Web Scraping? How does web scraping work?

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Some websites can contain a very large amount of invaluable data stock prices, product details, sports stats, name. if you wanted to access this information. you either have to use whatever format the website uses or copy and paste the 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 web scraping can help a lot.

What is web scraping?

Web Scraping simply refers to the extraction of data from a website this information is collected and then export 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 shapes and forms and as a result, web scrapers can vary in functionality and features.

How do web scrapers work?

Tackle complex sites first a web scraper will be given one or more URLs to load before scraping the scraper then loads the entire HTML code for the page in question more advanced scrapers will render the entire website including CSS and JavaScript elements. Then the scraper will either extract all the data on the page or specific data selected by the user before the project is run 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 are not necessarily interested in product reviews lastly the web scraper will output the data that 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 formats such as JSON which can then be used for an API web scrapers can also come in many different forms with very different features on a case-by-case basis. for example, web scrapers can come as a browser extension 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 feeling adventurous just like how anyone could build a website you can also build your own web scraper.

If you want to after some coding of course by this point you can probably think of several different ways in which web scrapers can be used a few uses include scraping stock prices to make better investing decisions scraping data from Yellow Pages to generate leads scraping data from a store locator to create a list of business locations scraping product data from sites like Amazon or eBay. For competitor analysis or 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 data you’ve collected and how valuable you can make it so now that you know the basics of web scraping you’re 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.

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