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What is Web Scraping and What is it Used For? | ParseHub

Some websites can contain a very large amount of invaluable prices, product details, sports stats, company contacts, you name you wanted to access this information, you’d either have to use whatever format the website uses or copy-paste the information manually into a new document. Here’s where web scraping can is Web Scraping? Web scraping refers to the extraction of data from a website. This information is collected and then exported into a format that is more useful for the user. Be it a spreadsheet or an though web scraping can be done manually, in most cases, automated tools are preferred when scraping web data as they can be less costly and work at a faster in most cases, web scraping is not a simple task. Websites come in many shapes and forms, as a result, web scrapers vary in functionality and note that you may encounter captchas when attempting to scrape some websites, so we suggest reading several guides on how to avoid & bypass captchas before scraping a website:How to avoid and bypass captchasSolving Captcha (for all Paid plans)If you want to find the best web scraper for your project, make sure to read web scraping legal? In short, the action of web scraping isn’t illegal. However, some rules need to be followed. Web scraping becomes illegal when non publicly available data becomes comes as no surprise given the growth of web scraping and many recent legal cases related to web you want to learn more about the legality of web scraping, you can continue reading here: Is web scraping legal? How do Web Scrapers Work? Automated web scrapers work in a rather simple but also complex way. After all, websites are built for humans to understand, not, the 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 the scraper will either extract all the data on the page or specific data selected by the user before the project is eally, 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, the web scraper will output all the data that has been collected into a format that is more useful to the web scrapers will output data to a CSV or Excel spreadsheet, while more advanced scrapers will support other formats such as JSON which can be used for an Kind of Web Scrapers are There? Web scrapers can drastically differ from each other on a case-by-case simplicity’s sake, we will break down some of these aspects into 4 categories. Of course, there are more intricacies at play when comparing web or pre-builtbrowser extension vs softwareUser interfaceCloud vs LocalSelf-built or Pre-builtJust like how anyone can build a website, anyone can build their own web ever, the tools available to build your own web scraper still require some advanced programming knowledge. The scope of this knowledge also increases with the number of features you’d like your scraper to the other hand, there are numerous pre-built web scrapers that you can download and run right away. Some of these will also have advanced options added such as scrape scheduling, JSON and Google Sheets exports and owser extension vs SoftwareIn general terms, web scrapers come in two forms: browser extensions or computer owser extensions are app-like programs that can be added to your browsers such as Google Chrome or Firefox. Some popular browser extensions include themes, ad blockers, messaging extensions and scraping extensions have the benefit of being simpler to run and being integrated right into your ever, these extensions are usually limited by living in your browser. Meaning that any advanced features that would have to occur outside of the browser would be impossible to implement. For example, IP Rotations would not be possible in this kind of the other hand, you will have actual web scraping software that can be downloaded and installed on your computer. While these are a bit less convenient than browser extensions, they make up for it in advanced features that are not limited by what your browser can and cannot InterfaceThe user interface between web scrapers can vary quite example, some web scraping tools will run with a minimal UI and a command line. Some users might find this unintuitive or the other hand, some web scrapers will have a full-fledged UI where the website is fully rendered for the user to just click on the data they want to scrape. These web scrapers are usually easier to work with for most people with limited technical scrapers will go as far as integrating help tips and suggestions through their UI to make sure the user understands each feature that the software vs LocalFrom where does your web scraper actually do its job? Local web scrapers will run on your computer using its resources and internet connection. This means that if your web scraper has a high usage of CPU or RAM, your computer might become quite slow while your scrape runs. With long scraping tasks, this could put your computer out of commission for ditionally, if your scraper is set to run on a large number of URLs (such as product pages), it can have an impact on your ISP’s data web scrapers run on an off-site server which is usually provided by the company that developed the scraper itself. This means that your computer’s resources are freed up while your scraper runs and gathers data. You can then work on other tasks and be notified later once your scrape is ready to be also allows for very easy integration of advanced features such as IP rotation, which can prevent your scraper from getting blocked from major websites due to their scraping are Web Scrapers Used For? By this point, you can probably think of several different ways in which web scrapers can be used. We’ve put some of the most common ones below (plus a few unique ones) Estate Listing ScrapingMany real estate agents use web scraping to populate their database of available properties for sale or for example, a real estate agency will scrape MLS listings to build an API that directly populates this information onto their website. This way, they get to act as the agent for the property when someone finds this listing on their listings that you will find on a Real Estate website are automatically generated by an dustry Statistics and InsightsMany companies use web scraping to build massive databases and draw industry-specific insights from these. These companies can then sell access to these insights to companies in said example, a company might scrape and analyze tons of data about oil prices, exports and imports in order to sell their insights to oil companies across the mparison Shopping SitesSome several websites and applications can help you to easily compare pricing between several retailers for the same way that these websites work is by using web scrapers to scrape product data and pricing from each retailer daily. This way, they can provide their users with the comparison data they GenerationOne incredibly popular use of web scraping is lead generation. This use is so popular in fact, that we have written an entire guide on using web scraping for lead short, web scraping is used by many companies to collect contact information about potential customers or clients. This is incredibly common in the business-to-business space, where potential customers will post their business information publicly out our guides of how you can use web scraping for your business:Scraping stock prices into an app APIScraping data from YellowPages to generate leadsScraping data from a store locator to create a list of business locationsScraping product data from sites like Amazon or eBay for competitor analysisScraping sports stats for betting or fantasy leaguesScraping site data before a website migrationScraping product details for comparison shoppingScraping financial data for market research and insightsThe list of things you can do with web scraping is almost endless. After all, it is all about what you can do with the data you’ve collected and how valuable you can make our Beginner’s guide to web scraping to start learning how to scrape any website! The Best Web ScraperSo, 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 more you know about your scraping needs, the better of an idea you will have about what’s the best web scraper for you. However, that did not stop us from writing our guide on what makes the Best Web course, we would always recommend ParseHub. Not only can it be downloaded for FREE but it comes with an incredibly powerful suite of features which we reviewed in this article. Including a friendly UI, cloud-based scrapping, awesome customer support and more about ParseHub and download it for to become an expert on Web Scraping for Free? Take our free web scraping courses and become Certified in Web Scraping today!
What Is Scraping | About Price & Web Scraping Tools | Imperva

