An Introduction To Website Scraping
Web scraping (also called web harvesting or web data extraction) is a computer software technique of extracting information from websites. Usually, such software programs simulate human exploration of the World Wide Web by either implementing low-level Hypertext Transfer Protocol(HTTP), or embedding a fully-fledged web browser, such as Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox.
Web scraping is closely related to web indexing, which indexes information on the web using a bot and is a universal technique adopted by most search engines. In contrast, web scraping focuses more on the transformation of unstructured data on the web, typically in HTML format, into structured data that can be stored and analyzed in a central local database or spreadsheet. Web scraping is also related to web automation, which simulates human browsing using computer software. Uses of web scraping include online price comparison, weather data monitoring, website change detection, research, web mashup and web data integration.
Website Scrapers cull data from a website in order to quickly and efficiently collect data that can be sorted, analyzed, parsed or reused later.
Is Website Scraping Illegal?
No, as a matter of fact if it was, one of the most technologically advanced and profitable companies, Google, would be guilty of a crime literally millions of times per day. While google crawls and scrapes data to build their index, you may have a different reason for wanting to scrape websites.
Website scraping takes the heavy lifting out of researching competitors sites because you are able to quickly gather only the data you need without having to manually sift through information and a presentation layer that is irrelevant to you. Imagine that you want to track a competitor’s pricing by visiting their site once per week and making notes into an excel file. What a website scraper does is no different, it just requires no effort on your part!
Why Choose Us to Handle this Task for You?
If you have a need to scrape a website I know from personal experience that you’ll want it done quickly, inexpensively and with expert precision. So you begin looking for a solution and while desktop scraping software is prohibitively expensive, worse it requires a degree in computer science to even use effectively.
We’ve personally tried all of the data extraction and website data farming software on the market and as technical people, we find them to be unnecessarily complicated and labor intensive for the average end user.