Webscraping Meaning

Some websites can contain a very large amount of invaluable data.

Stock prices, product details, sports stats, company contacts, you name it.

If you wanted to access this information, you’d either have to use whatever format the website uses or copy-paste the information manually into a new document. Here’s where web scraping can help.

  • Photo by michael podger on Unsplash Introducing web scraping Simply put, web scraping is one of the tools developers use to gather and analyze information from the Internet. Some websites and platforms offer application programming interfaces (APIs) which we can use to access information in a structured way, but others might not.
  • Get ParseHub for free: out our starter guide on web scraping!0:00 Intro0:28 Web Scraping Explained 1:02 How web scrapers work2:20.
  • Web scraping is a term for various methods used to collect information from across the Internet. Generally, this is done with software that simulates human Web surfing to collect specified bits of information from different websites.

What is Web Scraping?

Web scraping meaning in telugu

Sep 17, 2018 Web scraping has existed for a long time and, in its good form, it’s a key underpinning of the internet. “Good bots” enable, for example, search engines to index web content, price comparison services to save consumers money, and market researchers to gauge sentiment on social media.

Work

Web scraping refers to the extraction of data from a website. This information is collected and then exported into a format that is more useful for the user. Be it a spreadsheet or an API.

Although web scraping can be done manually, in most cases, automated tools are preferred when scraping web data as they can be less costly and work at a faster rate.

Web Scraping Meaning In Hindi

But in most cases, web scraping is not a simple task. Websites come in many shapes and forms, as a result, web scrapers vary in functionality and features.

If you want to find the best web scraper for your project, make sure to read on.

How do Web Scrapers Work?

Automated web scrapers work in a rather simple but also complex way. After all, websites are built for humans to understand, not machines.

First, the web scraper will be given one or more URLs to load before scraping. The scraper then loads the entire HTML code for the page in question. More advanced scrapers will render the entire website, including CSS and Javascript elements.

Then the scraper will either extract all the data on the page or specific data selected by the user before the project is run.

Ideally, the user will go through the process of selecting the specific data they want from the page. For example, you might want to scrape an Amazon product page for prices and models but are not necessarily interested in product reviews.

Lastly, the web scraper will output all the data that has been collected into a format that is more useful to the user.

Most web scrapers will output data to a CSV or Excel spreadsheet, while more advanced scrapers will support other formats such as JSON which can be used for an API.

What Kind of Web Scrapers are There?

Web scrapers can drastically differ from each other on a case-by-case basis.

For simplicity’s sake, we will break down some of these aspects into 4 categories. Of course, there are more intricacies at play when comparing web scrapers.

  • self-built or pre-built
  • browser extension vs software
  • User interface
  • Cloud vs Local

Self-built or Pre-built

Just like how anyone can build a website, anyone can build their own web scraper.

However, the tools available to build your own web scraper still require some advanced programming knowledge. The scope of this knowledge also increases with the number of features you’d like your scraper to have.

On the other hand, there are numerous pre-built web scrapers that you can download and run right away. Some of these will also have advanced options added such as scrape scheduling, JSON and Google Sheets exports and more.

Browser extension vs Software

In general terms, web scrapers come in two forms: browser extensions or computer software.

Browser extensions are app-like programs that can be added onto your browser such as Google Chrome or Firefox. Some popular browser extensions include themes, ad blockers, messaging extensions and more.

Web scraping extensions have the benefit of being simpler to run and being integrated right into your browser.

However, these extensions are usually limited by living in your browser. Meaning that any advanced features that would have to occur outside of the browser would be impossible to implement. For example, IP Rotations would not be possible in this kind of extension.

On the other hand, you will have actual web scraping software that can be downloaded and installed on your computer. While these are a bit less convenient than browser extensions, they make up for it in advanced features that are not limited by what your browser can and cannot do.

User Interface

The user interface between web scrapers can vary quite extremely.

For example, some web scraping tools will run with a minimal UI and a command line. Some users might find this unintuitive or confusing.

What is web scraping

On the other hand, some web scrapers will have a full-fledged UI where the website is fully rendered for the user to just click on the data they want to scrape. These web scrapers are usually easier to work with for most people with limited technical knowledge.

Some scrapers will go as far as integrating help tips and suggestions through their UI to make sure the user understands each feature that the software offers.

Cloud vs Local

From where does your web scraper actually do its job?

Local web scrapers will run on your computer using its resources and internet connection. This means that if your web scraper has a high usage of CPU or RAM, your computer might become quite slow while your scrape runs. With long scraping tasks, this could put your computer out of commission for hours.

Additionally, if your scraper is set to run on a large number of URLs (such as product pages), it can have an impact on your ISP’s data caps.

