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Scraping websites using the Scraper extension for Chrome – School of Data
If you are using Google Chrome there is a browser extension for scraping web pages. It’s called “Scraper” and it is easy to use. It will help you scrape a website’s content and upload the results to google docs.
Walkthrough: Scraping a website with the Scraper extension
Open Google Chrome and click on Chrome Web Store
Search for “Scraper” in extensions
The first search result is the “Scraper” extension
Click the add to chrome button.
Now let’s go back to the listing of UK MPs
Now mark the entry for one MP
Right click and select “scrape similar…”
A new window will appear – the scraper console
In the scraper console you will see the scraped content
Click on “Save to Google Docs…” to save the scraped content as a Google Spreadsheet.
Walkthrough: extended scraping with the Scraper extension
Note: Before beginning this recipe – you may find it useful to understand a bit about HTML. Read our HTML primer.
Easy wasn’t it? Now let’s do something a little more complicated. Let’s say we’re interested in the roles a specific actress played. The source for all kinds of data on this is the IMDB (You can also search on sites like DBpedia or Freebase for this kinds of information; however, we’ll stick to IMDB to show the principle)
Let’s say we’re interested in creating a timeline with all the movies the Italian actress Asia Argento ever starred; where do we start?
The IMDB has a quite comprehensive archive of actors. Asia Argento’s site is:
If you open the page you’ll see all the roles she ever played, together with a title and the year – let’s scrape this information
Try to scrape it like we did above
You’ll see the list comes out garbled – this is because the list here is structured quite differently.
Go to the scraper console. Notice the small box on the upper left, saying XPath?
XPath is a query language for HTML and XML.
XPath can help you find the elements in the page you’re interested in – all you need to do is find the right element and then write the xpath for it.
Now let’s assemble our table.
You’ll see that our current Xpath – the one including the whole information is “//div/div/div/div”
Xpath is very simple it tells the computer to look at the HTML document and select
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However, we’d like to have the data separated out.
To do this use the columns part of the scraper console…
Let’s find our title first – look at the title using Inspect Element
See how the title is within a tag? Let’s add the tag to our xpath.
The expression seems to work well: let’s make this our first column
In the “Columns” section, change the name of the first column to “title”
Now let’s add the XPATH for the title to it
The xpaths in the columns section are relative, that means “. /b” will select the element
add “. /b” to the xpath for the title column and click “scrape”
See how you only get titles?
Now let’s continue for year? Years are within one
Create a new column by clicking on the small plus next to your “title” column
Now create the “year” column with xpath “. /span”
Click on scrape and see how the year is added
See how easily we got information out of a less structured webpage?
Last updated on Sep 02, 2013.
How much does Web Scraping cost? | ParseHub
Web scraping can unlock a whole world of with all that data, also comes a lot of value. You can use this data to uncover business insights, conduct research, build your next application, a result, you might be wondering how much web scraping answer depends on how you decide to approach your web scraping needs. Let’s break it all does web scraping work? Let’s start with a quick review of the basics. In order to understand the costs behind web scraping, we have to talk about how web scraping main objective of a web scraper is to extract information from a webpage or website. As a result, there are several ways to scrape data. From scraping it manually, to using software scrapers that automate the to learn more about? Read our guide on how web scraping much does Web Scraping cost? There are several ways to approach web scraping and each method has a different cost ’s review some of the most popular methods. OutsourcingOutsourcing your web scraping projects is actually quite common. If your project is quite straight forward and requires very little explanations and customization, this might be your way to ever, keep in mind that these projects will be billed to you based on hourly example, the average hourly rates for web scraping jobs in Upwork ranges from $30 to $60 in the low end and around $100 in the high longer or ongoing projects, this could quickly escalate ing your own web scraperYou might want to take matters into your own hands. Why not try to build your own web scraper? There are several ways to build a web scraper, from using Python to coding your scraper in Excel. It all depends on what your web scraping needs you decide to ho down this path, there are several things you’d need to