One of the first thoughts I had when I started learning about web scraping was, “Really? It’s that easy?” To me, web scraping sounded like some mumbo-jumbo computer talk that was way out of this non-developer’s pay grade.
As it turns out, data scraping is actually pretty neat, and it helps people like me get some very important work done. But as I learned about the many use cases for web scraping, I realized that there are still some very basic questions about web scraping that can be pretty confusing, even if you know how to use a web scraping tool. One of those very basic (yet easily forgotten) questions is: How does web scraping work? I may know how to get useful data using the Scraping Robot API, but understanding how the scraper actually gets the information I’m seeking can be a whole other story. But, like so many tech topics, this whole thing is really much simpler than it sounds. We hope web scraping tutorial helps you understand how easy it really is.
Table of Contents
How Does Web Scraping Work?
Web scrapers extract data from websites of your choosing quickly and efficiently. Technically, a human could do the work of a scraping bot, but who knows how long that could take? Thanks to bots, scraping can be done much more quickly and efficiently.
Scraping bots are especially useful when individuals or organizations want to gather high volumes of data to help them implement or improve their marketing strategies. With a data scraper, you can find information about consumer sentiments, competitor reviews, social media followers and more. But when you make a lot of requests to one website, that website may ban you since it thinks you’re a bot. That’s why scraping robots are so useful–by using multiple IP address to request data from the website in question, they can continue to gather data even after one IP address gets banned. Again, this is great news for people looking to gather high volumes of data.
How Does Web Scraping with an API Work?
First, let’s talk about the definition of an API, or application programming interface. Using an API makes it possible for you to automatically submit scraping requests in real-time, instead of having to enter each page you want to scrape individually. This process works for customers who only need a few scrapes or scraping projects, but customers who need real-time data are looking for something more. That’s where APIs come in. They perform tasks quickly and smoothly, making it possible for customers to automatically request data from relevant web pages every 60 seconds, instead of manually checking those web pages throughout the day.
Scraping Robot recently implemented this API software, and we’re excited for our customers to experience how easy it is for themselves. To do this, just visit our API demo page. When you input the full URL of a website, you’ll receive the full HTML of that website in seconds. By sending just one simple request to our API software, you can get the needed data almost instantly. You can learn more by reading our recent article on this update.
What is a Web Scraping Tutorial?
Web scraping tutorials walk you through the process of scraping the web with certain web scraping tools. Like any tutorial, the step-by-step format allows you to walk through the process of web scraping, instead of having to navigate it on your own. Not all web scraping services provide tutorials, so navigating their software can sometimes take longer than it should. The concept of web scraping tutorials can seem self-explanatory, but since not all tutorials are created equal, it’s important to understand what these tutorials can do for you and how you can use them for your own benefit.
Web Scraping Tutorial for Scraping Robot
When you make your free account, you’ll notice that Scraping Robot offers 5000 free scrapes each month. If you’re just getting the hang of scraping and figuring out what it can do for you, these free scrapes can really speed up the process. Or, maybe you already know what you want from your data scraper and just need a few scrapes to get the job done. Either way, 5000 free scrapes per month is a deal you can’t miss, and you won’t find it anywhere else.
- Select what module you want to use to start scraping. Here are the options you can choose from:
- Google Modules
- These modules include our Google Places Scraper, which generates a list of locations and places based on the keywords you enter. You can also receive an extended report with metrics such as date scraped, search location, rating, reviews” and more as a CSV document.
- These modules also include our Google Scraper, which gathers the top 100 URLs for whatever keyword you enter into the scarper. The extended report (a CSV document) includes keyword, time scraped, each URL and its position from 1 to 100.
- Google Modules
- Once you’ve chosen the module that will best serve your needs, simply follow the module instructions at the top of the page. These instructions will tell you if you need to insert website URLs, ASINS or usernames. They will also let you know the type of data you’re going to receive.
- The specific instructions depend on what scraper you’ve chosen to use, but for all modules, you’ll need to name the project. The project name simply lets you know the context of the data in that project. For example: if I entered the URLs for 20 local charities in my area, I would name my project “Local Charities.”
- You can enter each individual URL, username, etc. into the module, or you can upload a TXT file in a line-by-line format.
- After you’ve entered all the pages you want to scrape, you can see the number of scrapes needed for this project, the cost for this project and how many scrapes you still have available. If you’d like to add more scrapes before running the scraping project, click “Add Scrapes.”
- When you’re ready to scrape the pages you’ve eventered, simply click the blue “Start Scraping” button at the bottom of the module page.
- After a few minutes, your scraping is complete! You will see up to 20 data results for each page that you scraped, organized into easy-to-read columns. However, we suggest that you download the .CSV file, which allows you to read the data more clearly and even manipulate and edit the file yourself.
- And just like that, you’re done! Save your files and share them with your team (or just keep them for yourself!) to put this valuable data to work.
Why Use Scraping Robot?
So, let’s talk about those benefits. No one should feel intimidated by the concept and process of web scraping, which is one of the reasons why tutorials are so helpful. If I didn’t have a step-by-step guide walking me through the steps of using web scraping tools, I might have never tried to scrape data from the web at all. So, I’m glad that I had tools and supportive people to help me see how easy and effective web scraping can be.
Our hope is that this tutorial will help you get started scraping the web today. If you’re intimidated by the idea of web scraping, just take a look at this tutorial to see how easy scraping the web can be with Scraping Robot. With 5000 free scrapes per month, you can easily test our scraping modules and get a feel for how easy they are to use. Plus, Scraping Robot does it for an incredibly low price. This is possible because Scraping Robot uses high-quality IP addresses from its partner company, Blazing SEO. It’s a win-win for both companies, since Blazing SEO can still gain a profit by selling its “leftover” proxies to Scraping Robot for a few pennies. Then, Scraping Robot can offer its scraping services for some of the lowest prices.
Not only does Scraping Robot offer 5000 free scrapes and insanely low prices for all scrapes after that, but it also offers demos, custom packages and 24/7 customer support. If you have an idea for a scraping project that we don’t currently advertise, let us know! We’re more than willing to work with you to find the exact scraping solution that fits your needs. All you have to do is get in touch with our dedicated support team.
Maybe you’re just starting to learn the basics of web scraping and need a guide to help you get started. Or, maybe you’re hitting some blockers as you teach others about the importance of scraping the web. Whatever your reason for using a web scraping tutorial, Scraping Robot is here to help. Don’t hesitate to reach out with questions about our scraping modules, or even with ideas for our own!
The information contained within this article, including information posted by official staff, guest-submitted material, message board postings, or other third-party material is presented solely for the purposes of education and furtherance of the knowledge of the reader. All trademarks used in this publication are hereby acknowledged as the property of their respective owners.
Alli’s web scraping insights are excellent resources for beginners and experts alike. With a background in journalism and technical writing, she knows how to ask questions that help people reach their “lightbulb” moments. When it comes to web scraping tips, tricks and ideas, she’s got you covered. If you have a blog topic or other scraping idea for Alli, send her a note via the Scraping Robot contact page. Until then, happy scraping!