Skip to content

How to Launch a Web Scraping Project if You Have No Clue Where to Start

How to Launch a Web Scraping Project if You Have No Clue Where to Start

How to Launch a Web Scraping Project if You Have No Clue Where to Start

The demand for web scraping has never been higher. This activity is quickly getting worldwide recognition as more companies and individuals start to use it for various purposes. The chances of you being already familiar with this term are quite high.

If you’re interested in learning about web scraping and how you can launch a web scraping project without any prior knowledge, you’re in the right place. Make sure to keep reading to find out everything you need to know for your first web scraping attempts.

The importance of gathering data

Gathering data allows people to store, organize, and analyze crucial information about their business. But, why is the activity of data collection so beneficial for companies, and what can they use this information for?

Here are some of the key reasons why data gathering is important:

  1. Make well-calculated decisions

Data allows you to get better insight into the current situation. By seeing the bigger picture, you can make smarter business decisions and take advantage of new opportunities. Making mistakes along the way is much harder with solid data by your side, which is why data is the key to every beneficial business move.

  1. Identify problems

Every organization faces its problems. Because the working environment and nature of business constantly change, it’s impossible to find a perfect solution that’ll always deliver impressive results. However, evaluation of quality data allows you to identify problems early and immediately take action.

  1. Develop accurate strategies

Data can back up your arguments and help you develop accurate strategies. While no one knows what the future brings and how effective your strategy will be, basing your strategies on data is the best option to become triumphant.

Why automation is crucial

While everyone can agree data collection is beneficial for every business, does it have to be automated? 

Manual data collection implies gathering large amounts of data from various sources by real people, which is a process that can take a lot of time only to receive little to no useful details.

Because automated data collection can gather bigger data, the reliability and usefulness of the collected data are significantly higher. Furthermore, automated data collection is faster, more efficient, and costs less. It also removes the error factor from data collection and any potential bias.

Essentially, automation in data collection is crucial as it delivers high-quality results and large amounts of data while simultaneously saving time and money for companies. In other words, automated data gathering is exactly what web scraping is.

Challenges of automated scraping

Although web scraping comes with plenty of benefits, there are some challenges of web scraping too. Inexperienced individuals typically face these obstacles at the beginning of their web scraping journey:

  1. Bots and CAPTCHAs

The use of bots and CAPTCHAs can slow down or stop any scraping tools from gathering data from a website. Companies commonly use bots to prevent their competitors from scraping their data to gain a competitive edge.

CAPTCHAs are used to separate real people from automated tools by displaying problems only humans can solve. That way, the access is granted only to those who complete the CAPTCHA correctly.

  1. Frequent structural changes

A web scraper is built to scrape a specific website structure. If any structural changes occur, the scraper won’t be able to access the site. That’s why companies frequently change their website’s structure.

  1. Getting banned

Your scraper will make multiple requests per second, which is something a human will never do. Some websites use tools that detect such unnatural behaviour and ban the IP address from accessing the website.

How to improve the web scraping process

If you come across any of these obstacles in your scraping attempts, these three solutions will make your scraping run smoothly and efficiently:

Use scraper APIs

Scraper APIs are the ultimate solution. In case you don’t know what is API (application programming interface), it’s a connection between computer programs. A scraper API is a special API created for data extraction. It’s got an IP rotation service and uses a headless browser for the best scraping results. Read the following article to focus on what is API. 

  1. Set a referrer header

An alternative option is to set a referrer header. For instance, a “https://www.google.com/” referrer will show other websites as if you came to the website through an organic google search.

  1. Detect website changes

Another alternative is to keep an eye out for website changes. If you detect website changes as soon as they take place and make the needed changes to your scraper, your tool will continue scraping without any issues.

Conclusion

According to the latest numbers, web scraping is here to stay. Websites that don’t want scrapers gathering their data will try to use different methods to keep as many scrapers as possible at bay, but it’s important to remember there’s always a solution to avoid these traps. Remember, practice and knowledge is key to successful scraping, so don’t give up!

Everything You Need To Know About Mastering Screen Recording 

How to Launch a Web Scraping Project if You Have No Clue Where to Start

Leave a Reply