What Is Data Scraping And How Can You Use It? – Target …
What Is Data Scraping? Data scraping, also known as web scraping, is the process of importing information from a website into a spreadsheet or local file saved on your computer. It’s one of the most efficient ways to get data from the web, and in some cases to channel that data to another website. Popular uses of data scraping include:Research for web content/business intelligencePricing for travel booker sites/price comparison sitesFinding sales leads/conducting market research by crawling public data sources (e. g. Yell and Twitter)Sending product data from an e-commerce site to another online vendor (e. Google Shopping)And that list’s just scratching the surface. Data scraping has a vast number of applications – it’s useful in just about any case where data needs to be moved from one place to basics of data scraping are relatively easy to master. Let’s go through how to set up a simple data scraping action using Scraping with dynamic web queries in Microsoft ExcelSetting up a dynamic web query in Microsoft Excel is an easy, versatile data scraping method that enables you to set up a data feed from an external website (or multiple websites) into a this excellent tutorial video to learn how to import data from the web to Excel – or, if you prefer, use the written instructions below:Open a new workbook in ExcelClick the cell you want to import data intoClick the ‘Data’ tabClick ‘Get external data’Click the ‘From web’ symbolNote the little yellow arrows that appear to the top-left of web page and alongside certain contentPaste the URL of the web page you want to import data from into the address bar (we recommend choosing a site where data is shown in tables)Click ‘Go’Click the yellow arrow next to the data you wish to importClick ‘Import’An ‘Import data’ dialogue box pops upClick ‘OK’ (or change the cell selection, if you like)If you’ve followed these steps, you should now be able to see the data from the website set out in your great thing about dynamic web queries is that they don’t just import data into your spreadsheet as a one-off operation – they feed it in, meaning the spreadsheet is regularly updated with the latest version of the data, as it appears on the source website. That’s why we call them configure how regularly your dynamic web query updates the data it imports, go to ‘Data’, then ‘Properties’, then select a frequency (“Refresh every X minutes”). Automated data scraping with toolsGetting to grips with using dynamic web queries in Excel is a useful way to gain an understanding of data scraping. However, if you intend to use data regularly scraping in your work, you may find a dedicated data scraping tool more are our thoughts on a few of the most popular data scraping tools on the market:Data Scraper (Chrome plugin)Data Scraper slots straight into your Chrome browser extensions, allowing you to choose from a range of ready-made data scraping “recipes” to extract data from whichever web page is loaded in your tool works especially well with popular data scraping sources like Twitter and Wikipedia, as the plugin includes a greater variety of recipe options for such tried Data Scraper out by mining a Twitter hashtag, “#jourorequest”, for PR opportunities, using one of the tool’s public recipes. Here’s a flavour of the data we got back:As you can see, the tool has provided a table with the username of every account which had posted recently on the hashtag, plus their tweet and its URLHaving this data in this format would be more useful to a PR rep than simply seeing the data in Twitter’s browser view for a number of reasons: It could be used to help create a database of press contactsYou could keep referring back to this list and easily find what you’re looking for, whereas Twitter continuously updatesThe list is sortable and editableIt gives you ownership of the data – which could be taken offline or changed at any momentWe’re impressed with Data Scraper, even though its public recipes are sometimes slightly rough-around-the-edges. Try installing the free version on Chrome, and have a play around with extracting data. Be sure to watch the intro movie they provide to get an idea of how the tool works and some simple ways to extract the data you want. WebHarvyWebHarvy is a point-and-click data scraper with a free trial version. Its biggest selling point is its flexibility – you can use the tool’s in-built web browser to navigate to the data you would like to import, and can then create your own mining specifications to extract exactly what you need from the source is a feature-rich data mining tool suite that does much of the hard work for you. Has some interesting features, including “What’s changed? ” reports that can notify you of updates to specified websites – ideal for in-depth competitor are marketers using data scraping? As you will have gathered by this point, data scraping can come in handy just about anywhere where information is used. Here are some key examples of how the technology is being used by marketers:Gathering disparate dataOne of the great advantages of data scraping, says Marcin Rosinski, CEO of FeedOptimise, is that it can help you gather different data into one place. “Crawling allows us to take unstructured, scattered data from multiple sources and collect it in one place and make it structured, ” says Marcin. “If you have multiple websites controlled by different entities, you can combine it all into one feed. “The spectrum of use cases for this is infinite. ”FeedOptimise offers a wide variety of data scraping and data feed services, which you can find out about at their website. Expediting researchThe simplest use for data scraping is retrieving data from a single source. If there’s a web page that contains lots of data that could be useful to you, the easiest way to get that information onto your computer in an orderly format will probably be data finding a list of useful contacts on Twitter, and import the data using data scraping. This will give you a taste of how the process can fit into your everyday work. Outputting an XML feed to third party sitesFeeding product data from your site to Google Shopping and other third