Data scraping software lets individuals import information from websites into local files or spreadsheets and save them on a computer. It happens to be one of the most effective and efficient ways to harvest data from the Web.
Data scraping enables meaningful research to gather pertinent business intelligence. It also refers to finding relevant data to extract it from a webpage. Users can also extract data from other sources than the internet.
Individuals can swipe data from storage devices, spreadsheets, and a variety of other sources. With respect to scraping information from the web, scraper bots play an important role. The scraper bot will send out an HTTP GET request to a certain website. After bots receive a response from the targeted website, they go to work dissecting and analyzing an HTML document. The bots look for a specific data pattern. Once the bots recover the data, they convert it into a format the author prefers.
Scraper Bot Malicious Functions
While there are a ton of valid reasons to scrape data, there are occasions when the wrong party uses scraper bots for malicious purposes. Sometimes, black hat specialists duplicate content for their own website. Duplicating content violates copyright laws and can steal traffic from those websites that obey the rules. Then there are those times that competitors will scrape pricing data to their own advantage. Be on the lookout to ensure no one duplicates your website content for negative reasons.
Data Scraping Tools
Not every marketer knows how to write code. There will be those times that marketers need specific sets of data for a content project. The data is there in a source just waiting for the marketer to extract it. The big challenge comes when marketers find they have a massive number of pages to extract. The key is having access to the right data scraping tools. Otherwise, it may be impossible to retrieve.
You may be a marketer that has little time to learn XPath or Python. Time is always a precious commodity for marketers and site owners. If you are a marketer and you cannot write code, here are several excellent web scraping tools you may consider using:
Wehouse.io can crawl thousands of online sources in real time. It can also extract information in a plethora of languages and save the data in formats like RSS, JSON, and XML. This is a powerful tool by any means.
Import.io allows marketers to form their own data sets and export data to CSV. A single line of code enables marketers to scrape thousands of web pages in mere minutes. Marketers do not have to write a single line of code. The data scraping software also offers free apps for Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows to build crawlers and extractors.
Scrapinghub offers access in the cloud and is an effective tool that thousands of marketers use to extract valuable information from targeted sources. The software easily organizes web pages into organized content. There is also a team of experts that can assist via a number of paid plans.
Choosing the Right Data Scraping Software
Of course, the software that marketers choose is a personal choice. Consider the following suggestions when selecting your own web scraping tools.
1. Is the software scalable? There is a very real possibility that your data necessities will continue to grow. Your software should possess the framework to meet future needs.
2. Always go with the software that offers pricing transparency. Pick a plan that allows you to evaluate growth and future expenses.
3. There will always be website changes. Can you alter the software to reflect those changes?
4. Sites may also install anti-scraping mechanisms. Will your software be able to bypass these blocks?
5. Can the software deliver scraped data in the formats you desire?
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