How and Why to Scrape Websites: The Ultimate guide

WebscrapingAPI on Nov 15 2022

The amount of data in the online world is growing exponentially, and so is the need to collect this data from the internet. Data analytics has become a vital part of organizations with the surge in data. 

Web scraping is the process meant for extracting information and data from a website. It helps in transforming information into structured data for analysis. 

In this article, we shall look at how to scrape websites and, the benefits of scraping websites, how web scraping is vital for an organization to run smoothly and successfully. Web scraping has multiple advantages if used efficiently.

Web data extraction or web harvesting is another name for web scraping.                                   

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What is Website Scraping?

Website scraping is one of the best and easiest ways to collect information from various websites/web pages in a fast and efficient manner. 

When data is displayed by most websites, it is viewed using web browsers. These web browsers do not save all the data in a very user-friendly way. If you want to save data, it can only be saved as a web page. 

The issue with most web pages is that they only provide a single option to the user: copying and pasting data manually. Since these websites do not allow users to access data in a structured format or their site may not be as technologically advanced as others.

This is where a website scraping tool can be utilized and proves to be helpful.

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Scraping websites is an intelligent technique for extracting vast amounts of information from web pages/ websites. 

The data extracted from the websites can easily be saved in a spreadsheet format as a local file on your computer. Web scraping helps in automating the process of extracting data using scripts from various websites.

Scraping is an automatic technique to obtain massive data collected in an unstructured HTML format. This huge amount of data is further converted into structured data using spreadsheets/databases to be used in various places.

How does web scraping work?

Scrapers can successfully extract specific data as per the needs of the user. 

Note: It is better if you specify what data you need so that the web scraper can be done with the work in no time.

For example, you want to scrape an electronic appliance’s website for different types of microwaves available. You only need to extract data regarding other models of microwaves and not reviews or customer testimonials. 

What precisely happens during scraping is that the URLs are provided, and then all the HTML coding that there are loaded for the website. Any advanced scraper may even extract the Javascript and CSS elements.  

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Now, what the scraper does is it will obtain the required data from the HTML code and output the new data in a format that the user desires. The data obtained is usually in the form of a CSV file or spreadsheet. Other formats, such as JSON files, can also be used to save this data. 

Uses of Website Scraping/Web scraper

The world wide web is a storehouse of information. The uses of website scraping are immense, from eCommerce to machine learning. It is used in everything to extract data.

Accessing this data is of utmost importance to running a business in the modern world. 

Since most websites do not give you the option to save data, website scraping comes to your rescue. Website scraping is not just used for business purposes but even for personal requirements. 

The most common uses of website scraping are

  • Generating leads in marketing

Web scraping software can quickly help generate leads for marketing. Contact details such as email address,phone number can be scraped from websites containing yellow pages or listings given in google maps.

Website scraping offers a way to quickly and easily generate leads for marketing purposes. Scrapers can be used to extract email addresses, phone numbers and other contact details from web pages, providing marketers with a valuable resource for direct outreach campaigns.

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  • Monitoring competition

Comprehensive data is helpful in looking out for competition in the market. Good web scraping software is handy in keeping track of this competition by constantly watching the data.

  • E-Commerce

Various e-commerce websites, such as eBay, Amazon, etc., can be used to extract data on multiple products periodically. From product details to reviews to prices, everything can be extracted. 

Website scraping is commonly used by e-commerce companies to monitor competitor’s pricing, new product launches and promotional activities.

It helps the company identify changes in prices quickly and accurately, allowing them to react faster than their competitors.

It also enables a business to track its own performance over time within the industry, allowing it to make better decisions about how to use resources efficiently.

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  • Data Analysis

Analyzing data related to a specific product from multiple websites. The categories can vary from real estate to automobiles, marketing, gadgets, etc.

A specific category of websites displays information in other formats.

The data won’t necessarily be on one webpage but may be spanned across multiple pages.

Web scraper can help you to extract data/data scraping from various websites into one spreadsheet, making it easier for you to analyze the data easily.

  • Research

Any academic, scientific or even marketing research requires an immense amount of data. With a web scraper, you can gather data in a structured manner from multiple sources. 

  • Sports betting

Scraping websites like sports websites help in collecting betting odds from multiple bookmakers.

  • Other uses for data extraction

You can scrape websites to get hotel reviews, ratings, etc.

You can scrape websites to extract profile data from various platforms such as Linkedin, Facebook, etc.

Data scraping government websites for information which otherwise isn’t available for download. 