party sellers is a key application of data scraping for e-commerce. It allows you to automate the potentially laborious process of updating your product details – which is crucial if your stock changes often. “Data scraping can output your XML feed for Google Shopping, ” says Target Internet’s Marketing Director, Ciaran Rogers. “ I have worked with a number of online retailers retailer who were continually adding new SKU’s to their site as products came into stock. If your E-commerce solution doesn’t output a suitable XML feed that you can hook up to your Google Merchant Centre so you can advertise your best products that can be an issue. Often your latest products are potentially the best sellers, so you want to get them advertised as soon as they go live. I’ve used data scraping to produce up-to-date listings to feed into Google Merchant Centre. It’s a great solution, and actually, there is so much you can do with the data once you have it. Using the feed, you can tag the best converting products on a daily basis so you can share that information with Google Adwords and ensure you bid more competitively on those products. Once you set it up its all quite automated. The flexibility a good feed you have control of in this way is great, and it can lead to some very definite improvements in those campaigns which clients love. ”It’s possible to set up a simple data feed into Google Merchant Centre for yourself. Here’s how it’s done:How to set up a data feed to Google Merchant CentreUsing one of the techniques or tools described previously, create a file that uses a dynamic website query to import the details of products listed on your site. This file should automatically update at regular details should be set out as specified this file to a password-protected URLGo to Google Merchant Centre and log in (make sure your Merchant Centre account is properly set up first)Go to ProductsClick the plus buttonEnter your target country and create a feed nameSelect the ‘scheduled fetch’ optionAdd the URL of your product data file, along with the username and password required to access itSelect the fetch frequency that best matches your product upload scheduleClick SaveYour product data should now be available in Google Merchant Centre. Just make sure you Click on the ‘Diagnostics’ tab to check it’s status and ensure it’s all working dark side of data scrapingThere are many positive uses for data scraping, but it does get abused by a small minority most prevalent misuse of data scraping is email harvesting – the scraping of data from websites, social media and directories to uncover people’s email addresses, which are then sold on to spammers or scammers. In some jurisdictions, using automated means like data scraping to harvest email addresses with commercial intent is illegal, and it is almost universally considered bad marketing web users have adopted techniques to help reduce the risk of email harvesters getting hold of their email address, including:Address munging: changing the format of your email address when posting it publicly, e. typing ‘patrick[at]’ instead of ‘’. This is an easy but slightly unreliable approach to protecting your email address on social media – some harvesters will search for various munged combinations as well as emails in a normal format, so it’s not entirely ntact forms: using a contact form instead of posting your email address(es) on your if your email address is presented in image form on your website, it will be beyond the technological reach of most people involved in email Data Scraping FutureWhether or not you intend to use data scraping in your work, it’s advisable to educate yourself on the subject, as it is likely to become even more important in the next few are now data scraping AI on the market that can use machine learning to keep on getting better at recognising inputs which only humans have traditionally been able to interpret – like improvements in data scraping from images and videos will have far-reaching consequences for digital marketers. As image scraping becomes more in-depth, we’ll be able to know far more about online images before we’ve seen them ourselves – and this, like text-based data scraping, will help us do lots of things there’s the biggest data scraper of all – Google. The whole experience of web search is going to be transformed when Google can accurately infer as much from an image as it can from a page of copy – and that goes double from a digital marketing you’re in any doubt over whether this can happen in the near future, try out Google’s image interpretation API, Cloud Vision, and let us know what you think. get your free membership now – absolutely no credit card requiredThe Digital Marketing ToolkitExclusive live video learning sessionsComplete library of The Digital Marketing PodcastThe digital skills benchmarking toolsFree online training courses FREE MEMBERSHIP
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
5 Best Web Scraping Tools to Extract Online Data – Hongkiat
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 tools are useful for anyone trying to collect some form of data from the Internet. Web Scraping is the new data entry technique that don’t require repetitive typing or copy-pasting.
These software look for new data manually or automatically, fetching the new or updated data and storing them for your easy access. For example, one may collect info about products and their prices from Amazon using a scraping tool.
In this post, we’re listing the use cases of web scraping tools and the top 5 web scraping tools to collect information, with zero codings.
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Why Web Scraping Tools?
Web Scraping tools can be used for unlimited purposes in various scenarios but we’re going to go with some common use cases that are applicable to general users.
1. Collect Data for Market Research
Web scraping tools can help keep you abreast on where your company or industry is heading in the next six months, serving as a powerful tool for market research. The tools can fetch data from multiple data analytics providers and market research firms, and consolidating them into one spot for easy reference and analysis.
