Types of Web Scrapers and Their Differences
You may have heard about web scraping but want to figure out how it works. Although many individuals and businesses use this powerful technique to obtain data, the scraping process may be more challenging than it sounds. You’re in the right place if you need to collect data for research purposes and want to learn more about web scraping.
The first thing you will learn is what web scraping is. Moreover, you will discover various use cases for web scraping, each requiring a different type of web scraper. If you want to learn which scraper to use, read ahead.
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What is web scraping?
You can obtain everything you need by using a web scraping tool. Web scrapers allow you to collect data in a digital environment that you can use for research purposes. They can scrape various data types, such as images, text, numbers, etc.
Once you collect data, you can categorize, analyze, and compare it to get the desired results. Although it may seem effortless, there are many factors to consider when choosing a web scraper, such as what you will use it for and which source you want to scour for data. Below, we will list some of the most common use cases of web scraping services.
Web scraping use cases
Although you can use web scraping tools to collect any data you need, here are some of these tools’ most common use cases.
Brand monitoring is tracking your product’s and company’s popularity. If you are an online business owner who wants to figure out their target audience and market, you can use a web scraper to track your brand and see where it is the most popular. Then, you can create marketing strategies to reach your target audience and gain more profit.
Gaining a competitive edge
If you want to gain a competitive edge and be one step ahead of everyone in the industry, you should use a web scraper.
For instance, this tool allows you to extract data from your e-commerce competitors, providing insight into what they are doing better. After you collect data, you can compare and analyze it to see how you can improve your company and gain a competitive edge.
Copyright infringement monitoring
If you have copyrighted work that you wish to protect, you can use a web scraper to see whether someone is using or distributing it without permission.
Regardless of your assets or your intellectual property (such as software, books, music, movies, etc.), you can use a web scraping service to protect against copyright infringement and keep your assets safe.
Whether you are an e-commerce business owner or an entrepreneur, keeping up with the current trends is undoubtedly one of your priorities. A web scraping tool is one of the best ways to do so.
You will see what the audience interacts with the most and create your content to satisfy the needs of your viewers or customers. If you follow the trends, you will gain popularity quickly; thus, using a web scraper is essential to thriving in your industry.
Types of web scrapers
Although you can collect various data types online, you will need a unique tool to extract data for specific purposes. Depending on the use case, you can find a web scraper that will enable you to collect data accordingly. For example, if you want to use a web scraper for e-commerce purposes, you should find an e-commerce scraper to achieve your goals.
Here are some web scraper types available on the market:
- SERP scrapers – you can use these tools to collect data from search engines, such as Google, for various purposes. For example, you can extract keywords for better search engine optimization.
- API scrapers – you can collect relevant links using an API (Application Programming Interface) scraper. API scrapers will provide you access to web servers and allow data extraction.
These are the two primary types of scrapers. The main difference is that using an API method can only scrape data from one particular website at a time, while SERP scrapers allow you to access multiple pages simultaneously.
Like there are different types of scrapers, various search engines and e-commerce sites exist. You can pick a scraper according to your target website and the search engine you will use.
For example, if you want to scrape data from the Yandex search engine, you will need a trustworthy Yandex API (more info here) for extracting Yandex SERP data. A Yandex API can extract the necessary information quickly and avoid anti-scraping mechanisms.
Thus, before you jump into the scraping waters, you should choose your scrapers carefully and ensure that they are compatible with both the purpose and the search engine you will use.
In a data-ruled world, you may need help to obtain the data you need. Luckily, with technological advancements came scraping tools.
Now that you know more about these tools and how to use them in different scenarios, it’s time to harness their potential. When choosing your means, consider the type of scraper you need and the search engine you will use to make the data collection process effortless.