Web scraping is a type of data cleansing (data cleansing) that uses bots to retrieve all content and public data from a website and replicate it elsewhere.
In this method, bots extract the HMTL code from the page to find the data stored in the database. Remember that web scraping is different from screen scraping, another option where bots hijack your screen. If you are here and want to discover the myths about web scraping, then you’ve come to the right place.
Here are 10 myths about web scraping
1. The collection of data from the Internet is prohibited.
Many people misunderstand web scraping. The reason is that some people do not respect the great work done on the Internet and take advantage of it by stealing content. Web scraping is not illegal in itself; the problem occurs when users use it without the consent of the site owner and in violation of the Terms of Service (Terms of Service).
Content misuse through web scraping can lead to a loss of 2% of online sales, according to the report. Parsing of web pages is subject to legal restrictions, although there is no specific law and conditions for its application.
2. The terms “web scraping” and “web crawling” are used interchangeably.
Web scraping it is the process of extracting specific data from a selected web page, such as leads, property listings, and product prices. On the other hand, search engines browse the Internet. It crawls and indexes the entire website including internal links. A “scanner” is a program that navigates web pages for no specific purpose.
3. Any website can be cleaned
People often request scraping services for email addresses, Facebook posts, and LinkedIn information. According to the article titled “Is It Legal to Crawl Web Pages?”
Several laws may apply to prosecute the same person. One, for example, stole certain confidential information and sold it to a third party, despite the site owner’s order to terminate. Harassment of Chattel, violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) and misappropriation are all possible charges for this person.
This does not exclude the possibility of cleaning up social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. Parsing services that adhere to the limitations of the robots.txt file are encouraged. Before proceeding with automatic data collection on Facebook, you must first obtain written permission from the company.
4. You need to know how to program.
Non-technical professions such as marketers, statisticians, financial advisors, bitcoin investors, academics, journalists and others benefit greatly from using a data collection tool (data extraction tool). Octoparse has introduced a one-of-a-kind tool called web scraping templates, which are pre-formatted parsers covering over 14 categories on over 30 websites including Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, eBay, Instagram and more.
Without any complicated task setup, all you have to do is paste the keywords / URLs into the parameter. Cleaning up Python web pages takes a long time. On the other hand, a web scraping pattern is a quick and easy way to get the data you want.
5. The obtained data can be used for various purposes.
The collection of data from websites for public use and their use for analysis is completely legal. On the other hand, it is illegal to extract confidential materials for profit. It is forbidden to extract personal contact information without permission and, for example, sell it to third parties for profit.
Moreover, it is unethical to repackage the extracted content as your own without reference to the original source. You must adhere to the principle that the law prohibits spam, plagiarism or fraudulent use of data.
6. The blade scraper is universal.
You may have seen websites that change their layout or structure from time to time. Don’t be discouraged if your scraper fails to read the website a second time. There are many explanations for this. This does not always work if you are identified as a suspicious bot. Potentially different geographic locations or machine access are to blame. Usually, a web scraper cannot parse the website under such circumstances before we make changes.
7. You can scratch at high speed.
You may have noticed that scrapers’ advertisements boast about the speed of their crawlers. This seems promising as they claim they can collect data in seconds. You, on the other hand, are a lawbreaker who will be held accountable if you cause damage. This is because a request for scalable data arriving at a high speed can overload the web server, which can cause the server to crash.
Under the “encroachment on movable property” law, the person is liable for damage in these circumstances (Dreyer and Stockton, 2013). If you are unsure if a website can be cleaned up, many data integration solutions can help with data visualization and analysis. There are many web scraping companies that are primarily responsible for customer satisfaction.
8. Web scraping and API are the same thing.
APIs function as a channel through which you can send data requests to the web server and get the information you need. The data will be returned in JSON format using the HTTP protocol. The Facebook API, Twitter API, and Instagram API are just a few examples. However, this does not mean that you will receive any data requested by you. Since it allows you to interact with web pages, web scraping can help you visualize the process.
9. The received data works for our business only after cleaning and analysis.
Many data integration solutions can help with data visualization and analysis. On the other hand, data extraction has no direct impact on business decision making. Web scraping collects raw data from a web page that needs to be analyzed to obtain information such as sentiment analysis. However, in the hands of miners, some raw data can be incredibly useful.
10. Web scraping can only be used for commercial purposes.
Besides lead generation, web scraping is used in a variety of industries such as price monitoring, price tracking, and market analysis for businesses. Students can also do paper research using the Google Scholar web scraping template. Realtors can conduct housing research and predict trends in the housing market. By collecting media and RSS feeds, you can find YouTube stars or Twitter evangelists to promote your company, or your own news aggregator that only covers the topics you want.