Web Scraping – some websites can contain very large amount of invaluable data stock prices, product details, sports stats. If you want to access this information you either have to use whatever format the website uses or copy and paste he information manually into a new document.
This can be pretty tedious when you want to extract a lot of information from a website here’s can web scraping can help. Want to learn more about Making Online Money in easy ways.
What is Web Scraping?
Web scraping is simply referring to the extraction of data from a website. This information is collected and then exported into a format that is more useful to the user.
For example, you can use web scraping to export a list of product names and prices from amazon onto an Excel spreadsheet. While though web scraping can be done manually. In most cases software tools that run on your computer are preferred when scraping.
As they can be less expensive and work at a faster rate. But in most cases web scraping is not a simple task nowadays websites come in many forms. And as a result web scraper can vary in functionality and features.
How Do Web Scraper Work and Tackle Complex sites?
First a web scraper will be given on or more URLs to load before scraping the scraper. Then loads the entire HTML code for the page.
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 not are necessarily interested in product reviews.
Lastly the web scraper will output the data 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 format such as JSON which can then be used for API. Web scrapers can also come in many different forms.
With every different features on a case by case basis. For example, web scraper can come as a browser extensions or more powerful desktop application that is downloaded to your computer. Web scrapers can also scrape sites locally from your computer using your computer resources and your internet connection.
Or work on the cloud without using your computer resources or your internet connection. Just like how anyone could build a website you can also build you own web scraper if you want to.
What Can Web Scraping Be Used for?
By this point you can probably think several different ways in which web scrapers can be used. A few uses of web scraper include.
To Scrap stock prices to make better investing better decisions. To Scrap data from yellow pages to generates leads. Scraping data from a store locator to create a list of business locations.
Scrap product data from sites like Amazon or Flipkart for competitor analysis. Scraping sports stats for betting or fantasy leagues. The list of things you can do with web scraping is almost endless. After all it’s all about what you can do with the date you’ve collected and how valuable you can make it.
What is the Best Web Scraper for you?
So you now the basic of web scraping you probably wondering. What is the best web scraper for you the obvious answer is that it depends? It’s way easier to know which web scraper is best for you the more you know about your web scraping needs.
Web Scraping is Illegal?
There is absolutely nothing you can do with Selenium or Mechanical Soup or Beautiful Soup that you cannot do manually with your mouse and keyboard. For example, if I wanted to connect with many many people on LinkedIn I could have just clicked on the “connect” button page after page and connect with as many people as I wanted.
There is absolutely no difference between the results of manual connections and the results of connections via bots we are simply using our programing skills to make our life slightly better. So my philosophy is: as long as you can do it with your mouse and keyboard there is no reason why you can’t do it with automation.
Many professional developers are using web scraping on a daily basis they work in legitimate companies some of them are doing marketing, some of them are doing human resources some of them are doing cyber security automation and web scraping is part of their daily routine Downloading Reports.
Does Web Scraping Violates Copyrights
What are you planning to do with the information you web scraped so let’s say – you just downloaded 40 images of cats to your computer did you violate any copyrights laws? No. not yet! but if you’re planning to distribute these photos this is when copyrights come to play so (among) the only few things you can do with the information you web scraped is using it for educational purposes and for non-profit purposes.
Because whenever you’re trying to make profit out of something that you didn’t create you’re not the original owner of this content there’s really no difference between this and stealing the only difference is you’re stealing intellectual property and not physical property.
But if the only thing you’re doing with this information is saving it on your computer or using it for educational / non-profit purposes you are not violating anything! you’re actually protected under the Fair Use clause of copyrights. People who claim that if you copy anything from the internet if you download anything you saw online you are violating somebody’s copyrights.
These folks are not familiar with the Fair Use clause and in fact, if this clause didn’t exist most likely the internet would not exist. Because the whole purpose of the internet is to share information one with another so before you let people freak you out about copyrights – please read about Fair use!
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