Somewhat of a clean up and gathering crew, web scraping is a term used for gathering information off of websites on the Internet. These services are geared towards clients with specific goals in mind, namely information extraction, gathering statistics, or comparing facts.
Like harvesting the honey from a honeycomb, these services are becoming more and more attractive to businesses around the world, especially those in major admin roles.
So when there’s tons of data on your forum, who you gonna call? Web Scrapers! (Perhaps not the most elegant way to insert the Ghost Busters theme song, but we do try…)
Why People Use Web Scraping Services
There are many reasons why people use web scraping services on a regular basis, proficiency has always been the aim of the game in the working world. Over time society has become adept at finding ways to streamline even the most common practices including information gathering.
Some of the most common uses for web scraping services include:
In many ways research is the syrup that makes any topic worth consuming, it is essential to get relevant, accurate research on which to base your writing upon. By using web scraping services you are able to achieve this relatively easily. Instead of combing the web for facts and information yourself, you could try using web crawling software instead.
The analysis and management of working relationships. Marketing is a business process of creating relationships with and providing to customers. Because its main focus is on the customer, it is a fundamental aspect of business management. By using web scraping services for this purpose one is able to scrape pricing and other information on products from eCommerce websites, thereby providing the best content for any business approach or package.
Stock Or Cryptocurrency Rates
Cryptocurrency has become a major means of security in the vast wide web, and when working with replicated, shared, and synchronized digital data geographically spread across multiple sites, countries, or institutions you need to be able to navigate between them quickly. In this sense web scraping is an advantageous tool.
Transferring Data From The Old To The New
As technology improves and businesses grow, it is becoming more common for companies to create bigger and better websites to facilitate their gleaming new empires. In this scenario there is always mass data that needs to be collected and moved over to the new platform. With web scraping tools one can identify specific data and move over information seamlessly while keeping all relevant details together.
Tools Of The Trade
Now when one thinks of scraping, you tend to picture taking icing off of a cake or evenly spreading concrete when building, and just like these instances web scraping also uses specific tools designed to make your job easier. Called web crawlers these seek and find software programs are like little spiders that travel the web like well a web and help do the work for you.
Web crawling tools can be broken up into two groups namely custom web crawlers and web scraping software.
Custom Web Crawlers
There are one or two downsides to these custom makes though, they can be difficult to maintain if you do not have any programming knowledge, and an entirely new scraper will have to be created for each website.
Web Scraping Software
There are many different programs available today that allow the user to scrape the web for information without any needed programming knowledge. These programs are pre-written according to specific website types and capabilities and so it simply comes down to which one suits your needs best. These programs include: Portia and Diffbot.
The downside to using this option is that some software can struggle with more complex websites, and in some cases there is some programming details one will need to learn in order to use the more complex versions or functions.
Reasons Behind Web Scraping Popularity
The global demand for Web Scraping is high and is increasing with each financial year. A web search shows that there are currently over 833 web scraping jobs available on the net, this is understandable as the 21st century has been labeled the time of technology and intelligence.
The main benefits behind this process are speed, accuracy and data monitoring. Because time is money and everything needs to be fast web scraping does give one that added advantage in keeping in step with father time.
A scraper can scrape as much data in a day, as a man could have in a year
If you are using a good web scraping service, you can count on accuracy levels, that even your best employee can’t guarantee.
Bad reviews or a bad incident can close a company, because of this you need to keep an eye on what is happening regarding the name of your business. By using web scraping software, you can scrape media sites to check if your company got featured in any stories, positive or negative. Maintain a good public perception and possibly predict a future path for your company by comparing stats.
Reaping The Rewards Of Successful Web Scraping
Whether you’re setting up a new business or growing an existing one, accurate data storage and insight is a necessity when walking the road to success. Be it information about your latest competition, statistics on company growth or pitfalls, stock exchange or industry potentials the fact is that these are all things that make up the working body of business and chances are your corporation is already doing it in one way or another.
So just because you felt that great sense of achievement upon completing your latest project having manually found all the interesting facts and showcasing them yourself, doesn’t mean you wouldn’t have achieved the same level of work with a little assistance. Web scraping software works for you, in fact one can go as far as saying it will even improve how things are done in your daily grind. More time means more freedom to concentrate on the other aspects of your business.
As they say, work smarter not harder and let those little crawlers do the leg work for you.