three categories: Web Content Mining, Web Structure Mining and Web Usage Mining. Below we discuss these three techniques in detail.

web mining
Figure 1: Web Mining

Categories of Web Mining

  1. Web Content Mining,
  2. Web Structure Mining
  3. Web Usage Mining

Web Content Mining

It is very similar to text mining. Web content mining is the application of extracting useful information from the content of the web documents. Web content consist of several types of data – text, image, audio, video etc. This type of mining performs scanning and mining of the text, images and groups of web pages according to the content of the input. For example: If a user wants to search for a particular keyword “book”, then the search engine provides the list of suggestions related to the keyword “book”.

Web Structure Mining

Web structure mining is the use of discovering structure information from the web. Web Structure Mining can be used to know the relationships among various web pages. It can be further used to analyze how the web pages are interlinked with one another. Moreover, structure mining can be used to find the ranking of web pages. The algorithms like page rank algorithm, HITS, Alexa are used to find the ranking of web pages. To determine the connection between two commercial websites, Web structure mining can be very useful.

Web Usage Mining

And these patterns enable you to understand the user behaviors or something like that. Web Usage mining is used to track the behavior of web users how the uses are accessing the website. This behavior is further used to recommend the personalized choices to the user in the further. The overall process of web usage mining is known as web personalization.

Applications of Web Mining

  1. Web mining assists to improve the power of a web search engine by classifying the web documents and identifying the web pages.
  2. It is used for Web Searching e.g., Google, Yahoo.
  3. Web mining is used to predict user behavior. For instance, you must have noticed on e-commerce websites like Amazon, Flipkart.
  4. Web mining is very useful of a particular Website and e-service e.g., landing page optimization.
  5. It can even useful for Marketing and conversion tool.
  6. Further it can be used for Data analysis on website and application accomplishment.
  7. Audience behavior analysis
  8. Advertising and campaign accomplishment analysis.
  9. Testing and analysis of a site.

Challenges in Web Mining

  1. The complexity of web pages.
  2. The web is a dynamic data source.
  3. Diversity of client networks.
  4. Relevancy of data.
  5. The web is too broad.

Difference between Data mining and Web mining

Data MiningWeb Mining
Data Mining attempts to discover pattern and hidden knowledge in large data sets in any system.Web Mining is the process of data mining techniques to automatically discover and extract information from web documents.
Data Mining is very useful for analysis of well known data.Web Mining is very useful for websites and e-service.
Target users are Data scientist and data engineers. for own use of a companyTarget users are Data scientists along with data analysts for own as well as for public benefits.
In Data Mining, the data is structured.In Web Mining, the data is semi- structured.
Tools which are in required for data mining includes tools like machine learning algorithms.Tools which are in required for data mining includes application level knowledge, data engineering with mathematical modules like statistics and probability.
Table 1: Difference between Data Mining and Web Mining

Research papers on Web Mining

To know the topic (web mining) in depth, it is now recommended reading research papers. Below i have recommended some good written research papers. You can download and read these research papers for free.

  1. Web mining: Information and pattern discovery on the world wide web“. This research paper is written by R cooley.
  2. Web mining research: A survey“. This paper is written by R Kosala.

Explore the latest questions and answers in Web Mining, and find Web Mining experts.

Explore the questions with answers on Research Gate.

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