Web scraping has been a practice used by businesses, companies, and private users for years. It’s the best solution for data extraction, as it allows users to quickly scan the entire internet and gather only the public information they need.
Without scraping, the same process would be almost impossible as it would take months, even years, to extract the same amount of data manually.
Once we locate the data we want to acquire and scrape it; the results are simply displayed in a spreadsheet, allowing you to find the information you need.
Web scraping has many different uses, and today we are going to take a look at what it does and how it helps modern businesses.
Web scraping explained
Web scraping is a process that allows users to pinpoint and download the required public data from many web pages at the same time. Most modern scraping tools use bots that do most of the work automatically. Their role is to scrape as many sites as possible, looking for specific information of your choice.
Web scraping first locates all websites with the information that matches your needs. Then, the data is extracted and parsed into a readable format. Scrapers can also help you download videos, images, product items, prices, and many other details from any website. Scraping is a necessary process that can locate specific data in an endless ocean of information.
Benefits of web scraping
Web scraping has a wide range of different applications and businesses worldwide use it to extract all kinds of useful information. For example, companies can monitor their competition and improve their product offers based on what they find.
Furthermore, web scraping is a powerful tool for lead generation, price monitoring, understanding what your customers want, creating applications for various tools, data management, web scraping job postings, and so on. It’s simply a powerful method of running a business operation and making sure that company websites get more exposure.
How scraping can be done
Web scraping can be done in many different ways. You can search for specific keywords across the web, or you can scrape for specific information on targeted websites. Since most scraping applications are used for price monitoring, competition monitoring, and customer review gathering, we will explain the latter method.
First, you have to identify the websites you want to scrape. Then, copy the URLs of the pages you want to scrape into the tool. The scraper will then send requests and gather all HTML information on every page. The software gathers data into a CSV or JSON file or another type of spreadsheet you can then review.
Tasks improved by web scraping
Simple web scraping can help you become more successful in everyday activities. Once you learn how to use it, you will be able to apply it to many different areas and get better results. Here are a few common applications where web scraping can help a lot.
1. Reputation management
When you’re running a business, knowing what your customers think about your brand will help you improve your offers and increase overall customer satisfaction. The process called brand monitoring is widely used by companies all over the world.
2. Job hunting
Web scraping job postings is one of the newest uses for this type of data extraction. People use scrapers to find more job offers they can apply to and potentially get hired before most other users see the post. 2 out of 3 users look for a job online, so the competition is huge. Web scraping can help you turn the odds to your favor and land a sweet job as soon as the ad is posted online.
3. Customer review gathering
Customer review gathering is a crucial step in product development. Whenever a new product hits the market, many people who buy it will share their thoughts about it on social media, forums, and online websites. Web scraping can help you gather all of the reviews in one place and use what you found to improve your product or service on time.
4. Price tracking
Price tracking or monitoring, as it’s better known, is a process that includes reviewing multiple websites held by competitors to find gaps and optimize your own prices. You will get to see future price trends, allowing you to create your own pricing plan that will help you get more customers in the long-run.
5. News scraping
With so many news websites and portals, knowing what’s going on in time makes a huge difference for many businesses and companies. Web scrapers can help you make sure that you always get accurate news which is often crucial for making the right decisions.
As you can see, web scraping can help extract all kinds of useful information that can be used to improve many different business elements. It can also help you land a job, optimize your business offer, and many other applications. So, if you’re looking for a way to extract high-quality data from the internet, web scraping should be your first and only option.