Data Extraction 101: How to Extracting Structured Data from Web Pages

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Structured data refers to the data that is organized, processed and accessed in a high level of categorization, stored mainly in a relational database. You can use a two-dimensional table structure to logically implement the data. It’s easy to extract the structured data from the database with Structured Query Language (SQL) – a programming language that can manage and query data in relational database. Many websites are created with data stored from databases and structured data on the websites can be easily searchable and understandable by search engine algorithms or other search operations.

We can easily obtain the structured data from the web pages as well. For example, when you find that the content of two web pages about Bose wireless headphones on Amazon are displayed in a structured schema- product name, product image, the price of the headphone, customer reviews, or similar content – and these content are orderly placed similarly on both web pages. For instance, the product name appears in the top middle of both web pages.

To query and analyze the structured data before extracting it, you can easily build a customized web data crawler/parser/scraper to extract structured data from websites with some programming languages such as Python or Perl – it’s a piece of cake.                

For non-programmers, a powerful web crawling software can help you get started with structured data. Octoparse is one of the most useful free web crawling software that allows you to extract the structured data in a more comfortable and simpler way. With Octoparse Mode, you will find that almost all structured data from the web pages could be extracted and organized into neat columns by pressing a SMART button.

Generally, we use Octoparse to extract all structured data from web pages with simple point-and-click operations; just enter a URL into Octoparse, select the content from the web pages and you will get the data in a structured format.

In addition, Octoparse enables you to deal with structured data from complicated web pages. That is, structured data from websites that employ techniques such as AJAX, JavaScript, infinite scrolling or pagination can also be extracted by Octoparse.

You can extract the structured data from web pages within minutes using our cloud extractors. Several cloud extraction machines (cloud servers) would work simultaneously to extract the large data-set you need.

You can obtain the structured data extracted to your own database via API.

Common use cases

You can use Octoparse to extract structured data from web pages on websites such as e-commerce sites like Amazon and eBay, or popular news websites like Yahoo Finance and The Washington Post. Once you are aware of this powerful web data extractor, it’s wiser to try out this free web data extraction tool with a variety of extraction features as described in this article.

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