Cloud-based web scrapers run on an off-site server which is usually provided by the company who developed the scraper itself. This means that your computer’s resources are freed up while your scraper runs and gathers data. You can then work on other tasks and be notified later once your scrape is ready to be exported.

This also allows for very easy integration of advanced features such as IP rotation, which can prevent your scraper from getting blocked from major websites due to their scraping activity.

What are Web Scrapers Used For?

By this point, you can probably think of several different ways in which web scrapers can be used. We’ve put some of the most common ones below (plus a few unique ones).

Web
  • Scraping site data before a website migration
  • Scraping financial data for market research and insights

The list of things you can do with web scraping is almost endless. After all, it is all about what you can do with the data you’ve collected and how valuable you can make it.

Web Scraping Meaning In English

Read our Beginner's guide to web scraping to start learning how to scrape any website!

The Best Web Scraper

So, now that you know the basics of web scraping, you’re probably wondering what is the best web scraper for you?

The obvious answer is that it depends.

The more you know about your scraping needs, the better of an idea you will have about what’s the best web scraper for you. However, that did not stop us from writing our guide on what makes the Best Web Scraper.

Of course, we would always recommend ParseHub. Not only can it be downloaded for FREE but it comes with an incredibly powerful suite of features which we reviewed in this article. Including a friendly UI, cloud-based scrapping, awesome customer support and more.

Web Scraping Meaning In Education

Want to become an expert on Web Scraping for Free? Take ourfree web scraping courses and become Certified in Web Scraping today!

So, you’ve heard all about web scraping.

Now, it’s time to build your first web scraping project and you might not know where to begin.

One of the first steps toward completing your project will be choosing a web scraping technique.

Today, we’ll review some of the most popular web scraping techniques and which might be the best fit for your business.

What is Web Scraping?

First, a quick refresher on web scraping.

As you may already know, web scraping refers to the extraction of data from any website. Due to its broad definition web scraping can be done in many different ways.

However, you must make sure you don’t confuse web scraping with data mining or APIs.

Want to learn more? Read our guide on what web scraping is and what it is used for.

Web Scraping Techniques

With the refresher out of the way, let’s break down the most common web scraping techniques.

Manual Scraping

Not surprisingly, web scraping can be done manually. All you need is the ability to copy/paste information and a spreadsheet to keep track of the extracted data.

This method comes with many pros and cons.

Pros

  • Arguably the easiest method of web scraping, no need to learn any new set of skills to perform the scraping
  • Allows for human checks of every data point to avoid errors or skip irrelevant data records during your extraction.
  • Due to how slow manual scraping can go, it is highly unlikely to get blocked from accessing the website you’re extracting data from.

Cons

  • Arguably the slowest method of web scraping. Even at top speeds, a web scraping bot will be significantly faster than a human at scraping data.
  • Time is money, therefore, manual web scraping can be quite expensive if only for the time investment. It can be even more expensive if you’re paying someone to do scrape the data.
  • With human precision also comes human error. Depending on how important data accuracy is for you, human error can cost you quite a lot.

Automated Scraping

On the other side of the spectrum, we have automated web scraping.

Automated web scraping tools have become increasingly popular due their ease of use and savings in time and costs.

These tools also come in many different shapes and sizes, from simple browser extensions to more powerful software solutions.

Pros

  • Allow for incredibly fast web scraping, extracting hundreds of records in mere seconds
  • Time=money. These tools allow for large savings in web scraping costs.
  • They are easy to use. Most modern web scrapers have implemented incredibly friendly UIs that allow anyone to scrape data from the web without the need for any coding skills.
  • Most web scrapers offer free plans to scrape data at even lower costs.
  • Modern web scrapers can be run on a schedule and made to output data to a Google Sheet or as a JSON file. Essentially creating a live API for any data set on the web.

Cons

  • Might require some slight training on how to use the tool itself. Some tools tackle this by implementing friendly UIs and tutorials.
  • Some websites actively try to block web scrapers from extracting their data. Some tools tackle this by using tools such as IP Rotation.
  • Lack of human checks while the data is being extracted. We recommend you review your data extractions from your web scraper before using the data set.

Outsourced Web Scraping

Lastly, we wanted to also discuss outsourced web scraping.

What Is Web-scraping

After all, you might not want to bother with managing your web scraping projects yourself. In this scenario, you might decide to outsource your web scraping projects.

In this case, you must be wary of the methods used by the contractor you have selected.

  • What web scraper techniques are they using?
  • Are they extracting data from sources you’ve approved of?
  • Do they allow you to review the data and ask for re-do’s as necessary?

What is the best web scraper?

You now might be wondering what’s the best web scraper for your project.

The truth is that it depends on your specific needs and projects. However, we’ve put together a guide on how to find the best web scraper for your project.

We obviously recommend ParseHub, a free a powerful web scraper than can extract data from any website.

Happy Scraping!