Practical uses of Web Scraper / Web Scraping
The Internet is a huge store of world's information - be it text, media or data in any other format. Every web page display data in one form or the other. Access to this data is crucial for the success of most businesses in the modern world. Unfortunately most of this data is not open. Most websites do not offer the option to save the data which they display to your local storage, or to your own website. This is where a Web Scraping software like WebHarvy comes in handy.
The uses of web scraping for business and personal requirements are endless. Each business or individual has his or her own specific need for gathering data. Here we are discussing few of the common usage scenarios.
Gathering data from multiple sources for analysis
You might want to collect and analyze data related to a specific category from multiple websites. The category might be real estate, automobiles, electronic gadgets, industrial equipment, business contacts, marketing etc. The different websites which belongs to the specific category displays information in different formats. Even with a single website you may not be able to see all the data at once. The data may be spanned across multiple pages (like google search results, known as pagination or paginated lists) under various sections.
Using a Web Scraper you can extract data from multiple websites to a single spreadsheet (or database) so that it becomes easy for you to analyze (or even visualize) the data.
Data is an integral part of any research, be it academic, marketing or scientific. A Web Scraper will help you gather structured data from multiple sources in the Internet with ease.
For Businesses / eCommerce : Market Analysis, Price Comparison
Companies catering products or services related to a specific domain need to have a comprehensive data of similar products and services which appear in the market every day. A Web Scraper software can be used to keep a constant watch on this data. You can get all the required information from a variety of sources at the click of a button.
For Marketing : Lead Generation
A web scraper can be used to gather contact details of businesses or individuals from websites like yellowpages.com or linkedin.com. Details like email address, phone, website URL etc can be easily extracted using a web scraper.
While the above is a broad classification of web scraping usage scenarios, the following are some of the most common specific uses.
- 1. Scrape product details (price, images, rating, reviews etc) from retailer/manufacturer/eCommerce websites (Ex: Amazon, eBay, AliExpress, Alibaba etc.) to show on own websites, to provide price comparisons, to perform a price watch on competing sellers etc.
- 2. Scrape property details and agent contact details from real estate websites
- 3. Scrape contact details of businesses as well as individuals from yellow pages websites
- 4. Scrape people profiles from social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn etc. for tracking online reputation.
- 5. Scrape hospital/clinic websites to build a catalog of health physicians including their contact details
- 6. Scrape reviews of products and places/hotels/restaurants
- 7. Crawl forums and communities to extract data from posts and authors
- 8. Scrape articles from various article/PR websites to feature in own website
- 9. Scrape data from various Government websites, most of which do not provide an easy way to download the data which they display.