How to Scrape LinkedIn Easily? (Top 3 Tools)

Retrieving information on LinkedIn can have many uses in the context of prospecting for example. LinkedIn is packed with publicly available information about millions of professionals. Find out why and how it can be interesting to scrape LinkedIn to extract data (and with which tools).

Disclaimer: the techniques presented in this article are for information purposes only. We remind you that the web scraping of personal data is subject to compliance with the Data Protection Act and the GDPR, as the CNIL reminds us on its website. Although publicly accessible data can be retrieved, if it is personal data, then it cannot be freely reused by any data controller and cannot be reused without the knowledge of the person concerned.

Why scrape LinkedIn?

First of all, it is important to define why doing scraping on Linkedin is interesting.

Web scraping consists of retrieving a certain amount of information from a website, in an automated way. This is a very common practice and very well known to web experts. Once the data is retrieved, the goal is usually to use it for one’s own benefit.

As you can imagine, there are hundreds of thousands of information to take on LinkedIn, which concerns professionals. You can have different uses for the information scraped on LinkedIn: obtaining data on your competitors, prospecting, etc. This is “free” information that is freely accessible but be careful, not freely reusable.

Legal limits

One can indeed ask the question of the legality of this type of practice. Today, we are more and more careful with data protection, and this kind of process is most of the time not compliant with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Laws and the GDPR on scraping LinkedIn
Laws and the GDPR on scraping LinkedIn

There are indeed a number of elements to take into account in this reflection:

  • Of course, the scraped data must be publicly accessible.
  • According to LinkedIn’s T&Cs, it is not allowed to “web-scrape” to use the data for commercial purposes.
  • The person’s consent must be taken into account when collecting their data. If you want to scrape information for emailing, you need the person’s consent beforehand. Otherwise, she must already be a customer of your company, or you do not contact her for commercial reasons.
  • It is also necessary to respect the right of opposition of the person, thanks to links of opposition.
  • You must respect the data retention periods in the context of direct marketing. Indeed, you can only keep this data for 3 years after collection or since the last time the person contacted you.
  • Finally, you have to comply with the GDPR. That is to say, you have to limit the collection of data, inform the people concerned, and take good care of your scraping process (study the impact on privacy, etc.)

You understood it, LinkedIn strictly prohibits web scraping and the practice remains widely challenged by data regulations.

Nevertheless, nothing technically prevents you from doing it and many tools have even specialized in linkedin scraping. In addition, even though web scraping is prohibited by LinkedIn, the information you are going to retrieve is in fact freely accessible online. A few years ago, in the United States, a company won its case against LinkedIn by playing on this argument. Even if by registering on LinkedIn, one undertakes to ” not develop, support or use software, devices, scripts, robots or any other means or process intended to perform web scraping“.

Everyone will have their opinion on the question, the law and the conditions prohibit this process in a way, but tools continue to exist and companies have even won lawsuits against LinkedIn (even if it is in the USA). It is everyone’s responsibility for this matter.

The 3 Best Scraping Tools for LinkedIn

Even if the question of the legality of this practice is not clearly resolved, there are all the same tools to scrape LinkedIn easily. They all have a different way of collecting data on LinkedIn but will ultimately allow you to achieve the same goal.

Phantombuster: Get Email Addresses on LinkedIn and Sales Navigator

The first tool we have to present to you is PhantomBuster. It is a well-known automation tool in data mining on the web. He offers you a large number of automations for LinkedIn and Sales Navigator. We find in particular:

  • Exporting search results
  • Exporting users from a group or search
  • Export of profile data (including email addresses)
  • Automation of connections with a list of users
  • Automation of sending messages
  • Export of business information
  • etc.
Scraping LinkedIn with Phantombuster
Scraping LinkedIn with Phantombuster

The advantage of PhantomBuster is thatit can also help you on other sites. It has features for Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Google, Google Maps and many more sites.

Of course, all of this has a price. Even though there is a free account, it is relatively limited. For paid accounts, it will take between $30 and $900 per month, depending on your needs and budget.

Evaboot, the Chrome extension for scraping LinkedIn

Evaboot has a very simple operation: it is a extension to install on your Google Chrome browser. Thanks to Evaboot, you will be able to obtain all the information of the profiles that make up your target. Evaboot will do all the work for you: it will find the contacts then it will export them directly to CSV.

Even though Evaboot lacks a bit of integrations with marketing software and/or customer relationship management, it’s already a lot of work that is made easier.

For scraping information only, without emails, pricing starts at $29 per month. If you add more emails, we go to $49. It’s not nothing but it’s about the prices of all these tools.

Scraping LinkedIn with Evaboot
Scraping LinkedIn with Evaboot

Waalaxy ProspectIn, the web-scraping tool dedicated to LinkedIn

Waalaxy is a site very well known for its excellent content on its blog, but also for its prospecting tools. Here too, we will work with an extension for Google Chrome to obtain all the data that interests us.

The process is simple: in a few clicks, you will have all the information you are looking for on dozens of potential customers. Just go to a list of people on LinkedIn (in your connections or your search results) then create a list with the icon that appears at the top right. You select the number of people to export, the list where the data goes, and off you go!

Then, the data is exported to the list you selected, all you have to do is download it, if you want to have it in CSV.

Scraping LinkedIn with Waalaxy
Scraping LinkedIn with Waalaxy

Are there anti-scraping solutions to protect against these methods?

Maybe all these practices scare you as a LinkedIn user. You may not want someone to take advantage of your data without your consent to do prospecting or competitive research. Know that it is quite possible to protect yourself from this kind of practice on LinkedIn, and more generally on the web.

Already, you should know that LinkedIn tries itself to prevent this kind of practice. Indeed, LinkedIn developers are working on algorithms that manage to detect profiles that are used to collect massive data on the social network. This robot works thanks to artificial intelligence, with machine learning to continuously learn and improve.

Moreover, the “robot” of LinkedIn also struggles with automations, not just scraping. Profiles that have suspicious activity, too much for example, take warnings and then end up being permanently blocked. Maybe it even happened to you one day when you added too many people.

However, it is clear that there are always tools to do it. According to LinkedIn, we must trust them to protect us. It is also necessary, always according to them, be aware of the information that is allowed to appear in a public profile. If you don’t want something to appear freely on the web, don’t say so. This is the simplest and most radical solution.

You now know what you are incurring, the benefits and the tools for scraping on LinkedIn. Although effective, this practice must be carried out in compliance with the regulations under penalty of prosecution and fines by the CNIL. What do you think of scraping on LinkedIn? Do not hesitate to give us feedback in the comments or on our social networks!

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