Web Scraping Made Easy: A Tutorial

Web Scraping Made Easy

Web scraping is growing fast today to be a profitable field for interested beginners. While there is plenty of available information online, the difficulty arises when you have little or no experience in web scraping. Before starting, you need to know some essential tips that will guide you to save time and effort.

Let’s find out what web scraper API is and what you can derive from it.

How Businesses Use Web Scraper API to Their Advantage

Ecommerce businesses can use web scraping to their advantage by monitoring their competitors’ pricing and sales trends. With web scraping, an eCommerce business can gather pricing information from various online stores within seconds, helping them adjust prices accordingly and stay competitive in the market.

Web Scraping Made Easy There are many websites offering lists of email addresses and other contact details for leads. Web scraping provides an effective, efficient way to generate leads as it allows businesses to pull these lists together quickly. 

Scraping tools like Octoparse will also enable you to ensure that only relevant leads are gathered based on specific criteria such as location or keywords. Since web scraper API is a cost-efficient way to save data, it can help you remain at the top of the game by giving you market intelligence that can be used for competitive analysis.

Common Dos and Don’ts While Using Web Scraper API

There are certain things to consider when dealing with the web scraper API to work efficiently and do the task efficiently.

Use the Right Tools for the Right Task

Only use a web scraper API for large-scale scraping. The API will return data in JSON format, which is easy to store and process using your preferred language (Node, Python, Ruby, Java, PHP, etc.). Don’t use Scraping API for small-scale scraping projects. 

Web Scraping Made Easy

If you want to scrape just a few pages from a given website, consider using a browser automation framework like Selenium instead. It will automate browser actions and enable you to scrape websites that require login or are javascript-heavy.

Understand How the API Works

Ensure that the API returns data in JSON format in almost all instances. JSON is straightforward to parse and easily ingested by most databases. Consider using an API that allows you to extract a single page or multiple pages in a single request. This will not only reduce your implementation time but also improve performance by reducing round trips between your system and our servers.

Web Scraping Made Easy

Picking Free or Paid Services

It is essential to research pricing plans of web scraper APIs before deciding to use one. Most web scraping providers offer varying programs that allow you to pay for what you need. Make sure the plan you choose fits your budget but doesn’t compromise the quality of service.

Choosing APIs vs. Building Your Own Tools

Many outstanding APIs are available to save you a lot of time while also providing accurate data. The first step when deciding whether or not to use an API is to investigate the available options. You should consider the sources that offer our desired data and how up-to-date and reliable they are.

Web Scraping Made Easy

If you can’t find an API that provides the data you need, you will have to build your own tool. However, this might be more time-consuming than it’s worth if you don’t have extensive coding skills. Creating your own scraper is often the best option for quality and reliability if you have the expertise and time required.

Only Scrape Public Data

It is not good to scrape a site that does not explicitly allow scraping. You might get blocked, or even worse, you might get sued for web scraping. Many sites provide the necessary permission to scrape their website. You can check out those sites and then proceed with the web scraping process.

Do not scrape a website without letting them know if it requires notice. It would be best to get permission from the website owner to avoid getting banned for scraping their website.

Add Value to Data

Don’t just scrape the data; add value to it. When you have access to a large amount of data, don’t just store it away or use it as raw data. Instead, try to add some value to them. You can format particular parts of the data or make it machine-readable by removing HTML tags, extracting images, and so on.

Web Scraping Made Easy

Check this Oxylabs piece if you are interested in trying a scraping API for free. 

Final Thoughts

Finding a perfect web scraper API for your needs is no easy challenge. The only way to find the best fit for you is to assess your task, evaluate the features and work with available resources. Here we’ve only listed some key factors to help you choose the right solution and avoid common mistakes when using web scraper API.

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