Now, let’s move on to look at the benefits of web scraping.

Benefits of Scraping Websites

Scraping websites can be of great benefit to businesses or services. It helps them to act fast and compete with competitors in the markets.

In Achieving success in a business, website scraping plays a pivotal role. 

Remember, not every piece of information from a website/web page is copy pasted, especially in huge data collection.

Also, manual data collection can be a long, tiring, tedious process with no guarantee of accuracy in data mining

With the scraping of websites, millions of data can be obtained by intelligence automation in a concise amount of time. Thus, saving immense amount of time and effort.

The various benefits of scraping websites that make it an attractive option in the digital world are

  • Time efficiency 

The topmost benefit of web scraping is that it is time-efficient and does not require too much maintenance, hence making it low-maintenance.

For instance, downloading vast amounts of data may take many hours, and analyzing it manually step by step can be a colossal waste of time. 

With scraping websites, you can quickly gather all information in one place in just seconds and save time that may be used to perform some other task. 

  • Cost-effective

Since the scraping market is vast, the service providers offer essential services at a competitive price, making it cheaper than hiring a company to do the same.

Cost efficiency is beneficial to everyone, especially those businesses which require data regularly. They end up saving a lot of money and time by doing things by themselves.

Scraping websites requires the internet at all times. Web scraping service providers offer to do this in a cost-effective, budget-friendly way.

  • Accuracy 

Scraping is so much better than human data collecting that it even beats humans at collecting data. Imagine doing something manually, something as trivial as data collection. Looks like a monumental task?

Even the simplest human error may lead to significant issues. With automated web scraping, you can get quick and reliable results, which would require the longest time from humans.

  • Highest quality

You don’t have to worry about the quality of data; the scraping service providers give access to suitable structures, high quality, and clean data.

  • Absolute Automation

Scraping services can easily be automated with machine learning and big data analytics. 

Automation can be a good option since it doesn’t get tedious or tiring, you never will get distracted, and there is no requirement for any breaks.

Manually reading through every document step by step isn’t as effective as automation, which will run an algorithm across a dataset which is way faster and much more effective. 

  • Tracking product performance

Another significant advantage/benefit of scraping websites is better product analysis.

Keeping track of all other products in the market, their sales data, reviews, and listings will give you a better insight into what your product can do better or anything additional that it requires.

And, of course, keeping track of your business and your competitors has never been this easier.

  • Easy implementation

A high volume of data is easily attainable once the scraping service begins. Rest assured, you will get data from the whole domain and not just a single page.

A one-time investment will lead to a massive volume of data.

  • Generation of leads 

For better conversion, generating leads is helpful. You can extract the contact details of the leads from millions of websites in a very short time. 

Once you have a list of leads, you can start sending them relevant information and a newsletter. Make sure that you refrain from spamming them. 

  • Making investment decisions

This is another benefit of scraping. Making an investment decision is complex and requires much work, such as experimentation, research, and preparing a hypothetical thesis. 

Analyzing historical data is the most effective way to test your investment thesis. This will help you know the root cause of your previous failures and successes, even the things you must avoid while investing.

You will get to see the investment that will yield a better outcome for you. 

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Those mentioned above are only a few benefits of web scraping and what it can do and achieve. Its applications are boundless, and the work that it does is phenomenal. 

Web scraping is the best way to achieve success in your business by obtaining large amounts of data with the necessary information in a routine manner. 

Ready to scrape websites? Signup with WebScrapingAPI today

WebScrapingAPI’s software makes your business grow twofold and collects clean data. With Scraper API, you can now get raw HTML from the millions of web pages out there using the API call, and you can provide ready-to-use data to everyone in your business.

WebScrapingAPI can automatically handle proxies and JavaScript with CAPTCHAs and real browsers. The products they offer are-

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  • Google Scraper API, through which you can scrape Google search engine pages and easily extract ads, maps, images, shopping data, reviews, ratings, knowledge graph information, and so much more.
    Additionally, you can transform your search queries to JSON, HTML, or CSV data.
  • Amazon Scraper API 

You can extract all amazon product data from various categories and different countries in CSV, HTML, and JSON format. Scraping complete product information, from reviews to prices to descriptions everything can be scraped, including new releases and deals. 

WebScrapingAPI has the major brands/ companies with whom they work and help them in making their business run smoothly and efficiently.

They take care of all the needs of companies from price comparison to market research, generating leads, financial data and so much more. 

Don’t think twice and avail WebScrapingAPIs services today for a hassle-free experience. 

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