All you need to know about web scraping as a method of extracting data from websites.
Web scraping is the method of extracting structured information from a web page. It means that web scraping automates manually finding and saving the information on a website you find valuable. Although web scraping can be done manually, in most cases, automatic tools are favored when scraping web data as they can be less costly and work at a faster rate.
3 simple steps can represent a general web scraping case:
- Request a web page content by URL (open the web page to get the HTML content) or via the direct API call.
- Convert the mess of the HTML tags into extracted and structured data by parsing (like we do it when a copy-pasting particular text part).
- Store the extracted data into preferred storage: database, text file, CSV, Excel, etc.
The list of ways and purposes you can do web scraping is almost endless. After all, it is all about what you can do with the data you’ve collected and how valuable you can make it.
- Scraping stock (Yahoo Finance, cryptocurrencies) prices into an app API
- Scraping data from Zoominfo, Linkedin and social networks to generate leads
- Scraping financial data for market research and insights
- Scraping data from Google Maps to create a list of business locations
- Scraping product data from sites like Amazon, Etsy or eBay for a product and competitor analysis
- Scraping sports stats and odds for gambling
In basic terms, every API just allows applications to communicate with one another. When people speak of "an API", they seldom conclude and actually mean "a publicly available web-based API that returns data, likely in JSON or XML".
Web Scraping API allows you to perform web scraping tasks by requesting data extraction and processing from the API provider via the tidy structured interface to connect the result with your data processing flow.