Have you ever heard about web-scraping? Do you know what it is and how it works? If you don’t have the slightest idea, we will tell you what this is and how it is used. We are pretty sure that you have heard about web scraping but with another name such as data scraping, data tracking or sometimes it is also called data digging. Web scraping refers to automatically browsing a website and extracting the information from it. This can be used for many purposes and different businesses have used it effectively. It is difficult to think of a company that does not do it or does not want to do it. Believe it or not, one of the companies that use web scraping is Google. They usually do it so its search engine works promptly. To achieve this, they scrape the whole network constantly. But how can we scrape a website? To scrape a website, we need software. This software is called a spider or crawler. It might sound incredible, but anyone can scrape any website because this does not require any programming knowledge and is easy to install.
Web scraping has several benefits
Have you ever filled out an online form and in the end you fill a captcha or put a checkmark on the ¨I’m not a robot” phrase? This is something that many websites are using nowadays to protect themselves against web scraping. This is because web scraping is not only used to collect information, but people often use it to create fake accounts or perform harmful actions on the network. But, what is web scraping used for? Have you ever heard the phrase “information is power”? Well, we can say it is true. When you decide to scrape the web, you will be able to find a lot of information from different web pages, therefore the more information you have, the more power you will have especially if you are scraping websites to benefit your business.
Here are some examples of how we’ve used the benefits of web scraping for our business.
#1 ADD CONTENT
This is one of the applications that originated in web scraping. At first, it was used to gather news or even real estate information but then, it started to be used to get information about companies such as events and job offers.
Many companies have used web scraping not only to know what people think about their brand but also to know what brand people will be talking about in the following months. This is a big advantage that companies are using in marketing.
#3 PRICE OPTIMIZATION
When a company does scraping to know about its competitors, this allows the company to generate a history over time regarding prices. Therefore, they can know in real-time which company offers the best prices and thus be able to compete with them without affecting their costs. Most of the online stores use scraping not only to optimize their prices as we have already said but they also use different techniques to choose the most outstanding image and categorize their products as well.
Does web scraping have any consequences?
Have you asked yourself if there are any consequences after scraping a website? You have to take into account that when a website is scraped, this simulates as if a human being were using it. Unfortunately, when the website is being scraped, it can sometimes collapse because it receives too many visits at the same time. Therefore, if you are extracting too much information from a website, it can run a Google analytics code that is a tool that isolates it completely and thus creates different problems to the website.
Companies also protect themselves from web scraping
Web scraping can be considered legal or illegal. It depends on each case and yet knowing this the answer is not so clear. We should know that scraping a website is always a risk because the company that is being scraped can file a complaint. Sometimes when they realize that their information is being scraped, they block the crawler and it produces a kind of alert so this doesn’t happen again. Technology has changed a lot and has provided interesting tools to make our life easier. Web scraping is an effective tool to extract information quickly and effectively. It isn’t difficult to do and the good news is that you don’t need great programming knowledge to do it. If you need to extract information from and you need a Zenscrape API. We can help you create a unique scraping experience giving you the tools and the services you need.