Website Data Scraping
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Scraping is the our field of expertise: we completed more than 800 scraping projects (including protected resources)
Table of contents
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
Two Kinds of Website Information
With 5 billion daily searches, and 3.5 billion on Google alone, the internet has become a valuable source of information not only for individuals but also for businesses. Let’s talk about how web data can be valuable for your business. We classify all website data into two major categories: internal and external website data. Internal data is all the publicly accessible information that websites contain: text, pictures, videos, documents, and other files. It is also called website content. Other internal data can include URLs, HTML code, and metadata. External data is information about a website from other sources: statistical information (e.g., from archive.org), traffic data, rankings, and more.
In this article, we will look at internal data, how to extract it from web pages, and what value it can bring to your business.
Text data is text content: articles, comments, posts, descriptions of goods and services, prices, contacts, and much more. With specific web scraping techniques, complemented with AI and machine learning algorithms, it’s usually not a big problem to extract data from websites of different kinds, and we know how to do so effectively. This open data is commonly scraped and transformed for further purposes. Text content uses a relatively small amount of storage, so scraping text information takes less effort when you’re scraping data on a large scale. But as a rule, text data needs to be processed: parsed, cleansed, transformed, and checked for quality assurance.
Pictures and video content
People often need image and video content to post on their sites, create catalogues in their online stores, or to track copyright violations. A web scraper can quickly solve this problem for you, however, make sure you do not violate the terms of service of the sites scraped and have the proper permissions from the media content owners. Not all images and videos on the web are allowed for a free repost. Still, there are multiple online resources containing publicly available images, and we can find any category or topic and extract all available pictures and their tags for you. Our web crawler can search Google or other specific sites to find the videos that match your special requirements. Other than YouTube monitoring, it is possible to track your competitors’ specific channels on a regular basis. Keep in mind that scraping media files takes more web scraping resources: proxies, services, and storage prices, and you should be prepared for this. You can read more about scraping images and video files in our data types articles.
We have done a lot of projects that require document scraping, mostly related to government data websites parsing. We have extracted legal information, statutes, and statistical information, for example. A lot of valuable business information can also be collected from the US Securities and Exchange Commission website. We understand that a lot of US government websites and documents have different formats, and as a rule, such documents should be cleansed after web scraping. That is the key challenge of document scraping – extracting and structuring the data you have. We know from experience that the older the website, the more difficult it is to scrape. We also deal with incremental document scraping – if you need to be alerted about a new arriving document, DataOx experts set the corresponding data feed and you get a fresh, clean, and automatically structured document as soon as it is published on the original online source.
Metadata, URLs, and sitemap
This type of data can be scraped and is valuable for SEO tasks. With meta tags and element scraping, you can always figure out what works best on the web right now and take advantage of such information for your own online resource. Search engines also use this kind of website data. In addition, if you need content from your old website moved to a new one, we can scrape every URL, parse all HTML tags, and extract all content from your old website to build a new one without missing any information.
We get a few requests from our clients to do web crawling through the entire internet, find specific information on a website, and perform data collection then. For instance, we can find a web source using WordPress or another content management system (CMS) through the site’s HTML code. We can scrape for a particular topic or keyword mentioned in a forum or article, like file names or even people’s last names: any target information works. Another quite common request is to scrape comments and reviews about a particular good, service, or event. We can also monitor certain sites and topics for updates to provide a regular data feed for you on the specific information you request.
DataOx’s Approaches to Website Scraping
We scrape websites using two approaches: data delivery and custom software solutions. If you just need scraped and cleansed data, data delivery is the service for you. You simply define your requirements in detail, and we do all the work for you, providing the web data extraction results to you either just once, or regularly, according to the needs of your project.
If you need custom software and code ownership, you should look at a custom solution. We are eager to craft a unique digital product that best matches your business processes and needs. Read more on our services page. Our scraping expert can help you choose the service that best fits your needs and requirements. Schedule a free consultation.
Publishing date: Sun Apr 23 2023
Last update date: Tue Apr 18 2023