programming language or platform will you use to build your scraper? Who will build you web scraper? Will you build it yourself or hire someone to do it? What are the costs of outsourcing your web scraping development? Does your web scraper need to work on only one website or multiple different kinds of website? What is the timeline of your project? Do you have enough time to build a web scraper and tackle bugs, errors and more? As you can see, building your own web scraper can be quite a big project to tackle. It all depends on your project needs and your company most cases, you might want to go with a faster, cheaper and simpler an existing web scraperIn most cases, using an existing web scraper might be the best solution for your web scraping web scrapers have been developed and improved over several years, making them capable of scraping many different kinds of websites. These also come with the benefits of fewer bugs and errors as it comes to cost, it varies depending on the web scraper you choose and your project needs. Many web scrapers have free plans and paid plans with flat fees for your projects, which gets rid of pricey hourly best web scraperAt this point, you might be wondering what’s the best web scraper out truth is that it depends. After all, each web scraping project is different and will require different web scraping ever, there are ways easily find the best web scraper for your fact, we’ve written a guide on how to find the best web scraper for your osing ThoughtsWhen it comes to recommending a web scraping tool for your business. We obviously recommend ParseHub, our fully featured web scraping tool which is also free to better, we have an awesome support team that can walk you through the process of building your web scraping projects. This way, you’ll never be alone while contact us via the live chat on our site and we’ll be happy to assist you.
Web Scraping 101: 10 Myths that Everyone Should Know | Octoparse
1. Web Scraping is illegal
Many people have false impressions about web scraping. It is because there are people don’t respect the great work on the internet and use it by stealing the content. Web scraping isn’t illegal by itself, yet the problem comes when people use it without the site owner’s permission and disregard of the ToS (Terms of Service). According to the report, 2% of online revenues can be lost due to the misuse of content through web scraping. Even though web scraping doesn’t have a clear law and terms to address its application, it’s encompassed with legal regulations. For example:
Violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA)
Violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)
Trespass to Chattel
Copy right infringement
Breach of contract
Photo by Amel Majanovic on Unsplash
2. Web scraping and web crawling are the same
Web scraping involves specific data extraction on a targeted webpage, for instance, extract data about sales leads, real estate listing and product pricing. In contrast, web crawling is what search engines do. It scans and indexes the whole website along with its internal links. “Crawler” navigates through the web pages without a specific goal.
3. You can scrape any website
It is often the case that people ask for scraping things like email addresses, Facebook posts, or LinkedIn information. According to an article titled “Is web crawling legal? ” it is important to note the rules before conduct web scraping:
Private data that requires username and passcodes can not be scrapped.
Compliance with the ToS (Terms of Service) which explicitly prohibits the action of web scraping.
Don’t copy data that is copyrighted.
One person can be prosecuted under several laws. For example, one scraped some confidential information and sold it to a third party disregarding the desist letter sent by the site owner. This person can be prosecuted under the law of Trespass to Chattel, Violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), Violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) and Misappropriation.
It doesn’t mean that you can’t scrape social media channels like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. They are friendly to scraping services that follow the provisions of the file. For Facebook, you need to get its written permission before conducting the behavior of automated data collection.
4. You need to know how to code
A web scraping tool (data extraction tool) is very useful regarding non-tech professionals like marketers, statisticians, financial consultant, bitcoin investors, researchers, journalists, etc. Octoparse launched a one of a kind feature – web scraping templates that are preformatted scrapers that cover over 14 categories on over 30 websites including Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, eBay, Instagram and more. All you have to do is to enter the keywords/URLs at the parameter without any complex task configuration. Web scraping with Python is time-consuming. On the other side, a web scraping template is efficient and convenient to capture the data you need.