2. Extract Contact Info
These tools can also be used to extract data such as emails and phone numbers from various websites, making it possible to have a list of suppliers, manufacturers, and other persons of interests to your business or company, alongside their respective contact addresses.
3. Download Solutions from StackOverflow
Using a web scraping tool, one can also download solutions for offline reading or storage by collecting data from multiple sites (including StackOverflow and more Q&A websites). This reduces dependence on active Internet connections as the resources are readily available in spite of the availability of Internet access.
4. Look for Jobs or Candidates
For personnel who are actively looking for more candidates to join their team, or for job seekers who are looking for a particular role or job vacancy, these tools also work great to effortlessly fetch data based on different applied filters, and to retrieve data effective without manual searches.
5. Track Prices from Multiple Markets
If you are into online shopping and love to actively track prices of products you are looking for across multiple markets and online stores, then you definitely need a web scraping tool.
Web Scraping Tools
Let’s take a look at some of the best web scraping tools available. Some of them are free, some of them have trial periods and premium plans. Do look into the details before you subscribe to anyone for your needs.
Scraper API is designed to simplify web scraping. This proxy API tool is capable of managing proxies, web-browsers & CAPTCHAs.
It supports popular programming languages such as Bash, Node, Python, Ruby, Java, and PHP. Scraper API has many features; some of the main ones are:
It is fully customizable (request type, request headers, headless browser, IP geolocation).
Over 40 million IPs.
Unlimited bandwidth with speeds up to 100Mb/s.
More than 12 geolocations, and
Easy to integrate.
Scraper API offer 4 plans – Hobby($29/month), Startup($99/month), Business($249/month) and Enterprise.
offers a builder to form your own datasets by simply importing the data from a particular web page and exporting the data to CSV. You can easily scrape thousands of web pages in minutes without writing a single line of code and build 1000+ APIs based on your requirements.
uses cutting-edge technology to fetch millions of data every day, which businesses can avail for small fees. Along with the web tool, it also offers a free apps for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux to build data extractors and crawlers, download data and sync with the online account.
(formerly known as CloudScrape)
CloudScrape supports data collection from any website and requires no download just like Webhose. It provides a browser-based editor to set up crawlers and extract data in real-time. You can save the collected data on cloud platforms like Google Drive and or export as CSV or JSON.
CloudScrape also supports anonymous data access by offering a set of proxy servers to hide your identity. CloudScrape stores your data on its servers for 2 weeks before archiving it. The web scraper offers 20 scraping hours for free and will cost $29 per month.
Zyte (formerly Scrapinghub) is a cloud-based data extraction tool that helps thousands of developers to fetch valuable data. Zyte uses Crawlera, a smart proxy rotator that supports bypassing bot counter-measures to crawl huge or bot-protected sites easily.
Zyte converts the entire web page into organized content. Its team of experts are available for help in case its crawl builder can’t work your requirements. Its basic free plan gives you access to 1 concurrent crawl and its premium plan for $25 per month provides access to up to 4 parallel crawls.
ParseHub, apart from the web app, is also available as a free desktop application for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux that offers a basic free plan that covers 5 crawl projects. This service offers a premium plan for $89 per month with support for 20 projects and 10, 000 webpages per crawl.
80legs is a powerful yet flexible web crawling tool that can be configured to your needs. It supports fetching huge amounts of data along with the option to download the extracted data instantly. The web scraper claims to crawl 600, 000+ domains and is used by big players like MailChimp and PayPal.
Its ‘Datafiniti‘ lets you search the entire data quickly. 80legs provides high-performance web crawling that works rapidly and fetches required data in mere seconds. It offers a free plan for 10K URLs per crawl and can be upgraded to an intro plan for $29 per month for 100K URLs per crawl.
Bonus: One more…
Scraper is a Chrome extension with limited data extraction features but it’s helpful for making online research, and exporting data to Google Spreadsheets. This tool is intended for beginners as well as experts who can easily copy data to the clipboard or store to the spreadsheets using OAuth.
Scraper is a free tool, which works right in your browser and auto-generates smaller XPaths for defining URLs to crawl. It doesn’t offers you the ease of automatic or bot crawling like Import, Webhose and others, but it’s also a benefit for novices as you don’t need to tackle messy configuration.
Which is your favorite web scraping tool or add-on? What data do you wish to extract from the Internet? Do share your story with us using the comments section below.
Frequently Asked Questions about data scraper
What does a data scraper do?
Data scraping, also known as web scraping, is the process of importing information from a website into a spreadsheet or local file saved on your computer. … It’s one of the most efficient ways to get data from the web, and in some cases to channel that data to another website.
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 a 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