It’s a process of extraction of data from various websites. It’s a variant of data scraping. The data extracted is then used for analysis. Web scraping involves fetching a web page and then extracting the data from it. Web scraping is used to understand the trend of the market, to understand your competitors and their pricing and then get ahead of them. Web scrapers typically take something from webpage and then use it for other purposes. The data may be parsed, reformatted or put in a spreadsheet etc.
Web scraping is the process of automatically collecting information from the World Wide Web. Following are some of the best web scraping techniques that can be used for collecting information: –
- Human copy and paste – Sometimes a better technology than any ever created. Usually websites don’t want their data to be scraped. For these sites, human touch can do the trick.
- Text pattern matching – It’s a very simple yet powerful approach. It’s based on UNIX grep command or regular expression matching facilities of programming languages.
- HTTP programming – HTTP requests can be posted to the web server to retrieve static and dynamic web pages.
- HTML parsing – websites generally have a large collection of pages generated dynamically. Same category data are usually encoded into similar pages by a common script or template. To parse HTML pages, languages like HTQL and XQuery can be used.
- Dom parsing – by embedding a full-fledged browser, programs can retrieve the dynamic content generated by client-side scripts.
- Semantic annotation recognizing – the pages being scraped may embrace semantic mark-ups and annotations. These can be used to locate specific data snippets.
Web data scraping in modern times has advanced the internet usage, marketing and management to a whole new dimension. The job which demanded days can be finished within few seconds. Extensively used in marketing and artificial intelligence analysis it’s importance cannot be ignored.