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Web Scraping- Meaning & Its Uses

It’s a business, freelancer, giant techs, small techs, individuals , people are switching to technologies Oops! my bad “Latest High Technologies”. Well coming to web scraping, its one way destination solution for those who want to get structured web data. It is quite useful for the organization or people who want to access the data.

Table of Content

  • What is Web Scraping?

  • Web Scraping: Basics 

  • Web Scraping Process

  • Uses of Web Scraping

What is Web Scraping?


Web Scraping is the process of retrieving structured web data through an automated way. Web scraping is also called web extraction or data extraction. Web scraping is used to monitor price, price intelligence, news monitoring, lead generation market research and many more.


In short, web scraping is used by the people or organizations who want to make business decisions on the basis of data available publicly. Well if I say that you’ve done web scraping will you believe it? 


Let me tell you if you’ve ever copied data from a website, you’ve done web scraping but on a very narrow scale. Web scraping involves retrieving millions and billions of data seamlessly.


Web Scraping: Basics

Web scraping is quite simple and works in two stages: crawler and scraper.
The crawler is the horse and the scraper is the chariot. The crawler leads the scraper, with the path of the internet where it retrieves the data. 

The Crawler
Crawler is an artificial intelligence that browses the internet to index and search for information by keeping following the links. Most of the time at first you crawl the web then you pass these URLs to the scraper.

The Scraper
The scraper is the tool designed to retrieve data accurately from a web page. Web scraper varies widely in design and level of complexity. An important part of every scraper is the data locators which are used to find the data that you want to retrieve from the HTML file- mostly, CSS, regex, or combination of both is used.

Web Scraping Process


If you’re doing by your own ;

Follow these steps to complete the web scraping process:
1. Identify the potential website
2. Collect the URLs, from where you want to extract the data from
3. Request the URLs, to get the HTML of the page
4. Executing the javascript into the scraper
5. Maintain the scraper if the website layout changes
6. Managing Proxies in the scraper
7. Use locators or simulators to find data in the HTML file
8. Working with the antibots
9. Store the data in CSV or JSON file in a structured format

Managing proxies and working with the antibots are some deep technical problems which have to be solved. You can use web scraping tools , a lot of them are free and some have limitations to. These limitations are the reason businesses outsource the web scraping.

If you want to outsource the web scraping, then look for these :

- Team should gather your project requirements
- Team should be experienced enough to write the scraper and be able to collect the data and complete structure is matching with your requirements or not
- Last, check if the company is able to deliver your desired results

Uses of Web Scraping

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1. Monitoring Minimum Advertised Price
Monitoring MAP is comparing the brands online prices and checking that they are adhering to the pricing policy. With millions of resellers and distributors, it is impossible to monitor the prices individually. Here comes the web scraping it makes life easy.

2. Business Automation
Sometimes it can be hefty to retrieve the data. Maybe you want to retrieve data  from your own website, which is developed in a structured way. But more or less, if you’re doing web scraping on a large scale you have to move like this you’ve to create the scraper and then retrieve the data. And it is much easier for you to do the data extraction.


3. Price Intelligence
As per our research, price intelligence is one of the best uses of web scraping. Many ecommerce businesses retrieve product pricing data, and create the piece of information on the basis of which they set their own pricing policies and strategies. This just not help them to set prices but also to combat the ecommerce competition going on in the market. 

Price intelligence can be used in the following ways;
- To set the dynamic pricing
- For the revenue optimization
- To do rivals monitoring
- To compliance Brand and MAP
- To monitor the product trends in the market

4. Data for Finance
The decision making can not have uniformity. You’ve to go with the market if you want to survive or grow. You can be resistant to change. That is something you’ve to do. Finance firms are using web scraps to add strategic value to the business. And it can be done for following reasons:
- News Monitoring
- Public Sentiment Integrations
- Estimating Company Fundamentals
- Retrieving Insights from SEC Filings

5. Monitor Brand Health
If you want to grow your business, you’ve to build an everlasting brand reputation. You want to sell your products or services through virtual mode or in a physical store, you have a high pricing strategy or low pricing strategy, web scraping will help you out to fetch each and every single data to monitor our brand health.

6. Real-estate Industry
By using web scraping the companies, brokers, and agents  can cut down the competition and take good decision-making in the market.
Some of the ways where web scraped  data is used for:
- Property Value Appraisal
- Monitoring Vacancy Rates
- Estimating Rental Yields
- Market Direction Knowledge

7. Lead Generation
Lead generation is very important for all businesses. According to the  Hubspot report 61% of marketers said generating leads was one of the toughest challenges. Here, web scraping helps you to get the structured and useful data for your business needs.

8. Market Research
Market research plays a crucial role in making business decisions. It should be relevant and accurate. High quality web scraped data is useful for market analysis and for business operations too at universal level.
You can use web scraped data in marketing as;
- Doing market trend analysis
- To study and set market pricing
- Minimizing marketing implementation time
- In the R & D department of the company
- To monitor your rivals

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