Thursday, February 23, 2017
Scraping data from websites is nothing new at all. In commercial field, a large amount of scraped data can be used for business analysis. As well known, we can scrape the details, like price, stock, rating and etc, covering various data fields to monitor the change of the items. These data scraped can further help analysts and market sellers to evaluate the potential value or make more significant decisions.
However, there are some websites that we can’t scrape from. More exactly, even if these sites could provide APIs, there still exist some data fields that we couldn’t scrape or have no authentication to access to. For example, Amazon does provide a Product Advertising API, but the API itself couldn’t provide the access to all the information displayed on its product page for people to scrape, like price and etc. In this case, the only way to scrape more data, saying price data field, is to build our own scraper by programming or use certain kinds of automated scraper tools.
Sometimes, even we know how to scrape data on our own by programming, like using Ruby or Python, we still couldn’t scrape data in the end for various possible reasons. In most cases, we probably would be forbidden to scrape from certain websites due to our suspicious repeating scraping actions within a very short period of time traced by those target sites. If so, we may need to utilize IP proxy which automates IPs’ leaving without being traced by those target sites.
The possible solutions described above may require people to be familiar with coding skills and more advanced technical knowledge. Otherwise, it could be a tough or impossible task for us to complete. Thus, to make scraping websites available for most people, I’d like to list several scraper tools that can help you scrape any commercial data, including price, stock, reviews and etc, in a structured way with high efficiency and much faster speed.
I once used this scraper tool to scrape many websites, like Facebook, eBay, Priceline and etc, for data including price, reviews, comments and etc. This Scraper tool trully suits very well in scraping various data in most websites. Users needn’t know any how to program to scrape data by using this scraper, but they should learn to configure their tasks. The configuration of tasks is easy to grasp, the UI is very user-friendly, as the figure you can see below. There is a Workflow Designer pane where you should point&drag the functional visual blocks. It simulates human browsing behaviors and scrape the structured data users need. By using this scraper, you can use the Proxy IP only by setting certain Advanced Options, which is very efficient and fast. Then, you can scrape data, including price, reviews and etc, as you need after completing the configuration.
The extraction of hundreds or more data can be completed within seconds. You can scrape any data type as you want, the data frames will be returned like the figure below which includes price and customers evaluation scraped results. Notice to all users, there are two editions of Octoparse Scraping Service - the Free Edition and the Paid Edition. Both editions will provide the basic scraping needs for users, that means users can scrape data and have it exported in various formats, like CSV, Excel formats, HTML, TXT, and database (MySQL, SQL Server, and Oracle). While, if you want to scrape data with a much more faster speed, you can upgrade your free account to any paid account in which Cloud Service is available. There will be at least 4 cloud servers with Octoparse Cloud Service working on your task simultaneously.
Additionally, Octoparse also offers Scraping or Crawling Service, that means you can express your scraping needs and requirements and pay them to scrape what data you need.
Import.io is also known as a web crawler covering all different levels of crawling needs. It offers a Magic tool which can convert a site into a table without any training sessions. While it suggests users to download its desktop app if more complicated websites need to be crawled. Once you’ve built your API, they offer a number of simple integration options such as Google Sheets, Plot.ly, Excel as well as GET and POST requests. It also provides Proxy Servers so that users can prevent from being detected by certain target websites and you can scrape as much data as you need. It is not hard to use this tool at all, the UI of Import. Io is quite friendly to use, you can refer to their official tutorials to learn how to configure your own scraping tasks. When you consider that all this comes with a free-for-life price tag and an awesome support team, import.io is a clear first port of call for those on the hunt for structured data. They also offer a paid enterprise level option for companies looking for more large scale or complex data extraction.
SEO experts, online marketers and even spammers should be very familiar with ScrapeBox with its very user-friendly UI. Users can easily harvest data from a website to grab emails, check page rank, verify working proxis and RSS submission. BY using thousands of rotating proxies, you will be able to sneak on the competitor’s site keywords, do research on .gov sites, harvesting data, and commenting without getting blocked or detected.
Author: The Octoparse Team
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