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What Is Scraping | About Price & Web Scraping Tools | Imperva

What is web scraping
Web scraping is the process of using bots to extract content and data from a website.
Unlike screen scraping, which only copies pixels displayed onscreen, web scraping extracts underlying HTML code and, with it, data stored in a database. The scraper can then replicate entire website content elsewhere.
Web scraping is used in a variety of digital businesses that rely on data harvesting. Legitimate use cases include:
Search engine bots crawling a site, analyzing its content and then ranking it.
Price comparison sites deploying bots to auto-fetch prices and product descriptions for allied seller websites.
Market research companies using scrapers to pull data from forums and social media (e. g., for sentiment analysis).
Web scraping is also used for illegal purposes, including the undercutting of prices and the theft of copyrighted content. An online entity targeted by a scraper can suffer severe financial losses, especially if it’s a business strongly relying on competitive pricing models or deals in content distribution.
Scraper tools and bots
Web scraping tools are software (i. e., bots) programmed to sift through databases and extract information. A variety of bot types are used, many being fully customizable to:
Recognize unique HTML site structures
Extract and transform content
Store scraped data
Extract data from APIs
Since all scraping bots have the same purpose—to access site data—it can be difficult to distinguish between legitimate and malicious bots.
That said, several key differences help distinguish between the two.
Legitimate bots are identified with the organization for which they scrape. For example, Googlebot identifies itself in its HTTP header as belonging to Google. Malicious bots, conversely, impersonate legitimate traffic by creating a false HTTP user agent.
Legitimate bots abide a site’s file, which lists those pages a bot is permitted to access and those it cannot. Malicious scrapers, on the other hand, crawl the website regardless of what the site operator has allowed.
Resources needed to run web scraper bots are substantial—so much so that legitimate scraping bot operators heavily invest in servers to process the vast amount of data being extracted.
A perpetrator, lacking such a budget, often resorts to using a botnet—geographically dispersed computers, infected with the same malware and controlled from a central location. Individual botnet computer owners are unaware of their participation. The combined power of the infected systems enables large scale scraping of many different websites by the perpetrator.
Malicious web scraping examples
Web scraping is considered malicious when data is extracted without the permission of website owners. The two most common use cases are price scraping and content theft.
Price scraping
In price scraping, a perpetrator typically uses a botnet from which to launch scraper bots to inspect competing business databases. The goal is to access pricing information, undercut rivals and boost sales.
Attacks frequently occur in industries where products are easily comparable and price plays a major role in purchasing decisions. Victims of price scraping can include travel agencies, ticket sellers and online electronics vendors.
For example, smartphone e-traders, who sell similar products for relatively consistent prices, are frequent targets. To remain competitive, they’re motivated to offer the best prices possible, since customers usually go for the lowest cost offering. To gain an edge, a vendor can use a bot to continuously scrape his competitors’ websites and instantly update his own prices accordingly.
For perpetrators, a successful price scraping can result in their offers being prominently featured on comparison websites—used by customers for both research and purchasing. Meanwhile, scraped sites often experience customer and revenue losses.
Content scraping
Content scraping comprises large-scale content theft from a given site. Typical targets include online product catalogs and websites relying on digital content to drive business. For these enterprises, a content scraping attack can be devastating.
For example, online local business directories invest significant amounts of time, money and energy constructing their database content. Scraping can result in it all being released into the wild, used in spamming campaigns or resold to competitors. Any of these events are likely to impact a business’ bottom line and its daily operations.
The following is excerpted from a complaint, filed by Craigslist, detailing its experience with content scraping. It reinforces how damaging the practice can be:
“[The content scraping service] would, on a daily basis, send an army of digital robots to craigslist to copy and download the full text of millions of craigslist user ads. [The service] then indiscriminately made those misappropriated listings available—through its so-called ‘data feed’—to any company that wanted to use them, for any purpose. Some such ‘customers’ paid as much as $20, 000 per month for that content…”
According to the claim, scraped data was used for spam and email fraud, among other activities:
“[The defendants] then harvest craigslist users’ contact information from that database, and initiate many thousands of electronic mail messages per day to the addresses harvested from craigslist servers…. [The messages] contain misleading subject lines and content in the body of the spam messages, designed to trick craigslist users into switching from using craigslist’s services to using [the defenders’] service…”
Web scraping protection
The increased sophistication in malicious scraper bots has rendered some common security measures ineffective. For example, headless browser bots can masquerade as humans as they fly under the radar of most mitigation solutions.
To counter advances made by malicious bot operators, Imperva uses granular traffic analysis. It ensures that all traffic coming to your site, human and bot alike, is completely legitimate.
The process involves the cross verification of factors, including:
HTML fingerprint – The filtering process starts with a granular inspection of HTML headers. These can provide clues as to whether a visitor is a human or bot, and malicious or safe. Header signatures are compared against a constantly updated database of over 10 million known variants.
IP reputation – We collect IP data from all attacks against our clients. Visits from IP addresses having a history of being used in assaults are treated with suspicion and are more likely to be scrutinized further.
Behavior analysis – Tracking the ways visitors interact with a website can reveal abnormal behavioral patterns, such as a suspiciously aggressive rate of requests and illogical browsing patterns. This helps identify bots that pose as human visitors.
Progressive challenges – We use a set of challenges, including cookie support and JavaScript execution, to filter out bots and minimize false positives. As a last resort, a CAPTCHA challenge can weed out bots attempting to pass themselves off as humans.
Learn more about protecting your site from malicious bot traffic with Imperva’s bot management solution.
Web Scraping vs Data Mining: What's the Difference? | ParseHub

