Automated Web Scraping – Easy retrieval Of reliable structured Web Data
WebscrapingAPI on Nov 08 2022
What is Automated Web Scraping?
Automated web scraping uses specialized software to extract structured web data. It is also called data scraping or web data extraction.
Data is the lifeblood of the business. The management must continuously track varying business information and data from the internet to put operational processes in place and assess performance. But, because this data is often dispersed across unstructured web sources, retrieving it takes time and effort.
This software checks web pages to see if they contain the necessary information. Another automated scraping solution involves a custom-built web crawling system that browses the internet and scrapes all online pages that meet its search parameters.
Automated data scraping can collect necessary data even from sources with no structure. You can upload files and, if necessary, complete forms. Thus, companies and people increasingly use web scraping to collect structured data from the internet.
Product details, text, photos, client testimonials, and price comparisons are among the scrapable data sets. A robust data extraction tool has become essential to conducting business and retaining customers since organizations scrape data to stay competitive in their sector.
This post discusses the advantages of web data extraction tools, their applications, and popular web scraping solutions.
You can end the need for manual scraping or script writing by using automated data scraping, transformation, and transportation solutions. Also, an innovative scraping system with sophisticated processing and filtering algorithms might seamlessly connect the collected data with your IT infrastructure, closing the gap between unstructured data and commercial mobile or web apps.
An automated web scraper can handle the following:
- Web browsers
- Optical Character Recognition (OCR)
- Microsoft Exchange
- Excel and CSV files
- PDF documents
Yet, it's important to remember that web scraping only covers the ethical capture of publicly accessible data from the web. It excludes the selling of personal data by both people and companies. Businesses that use data scraping as a business tool typically do so to help them make decisions.
Web data extraction may retrieve vast amounts of data in a single operation that would take countless hours and days to do manually.
Automated Web Scraping Advantages
Web data extraction offers many benefits making it an attractive option in the digital world, including:
- Time and Flexibility
The approach enables you to quickly scrape many websites at once without tracking and managing each request. Also, you only need to set it up once, and it will squeeze an entire website in an hour or less rather than the week it would take a human.
This is the major problem that automated data scraping came up to address. Additionally, you can customize the scrapers if you wish to change the scraping parameters. Furthermore, web scrapers are simple because you don't need to worry about creating, downloading, integrating, or installing them. So, once you finish the setup, you are ready to start web scraping.
Using web scraping software makes it possible to get helpful information much more accurately than would be workable if people searched. The capacity to customize company websites, social media, and products to improve client satisfaction and market performance comes with this increased accuracy.
- Enhance productivity
You can boost productivity using the time saved by collecting the enormous data sets web scraping offers to do other tasks. Data retrieval and parsing in this manner also shorten the learning curve businesses must go through to align themselves with market trends.
- Faster and more accessible data analysis/Trend tracking
You can automatically generate insights using web scraping tools and systems, allowing you to respond to change quicker and take well-timed, efficient action. You can create notifications and alerts about the significant changes and discoveries observed besides visualizing the outcomes of autonomous data extraction.
Thus, you can make well-considered data-driven decisions on your company's business plan by gaining real-time insight into the scraped data. For instance, you might forecast an increase in demand for your products or services at a particular time by keeping an eye on the behavior of your target audience. Thus, you can maintain the required quantity of merchandise in stock to prevent shortages and ensure the satisfaction of your clients.
Automated web scraping is a complex solution available at a modest price. It eliminates the need to invest in developing a complex system or employ more people. Given that time is money and the web is evolving at an accelerated rate, a professional data collection project is only possible with the automation of repetitive processes.
What are the uses of automated data scraping?
One of the primary automated web scraping applications is price intelligence. Modern e-commerce businesses who wish to make better pricing/marketing decisions based on data must extract product and pricing information from e-commerce websites and transform it into insight.
Benefits of price intelligence and web pricing data:
- Brand and MAP compliance
- Product trend monitoring
- Dynamic pricing
- Revenue optimization
- Competitor monitoring
Market research firms and analysts can determine consumer sentiment by monitoring news stories, online product reviews, and feedback. Automated data extraction is helpful for:
- Market pricing
- Market trend analysis
- Competitor monitoring
- Optimizing point of entry
- Research and development
By incorporating web-scraped product data into everyday business, agents and brokerages can protect against top-down online competition and make informed decisions within the market.
Integrating web-scraped product data into regular operations can help agents and brokerages safeguard against top-down online competition. It also helps them make wise market decisions, including:
- Estimating rental yields
- Monitoring vacancy rates
- Appraising property value
- Understanding market trends
Automated data scraping is essential for many purposes in the financial sector. Automated web extraction solutions help to collect information and insight from news stories to guide investment strategies.
Protecting your internet reputation should be a key priority in today's competitive market. Web scraping can provide you with the information you need for brand monitoring.
This is the most challenging task for inbound marketers. It is also essential for marketing and sales activity. You can use web data extraction to get structured lead lists from the web.
Accessing your data can be difficult in various circumstances. Automated data extraction can provide the best way to extract data from your or your partner's website.
Other uses for web data extraction include:
- SEO Monitoring
- Academic research
- Risk management and competitor analysis
- Data-driven marketing and lead generation
- News, journalism, and reputation monitoring
Choosing Web Scraping Tools
A significant amount of web data is unstructured. So, you need mechanisms to help draw valuable conclusions from it. Automated web scraping tools are available in different designs and varying strengths.