5. You can use scraped data for anything
It is perfectly legal if you scrape data from websites for public consumption and use it for analysis. However, it is not legal if you scrape confidential information for profit. For example, scraping private contact information without permission, and sell them to a 3rd party for profit is illegal. Besides, repackaging scraped content as your own without citing the source is not ethical as well. You should follow the idea of no spamming, no plagiarism, or any fraudulent use of data is prohibited according to the law.
Check Below Video: 10 Myths About Web Scraping!
6. A web scraper is versatile
Maybe you’ve experienced particular websites that change their layouts or structure once in a while. Don’t get frustrated when you come across such websites that your scraper fails to read for the second time. There are many reasons. It isn’t necessarily triggered by identifying you as a suspicious bot. It also may be caused by different geo-locations or machine access. In these cases, it is normal for a web scraper to fail to parse the website before we set the adjustment.
Read this article: How to Scrape Websites Without Being Blocked in 5 Mins?
7. You can scrape at a fast speed
You may have seen scraper ads saying how speedy their crawlers are. It does sound good as they tell you they can collect data in seconds. However, you are the lawbreaker who will be prosecuted if damages are caused. It is because a scalable data request at a fast speed will overload a web server which might lead to a server crash. In this case, the person is responsible for the damage under the law of “trespass to chattels” law (Dryer and Stockton 2013). If you are not sure whether the website is scrapable or not, please ask the web scraping service provider. Octoparse is a responsible web scraping service provider who places clients’ satisfaction in the first place. It is crucial for Octoparse to help our clients get the problem solved and to be successful.
8. API and Web scraping are the same
API is like a channel to send your data request to a web server and get desired data. API will return the data in JSON format over the HTTP protocol. For example, Facebook API, Twitter API, and Instagram API. However, it doesn’t mean you can get any data you ask for. Web scraping can visualize the process as it allows you to interact with the websites. Octoparse has web scraping templates. It is even more convenient for non-tech professionals to extract data by filling out the parameters with keywords/URLs.
9. The scraped data only works for our business after being cleaned and analyzed
Many data integration platforms can help visualize and analyze the data. In comparison, it looks like data scraping doesn’t have a direct impact on business decision making. Web scraping indeed extracts raw data of the webpage that needs to be processed to gain insights like sentiment analysis. However, some raw data can be extremely valuable in the hands of gold miners.
With Octoparse Google Search web scraping template to search for an organic search result, you can extract information including the titles and meta descriptions about your competitors to determine your SEO strategies; For retail industries, web scraping can be used to monitor product pricing and distributions. For example, Amazon may crawl Flipkart and Walmart under the “Electronic” catalog to assess the performance of electronic items.
10. Web scraping can only be used in business
Web scraping is widely used in various fields besides lead generation, price monitoring, price tracking, market analysis for business. Students can also leverage a Google scholar web scraping template to conduct paper research. Realtors are able to conduct housing research and predict the housing market. You will be able to find Youtube influencers or Twitter evangelists to promote your brand or your own news aggregation that covers the only topics you want by scraping news media and RSS feeds.
Dryer, A. J., and Stockton, J. 2013. “Internet ‘Data Scraping’: A Primer for Counseling Clients, ” New York Law Journal. Retrieved from
Frequently Asked Questions about data scaper
Is it legal to scrape data?
It is perfectly legal if you scrape data from websites for public consumption and use it for analysis. However, it is not legal if you scrape confidential information for profit. For example, scraping private contact information without permission, and sell them to a 3rd party for profit is illegal.Aug 16, 2021
What is data scraping tool?
Web Scraping tools are specifically developed for extracting information from websites. They are also known as web harvesting tools or web data extraction tools. … These software look for new data manually or automatically, fetching the new or updated data and storing them for your easy access.Oct 1, 2021
Why is data scraping bad?
Site scraping can be a powerful tool. In the right hands, it automates the gathering and dissemination of information. In the wrong hands, it can lead to theft of intellectual property or an unfair competitive edge.Apr 18, 2016