Web Scraping vs Data Mining: What’s the Difference? | ParseHub

Web Scraping and Data Mining are two terms that are often used these terms do share many similarities, they are intrinsically, we’ll define each term and break down the differences between is Web Scraping? Web scraping refers to the extraction of data from any nerally, this also involves formatting this data into a more convenient format, such as an Excel sheetWhile web scraping can be done manually, in most cases web scraping software tools are preferred due to their speed and to learn more about web scraping? Check out our in-depth guide on web scraping and what it is used is Data Mining? Data Mining refers to the process of advance analysis of extensive data analyses can be advanced enough to require machine learning technologies in order to uncover specific trends or insights from the example, data mining might be used to analyze millions of transactions from a retailer such as Amazon to identify specific areas of growth and some cases, web scraping might be used to extract and build the data sets that will be used for further analysis via Data Scraping vs Data Mining: What’s the difference? At this point, the difference between these two terms should be pretty clear. But let’s put it into simpler scraping refers to the process of extracting data from web sources and structuring it into a more convenient format. It does not involve any data processing or mining refers to the process of analyzing large datasets to uncover trends and valuable insights. It does not involve any data gathering or mining does not involve data extraction. In fact, web scraping could be used in order to create the datasets to be used in Data osing ThoughtsThe confusion between these terms most likely stems from the similarities between Data Mining and Data Extraction (which shares more similarities with Web Scraping) you want to learn more about Data Extraction, check out our in-depth guide on data wnload ParseHub for free

Frequently Asked Questions about web scraped data

What is web data scraping?

Web scraping is the process of using bots to extract content and data from a website. … Web scraping is used in a variety of digital businesses that rely on data harvesting. Legitimate use cases include: Search engine bots crawling a site, analyzing its content and then ranking it.

Is Web scraping data mining?

Web scraping refers to the process of extracting data from web sources and structuring it into a more convenient format. … Data mining refers to the process of analyzing large datasets to uncover trends and valuable insights. It does not involve any data gathering or extraction.Mar 2, 2020

What is Web scraping example?

Web scraping refers to the extraction of web data on to a format that is more useful for the user. For example, you might scrape product information from an ecommerce website onto an excel spreadsheet. … After all, these are usually faster and less expensive than scraping data manually.Oct 28, 2019

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