The best web data extraction solutions are those that interact with users and cater to their specific data retrieval needs. So, before choosing a web extraction tool, there are a few things to consider, including:
Because your needs for data scraping grow with time, the solution you select should be scalable. So, choosing a web scraping tool that doesn't slow down as data demand would be best.
- Transparency in pricing
The pricing structure should provide all explicit information; no hidden charges should appear later. Select a company that is transparent about its business strategy and doesn't mince words when discussing the features they offer.
- Easy to use
Although most extraction software has user guides for easy use, only some want to do the same web browser or similar extraction chores. While some users might prefer a web crawler made to function with Mac OS, others might prefer a scraping tool that works well with Windows.
Any given web crawler's user interface needs to be one in which you may interact without spending much time getting used to the application.
- Supported data formats
JSON is another format most effective web crawler because it's simple for computers to parse and straightforward for humans to understand. Other data formats include Extensible Markup Language (XML) and Structured Query Language (SQL), which are more suited to specialized databases.
- Handling Anti-Scraping Mechanisms
Some websites have anti-scraping safeguards in place. You can avoid these barriers by making little adjustments to the crawler if you think you have reached a wall with this. Choose a web crawler that has a reliable internal mechanism that helps it get over these obstacles.
- Customer support
Regardless of the web scraping tool you select, it is always advisable to go with one that offers high customer care support. The top online scraping solutions often include 24-hour customer support as part of their base prices.
Top 7 web scraping tools
Here are some of the most popular automated web scraping tools.
1. Web Scraping API
Web Scraping API allows you to collect unlimited structured data without blocks from any URL. So, you can give everyone in your firm ready-to-process data by using a simple API to retrieve HTML from any web page.
The tool takes care of every aspect of web scraping, including headless browsers, CAPTCHAs, and rotating proxies. Other Web Scraping API benefits include:
- Proxy API
- Ideal for developers
- Bypass geo-location restrictions
- Extract accurate data from any URL
The starter plan is 49 per month, while the Pro package is available for $799 monthly.
2. Bright Data (Luminati Networks)
Bright Data offers risk-free and compliant access to reliable data thanks to its scalable dashboard and capacity for any size data set. Bright Data web scrapers are designed for any use case or customer and have the following features:
- Search engine crawler
- No-code, open-source proxy management
- Browser extension
- Data unblocker
- Proxy API
Bright Data plan prices, like Data Collector or Proxy Infrastructure, vary depending on the solution. But most plans are customizable with sub-features. 7 days free trial
With inbuilt residential and data center proxies enhanced for data extraction, Apify is a data scraping and automation tool that lets you develop an API for any website. Apify Store includes ready-made scraping solutions for popular websites like Google Maps, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
Developers can get passive income by building solutions for others, while Apify handles infrastructure and payment. Features:
- No-code, open-source proxy management
- Proxy API
- Browser extension
- Search engine crawler
- Hundreds of ready-to-use tools
Apify has a lifetime free basic plan. The personal plan starts at $49.
AvesAPI delivers targeted structured data scrapping from Google Search and targets agencies and developers. AvesAPI is ideal for SEO because it utilizes a distributed system and has the potential to extract millions of keywords fast. Additionally, this tool may be helpful to marketing professionals.
AvesAPI features include:
- Top 100 results from anywhere
- Parsed shopping product data
- Geo-targeted results
AvesAPI offers a free trial service, and paid subscriptions range from $50 for 25,000 searches to $3,500 for 1 million queries.
ParseHub is free and popular and comes in a handy downloadable app style. This sophisticated web scraper allows you to get data with a single click. One of the most versatile data scraping tools enables you to get your retrieved data in any format for analysis.
ParseHub benefits include:
- REST API
- Infinite scroll
- JSON or CSV data formatting
- Automatic cloud-based storage
- Ability to schedule data collection
- IP rotation and regular expressions
But, ParseHub's free plan has few of its best features. ParseHub offers paid plans starting at $189 per month.
You can get a variety of data from the web with Diffbot. You can spend money on something other than pricey web scraping or laborious investigation. You can use the tool's AI extractors to retrieve structured data from any URL.
Diffbot benefits include:
- Clean text and HTML
- CSV or JSON data formatting
- Customized crawling controls
- Selective structured searches
- APIs for images, discussions, articles, products, and videos
14-day free trial. Plans start at $299 a month and can serve tech companies and developers who need powerful web scraping tools.
7. Scraping Dog
Scrapingdog provides HTML data from any website with just one API call, making web scraping simple for developers and non-developers. Scrapingdog has the added benefit of a LinkedIn API, besides accessible handling browsers, proxies, and CAPTCHAs.
Other important Scrapingdog features include:
- Headless Chrome
- IP rotation
The Lite package from Scrapingdog costs $20 per month, while the Pro plan costs $200 per month. But if you get in touch with Scrapingdog for custom plans.
In the digital economy, businesses are becoming dependent on data. Almost every aspect of your business requires data. Automated data scraping is now an essential aspect of decision-making processes for businesses and organizations. Using web scraping software will give you a competitive advantage.
Monthly Plans range from $49 for the Starter plan to $799 for the Pro package.
So, start employing automated data scraping web scraping because it can assist you in achieving your desired business goal in the shortest amount of time.