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ScraperAPI – The Proxy API For Web Scraping
Using Proxies Has Never Been This Simple
Simply send ScraperAPI the URL you want to scrape and we will return the HTML response. Letting you focus on the data, not proxies.
Easily scrape any site with JS rendering, geotargeting or residential proxies.
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With anti-bot detection and bypassing built into the API you never need to worry about having your requests blocked.
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Fast and Reliable
We automatically prune slow proxies from our pools, and guarantee unlimited bandwidth with speeds up to 100Mb/s, perfect for speedy web crawlers.
Built For Scale
Whether you need to scrape 100 pages per month or 100 million pages per month, ScraperAPI can give you the scale you need.
Easy to Use and Fully Customisable
Built with developers in mind ScraperAPI is not only easy to integrate, it is even easier to customize. Simply add &render=true, &country_code=us or &premium=true to enable JS rendering, IP geolocation, residential proxies, and more….
Extensive documentation & SDKs available for:
What Our Customers Are Saying
One of the most frustrating parts of automated web scraping is constantly dealing with IP blocks and CAPTCHAs. ScraperAPI rotates IP addresses with each request.
Optimization Director at SquareTrade
The team at ScraperAPI was so patient in helping us debug our first scraper. Thanks for being super passionate and awesome!
Founder of Parse, Partner at YCombinator
A dead simple API plus a generous free tier are hard to beat. ScraperAPI is a good example of how developer experience can make a difference in a crowded category.
I researched a lot of scraping tools and am glad I found Scraper API. it has low cost and great tech support. They always respond within 24 hours when I need any help with the product.
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Why is Web Scraping a Better Alternative to APIs? – PromptCloud
In the age of big data, data extraction is vital for all businesses. Data harvesting can give companies many advantages and, most importantly, it will get the business to a highly competitive place. By conducting market research via data harvesting, the business gets access to up-to-date information regarding the industry, or any related topic. Being informed on what’s happening in the market, your business can respond to any changes accordingly, minimize losses, and maximize sales.
With data harvesting, here comes – Web Scraping and APIs.
Web Scraping vs API: What’s the Difference?
Web scraping and API scraping are the most practical ways of data harvesting. Web Scraping refers to the process of extracting data from a website or specific webpage. While an API (Application Programming Interface) is a set of procedures and communication protocols that provide access to the data of an application, operating system or other services.
When it comes to web scraping, Application Programming Interfaces aka API is the go-to solution that comes to the mind of most data engineers. But is web crawling API the right solution for your business? So, is web scraping a better alternative for data extraction?
API (Application Programming Interface) is an intermediary that allows one software to talk to another. In simple terms, you can pass a JSON to an API and in return, it will also give you a JSON. Now, there always exists a set of rules as to what you can send in the JSON and what it can return. These rules are strict and can’t change unless someone actually changes the API itself. When using a data API, you will be strictly governed by a set of rules, and there are only specific data fields that you can extract.
Web scraping is much more customizable, complex, and is not governed by a strict set of rules. You can get any data that you can see on a website using a web crawling and scraping setup. As for how you can crawl data, you can apply any techniques available, and you are constrained only by your imagination. If you have an experienced team, you can even try to find new means to crawl data from websites that have dynamically generated feeds. But as you see, websites change their layout every day, and you would have to change your scraping code from time to time to make sure that everything keeps working.
Advantages of APIs
If web scraping is better than APIs, why do most people continue to use APIs? Well, the reason is very simple. Most people keep using the same API to get the same data, from the same source for fulfilling their specific objective. Also, they might have a contract with the website to use their API within a certain limit. Using web scraping API works well when the website changes are limited. In case new information is to be returned by the API, or some field names change, all you need to do is add those field names, or change the names of those field names in your request JSON.
When regular and similar bulk data extraction is the requirement, API can be the way to go. It can help is automating the data extraction process, including all kinds of documents from pdfs to images and invoices. The issues arise whenever there are an update in the source sites, formats, or fields. Thus making API an unreliable solution to web scraping.
Advantages of Web Scraping
Let’s break down the advantages into a few simple easy-to-understand points.
1. No More Rate Limiting
When you use an API, you are given certain limitations. With web scraping, there are no limits (at least technically). Most APIs have limited usage policies unless you are paying for their premium version. The free API will let you send around ten to a hundred requests per day. But in case you are using the API continuously, you might end up sending thousands of requests over the entire day. This might lead to a costly agreement getting signed between you and the person who owns the web scraping API.
When you are scraping, you are legally free to crawl any data from any website. However, you are not supposed to crawl websites whose asks you not to crawl their data explicitly. Most websites actually allow scraping. How do I know that? Well, any website that comes up in a Google search has already been scraped and indexed by Google, so theoretically be it Google, or you, anyone can crawl it. But always make sure you read and respect the file on the site and be on the safer side.
2. Not all Data is Available via API
An API is related to a specific website. New websites are cropping up every day, and in this scenario, it is better to follow the data trail, instead of blindly using an API, since an API will never provide you with all the data out there on the web.
When you scrape the web, you can pick up links inside articles or pages that you have already scraped and then use those links to find related content and information, thus creating a chain of interlinked sets of data that can be used for different purposes. It can happen automatically, using the same script that you write to crawl a single page. Thus you are allowing the data to lead you to a conclusion by letting it run free, and not binding it within rules and protocols. When compared to web scraping, API falls behind in terms of available data points.
3. Lack of Customization Options with API
With web scraping, you can customize any and every aspect of the data extraction process starting from the fields, frequency, format, structure, and even get geo-specific or device-specific data by changing your crawler’s user agent. This amount of customization is simply not possible with an API. When you go with a website’s API, you are limited in so many ways with little to no customization options.
4. Not all Websites Provide a Web Scraping API
All this while, we were speaking of the difference between using an API and web scraping. But that means we are hoping that every website will let you access their stored information by both means. That is completely wrong. Very few websites will actually let you access their data (even if that means limited or controlled data). Most websites will not allow you to access their APIs. This means when you are on to set up your own fashion E-Commerce store and try to get data from your competitors, you will obviously find no APIs and will have to code customized scrapers.
And it is not just about E-Commerce companies. In a majority of businesses, you will have to crawl data from your competitors to remain in the competition. Data is freely available on the internet and anyone can open a website on their browser and see it. Whether you want to tap this infinite source of data using web scraping and use it to your advantage is all up to you.
PromptCloud’s Web Scraping Service
In case you are wondering how to replace old APIs that you use in your business with web scraping engines, you can put together a team of Python and R developers who have had previous experience in web scraping python, in case your business revolves around the scraped data entirely and you have the capital to invest in such a team.
What would be much easier is to take the help of a well-experienced team like PromptCloud whom you can just provide with your requirements. The rest will be taken care of by the completely managed service provider. Web Scraping is a dynamic field with intelligent scraping bots and dynamic web pages coming into the picture. The technology that is a hit today might be an old relic in the scraping world tomorrow. So it’s best if you leave the scraping to web scraping providers.
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 web scraping api
What is API in Web scraping?
Web Scraping refers to the process of extracting data from a website or specific webpage. While an API (Application Programming Interface) is a set of procedures and communication protocols that provide access to the data of an application, operating system or other services.Nov 8, 2018
Is scraping API legal?
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.Aug 16, 2021
How do I scrape a website API?
How do we do web scraping?Inspect the website HTML that you want to crawl.Access URL of the website using code and download all the HTML contents on the page.Format the downloaded content into a readable format.Extract out useful information and save it into a structured format.More items…•Jul 15, 2020