Providing you with an extremely valuable asset that no other method can provide, web scraping will extract the structured web data from any website for you and store it elsewhere. While obtaining data by web scraping is only seen as a modern convenience, it will also help to achieve and power some of the world's revolutionary and most buzzed business applications.
Although you know how important web scraping is, you do not know the types of web scrapers or do not understand which web scrapers to choose. If you need data urgently but don't know the best set of tools for your needs, this topic will come in handy for you. While there are surprising and confusing options like web extensions, software, and cloud-based services, you don't have to worry. In this article, we talked about the characteristics of each species in detail.
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What is Web Scraping?
With web scraping, which is both a manual and automatic method that you can use to extract large amounts of data from websites, you can obtain data that you can later use for various purposes. Much of this data is unstructured data in HTML format that will later be transformed into structured data in a spreadsheet or database for use in various applications. If you want to perform web scraping to extract data from websites, you should know that there is more than one of these ways. If we talk about these ways briefly, we can say that online services, API usage, or even your own web scraping code that you created from scratch.
You can access the data of many large websites such as Twitter, Facebook, StackOverflow, and Instagram in a structured way because these websites have APIs that allow you to do this. While this would be one of the best options, there are also websites that do not allow users to access large amounts of data in a structured form. In addition, since some websites are not that technologically advanced, you may not be able to obtain their data in a structured way. In this case, it would be most logical to use the web scraping method to get data from websites.
If you want to do web scraping, you first need to know that two parts are required, the scanner and the scraper. The browser that monitors the links on the internet can be defined as an artificial intelligence algorithm that searches for the data you need by surfing the internet. Scrapers, on the other hand, are special codes created to extract data from a website. The design of the scraper you use for web scraping cannot be the same for every website. If you want to get data quickly and extremely accurately, you should know that you need to change your web scraper according to the complexity and scope of your project.
Working Principle of Web Scrapers
In order to get the most out of web scrapers that allow you to extract all data from certain websites or only certain data that the user specifically requests and get results quickly, you need to pass the data you want to your web scraper. For example, you want to collect data from local e-commerce sites for blender types with an icebreaker feature. You can access not only customer reviews but also data on different models of juicers if you do the necessary coding and adjustment.
3 Types of Web Scrapers
With different web scraping tools and services involved, distinguishing these services and deciding which service is better than the other can be more difficult than you think. We have prepared for you in this section classification of all the web scraping tools available in the market based on how they work and where they are stored.
1. Browser Extension
If you're aiming to scrape small bits of data from specific web pages, you can get help from web scrapers in the form of browser extensions. If you don't want to install separate software on your computer and want to browse and scrape data with a small browser plugin, this is the best web scraping tool you can choose. You can easily install this web scraping tool and scrape data from any website you want with ease. In addition, your data will be downloadable in CSV or any other format.
While a web scraper in the form of a browser extension is extremely easy to obtain and use, these web scrapers have one major limitation. Web scrapers with browser extensions are designed to only scrape one page at a time, so you shouldn't choose them if you are looking for a tool to extract large amounts of data. However, if you only want to scrape a small part of a website, using a web scraper in the form of a browser extension will make your job easier.
As the amount and variety of data have grown, multiple companies have produced downloadable software that can scrape any type of data. Just as you need to install any software on your computer, you may also need to install web scraping software on your computer. In this case, you also need to find out if the software is related to your computer, but if you are using a Windows-based computer, there is no need to worry, all you have to do is configure the software to be used. If you have configured the software you have installed to be used, you are ready to scrape data from any websites you want with your web scraper.
If you are wondering how to save the data you will get, we can say that you can save your data in CSV or any downloadable format you want. If you want to get small or medium-sized pieces of data, using web scraper software will make the most sense for you. A web scraper in the form of a browser extension scrapes one page at a time, while with a software web scraper it is possible to scrape one or more pages.
3. Cloud Based
Compared to other web scrapers in the form of browser extensions or software, cloud-based web scraping is the most robust solution. You don't have to install cloud-based web scrapers on your computer and you don't have to use your internet for it. All you have to do is to configure your plan and requirement, right after that, you can get as much data as you want and in the field, you want via API and downloadable format and save it to your computer or database.
If you need to scrape large amounts of data and you are worried about the problems you may encounter while scraping that data, taking advantage of a cloud-based web scraping service is the best move you can make for yourself. The most important reason why there is no upper limit on the amount of data to be extracted is that cloud-based web scraping services are designed to work in multiple information environments. While in other web scraping services and web scraping tools you have to manually press the start and stop keys, in the cloud-based web scraping service you can get rid of all this and complete the web scraping without any problems.
Web Scraping Applications
Now that we've talked about the types of web scraping tools and what web scraping is in detail, it's time to talk about what web scraping tools and web scraping are used for.
Web scraping is extremely important because using web scraping tools you can gain insights that can provide actionable insights in areas such as machine learning training, price intelligence, brand protection, lead generation, consumer sentiment monitoring, SEO auditing, and keyword research. Let's take a look at these areas one by one:
Machine learning training: A huge amount of data is needed to improve the accuracy of the outputs of artificial intelligence and algorithms because machine learning algorithms can be improved in line with the data. If you try to manually collect large amounts of accurate training data, you will have to struggle. With the web scraping method that data scientists use to improve machine learning models, you can easily get the training dataset you need.
Price intelligence: If you have an e-commerce site or store and you want to increase your income by selling your products at the most affordable prices, you should use the price intelligence method. It is possible to use the web scraping method, which you can use to obtain the most accurate information while determining dynamic prices.
Brand protection: By using web scraping, you can detect all online content that may harm your brand, and as a result of this detection, you can protect your brand value by starting legal content about some online content. For example, you should identify companies that design fake products using your brand name and definitely prevent people from buying products from these sellers. Fake stores may reduce your income and create a false impression of the quality of your products. Another prefix is the unauthorized use of copyrighted and published content in a way that causes copyright infringement. You can also check for copyright infringement using web scrapers. When it comes to copyright infringement, you should remember that it's not just content, it can be patent theft and illegal use of a logotype, pattern, wording, or another brand-related element.
Lead generation: Each store needs to acquire additional customers to thrive and earn more, and web scraping helps businesses in their lead generation efforts. During this process, the people working in the marketing department will start to communicate with the relevant customer candidates by sending messages. With web scraping, you can scrape the contact information of people who could become your customers, such as email, phone, and social media accounts.
Monitoring consumer sentiment: By analyzing the feedback and reviews of people who buy from you, you can more easily understand what is missing in your products and services. You can also examine the customer reviews of competing companies to understand how they differ from you. By using social media data, it is possible to improve your business in many different areas, including the sales and marketing purposes of your company or store.
SEO audit and keyword research: It is known that search engines like Google take many different factors into consideration when ranking websites on search results pages. However, search engines have some limits on ranking websites, one of which is visibility. In this case, it has become imperative for companies to improve their online presence and rank higher in search engines. In line with this need in the industry, the Search Engine Optimization field was born. Although it may seem difficult to set up a website's SEO settings, you can solve most of these problems with web scraping. With web scraping, you can:
- You can fix technical SEO issues like slow loading times and broken links.
- You can scrape other websites to improve the technical SEO of your website.
- You can identify new backlinks, and then analyze the inbound and outbound links.
- Once you consider factors such as word count or keyword usage on different websites, it becomes easier for you to discover your competitors' successful strategies.
- If your website is in a specific niche, there are certain keywords you compete with. You should scrape weekly and yearly the rank of your website among the websites using these keywords. In this way, if the visibility of your website decreases, you will be aware of it.
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