In general, real-time data scraping is the process through which software scrapes data from websites at almost the same time as changes occur there. This process requires a delicate approach. To get data almost at once, your software needs to request the web sources many times. So your real-time crawler could create an additional load on the web source host and can even crash the website. That’s why it’s essential to find the right balance between the delay of getting fresh data and overloading the website servers.
Another approach is real-time web scraping using API – website application programming interface (API)—a special channel made for downloading data directly from websites’ databases. But APIs exist on less than 1% of all websites (mostly on big, well-known web sources like Facebook, Twitter, and others). And another issue is that APIs have a lot of limits regarding data they can give, for instance: the number of records, amount of fields, or speed limitation.
Real-time web data extraction has one more meaning. We have developed a lot of scaping-based solutions for our clients where the end-user requests information and should get it as soon as possible. The speed of getting information is the most valuable aspect of such products.
With a real-time web scraper, E-commerce sites can compare prices up to the moment, sometimes lowering the price by as little as $1, which can sensitively boost sales and result in tremendous profit increase. However, if your company is small, you may fail to understand where to start, where to extract data, and what to do with it.
In such a case you can start from product offer listings, your competitors’ product pages, question and answers sections, then proceed to customer reviews or search engines search results. With a callback data delivery method, the web scraper will notify you that the results are ready, with real-time data delivery, it is retrieved on the same connection. It means that a user submits the request and gets the information back on the same open HTTPS connection.