Why Perform Web Scraping?

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Perform Web Scraping

As markets across all industries become highly competitive, everyone’s looking for new ways that’ll put their business at an advantage. With technology taking the main lead, it’s understandable that these innovative ways often incorporate modern tech tools and solutions. Perform Web Scraping-

One of the most popular solutions currently available is web scraping, also known as data scraping or web data extraction. It’s one of the latest methods used for accessing and gathering structured web data automatically. Performing web scraping activities equips businesses with numerous benefits, such as keeping tabs on competitors and generating more leads.

Stay tuned to learn more about why you should perform web scraping.

Web scraper definition

Before we jump straight into the nuts and bolts of web scraping, it’s essential to define what this process stands for in greater detail.

Web scraping is an automated process for accessing and collecting structured data available on the internet. Although you can do web scraping for just about any purpose, the primary users of web scraping methods are people and businesses looking to consult publicly available web data during a vital decision-making process.

Since web scraping runs on software programs that automatically complete web scraping activities, it’s possible to quickly and easily retrieve millions and billions of data entries. The retrieved data can be extremely valuable, especially for businesses interested in news or price monitoring, market research, or lead generation.

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Main features

Although web scraping may seem like a complex process at first glance, it’s a straightforward process that contains two main features – a web crawler and a web scraper.

  • Web crawler

What is a web crawler? A web crawler or a web spider is a tool that searches the internet by following hyperlinks and exploring various web pages. Then, the web crawler indexes these pages to make it easier for web scrapers to perform scraping actions. See this original link to a blog that goes more in depth on the topic of web crawlers.

  • Web scraper

Once a web crawler crawls and indexes the necessary pages, a web scraper visits them and gathers the content and data available at these websites. There are various web scraper solutions available on the market today, but they’re all designed to extract online data quickly and accurately.

Common use cases

People and companies can gain valuable insights that provide reliable information across different fields. Therefore, the most common web scraping uses include:

Price movement

Prices are the most volatile aspect of every business. It’s also one of the key aspects that can determine the fate of a business. Therefore, keeping track of the latest pricing trends and knowing when to increase or lower the prices is crucial for revenue optimization. A web crawler and scraper can help you monitor competitor prices and pricing trends within your industry.

Lead generation

Generating more leads and increasing website traffic is the main challenge for most businesses. However, with web crawlers and scrapers, companies can get access to structured lists to generate more leads and increase their revenue.

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Brand monitoring

Online reputation is another key factor in today’s competitive market. Knowing what people are talking about your brand can help you maintain a positive reputation or change a negative one. Web crawling and scraping allow you to monitor your brand’s reputation and collect valuable information.

Difficulties of scraping

Web scraping comes with several difficulties too. Some common challenges web scrapers come across are:

Dynamic web page structures

Web pages are constantly being changed, updated, moved, or removed. Although each web page requires a unique scraper, the changing web page structures can prevent web scrapers from working.

Bot access

Every website has a robots.txt file that contains information about which web pages can be crawled and scraped. That can prevent crawlers and scrapers from entering web pages that aren’t accessible to bots.

IP blocking

If a website detects an unusually high number of requests from the same IP address, it might block the IP address from accessing the website.

Why use it?

Web scraping can equip companies with numerous advantages. Nevertheless, the same process comes with a few difficulties that may prevent some people from trying this innovative technique of gathering valuable information.

When we weigh all the pros and cons, web scraping is an action worth performing. Besides advantages outweighing the difficulties, the latest scraping solutions use advanced technologies to get around these difficulties and perform web scraping activities without any obstacles.

Conclusion

Now that you have the answer to the question “What is a web crawler, a web scraper, and how do they work together?” – it’s safe to say this online activity can offer countless benefits.

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Although the web scraping process comes with its set of difficulties, the advantages certainly outweigh the disadvantages, making web scraping a profitable method for businesses of all sizes and in all industries.

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