In this day and age, the value of web scraping cannot be overstated. There are countless websites on the Internet, and most of the data online are unstructured. It is almost impossible to collect data by copy-and-paste manually. A web scraper is an automated solution that can help us convert a whole website with thousands of pages into structured data files for further cleansing and analysis.
However, sometimes you may just want to get a little data quickly and don’t want to download any software on your devices. In this situation, a browser extension scraper will help you. Next, this article will take Chrome, one of the most popular browsers worldwide, as an example to introduce the 6 best web scrapers for Chrome in the web store.
Best 6 Web Scraper for Chrome – No Installation
This is a featured extension on the Chrome web store with more than 300,000 users having used it to extract data. It employs artificial intelligence to analyze the HTML structure and find data for extraction. Users do not need to have any coding skills and can use it to gather data from a wide range of platforms, both well-known websites like Amazon, Best Buy, Craigslist, Yellow Page, etc., and small or lesser-known websites.
After adding it to your Chrome, you can scrape data in a few clicks, and then export data to an Excel spreadsheet or CSV file. According to its official website, this scraper was developed to use AI to detect tabular or listing-type data. It will be your choice if you need a scraper to get information from listing pages, not to mention it is a completely free tool.
2. Web Scraper
When looking for a simple-to-use data scraper, Web Scraper should be at the top of your list. More than 500,000 people have installed the free browser extension on the Chrome Web Store. Looking over the reviews, many users have given engaging comments on it and considered it an excellent tool.
Web Scraper provides users with an easy point-and-click interface for the modern web. Regardless of coding skills, everyone can extract thousands of records from a website in four steps and export data as a CSV or XLSX file in a structured format. It can be used to gather information from the majority of websites, including well-known ones like Amazon and eBay, as well as smaller ones.
3. Data Miner
Data Miner is a data extraction tool for any HTML web page. Similar to the above tools, this data scraper requires no code. There are a lot of extraction recipes that allow users to convert most of the popular websites to CSV with just one click. These recipes, which cover the majority of popular websites, are all user-generated and offered for use by others.
However, you should be aware that this program is not entirely free while utilizing it. With its starter free plan, you can use it without charge and receive 500 free page credits per month. If you want to scrape data beyond this plan, you need to have paid plans that start at $19.9 per month but with more features.
Scraper, of course, is a simple and free data mining extension as well. People can use it to facilitate online research when they need to collect data in spreadsheet form quickly. But to use it, you must be familiar with the fundamentals of XPath. It is for advanced users, as the Scraper developer noted. You can locate data more precisely with XPath if you are familiar with it. And its user-friendly interface can bring you a good experience.
Agenty called itself an advanced web scraper in the Chrome web store. It also shows its strengths in no-code web data scraping — people can extract data from websites in point-and-click actions. More importantly, Agenty is equipped with more advanced web scraping features like scheduling, anonymous website scraping, and multiple web pages simultaneously.
But Agenty is not a free tool. If you have not used it before, you can try it for 14 days and get 100 pages of credit. You need to pay for its Basic, Professional, or Business plan to experience more features.
Simplescraper, compared with the mentioned tools above, is a relatively new addition to the web store. It is a fast web scraper with over 50,000 installations and around 200 reviews. After adding it to the Chrome browser, users can select data on the target pages with point-and-click actions. And the data can be scraped directly into Google Sheets, Airtable, Zapier, Intergromat, and more.
However, if you want to schedule scraping tasks or use built-in recipes, you’ll need to make a financial commitment. For new users, it also offers a free plan with 100 scrape credits, allowing them to extract information from 50 to 100 pages depending on specific platforms.
If you’re interested in other free web scrapers for different platforms, you can read the post about the top 10 FREE web scrapers.
Web Scraping Extension V.S. Desktop Scraper
Aside from Chrome extensions, there is another option to extract data from websites. The scraper can be downloaded to your computer and set up there. As an alternative to using the extension within a browser, you can launch the tool and collect data from a range of websites.
Browser extensions and desktop tools have different strengths and weaknesses. Comparing them in terms of sizes, scraping speed, functionality, and stability makes it simple to identify their pros and cons.
|Web scraping extensions
|100-500MB to download
|slow, depends on your network
|fast, support cloud service
|just a few features
|many advanced features
|medium, affected by many factors
|better, separately working
|a large amount of
|just some particular ones
|free, and paid for some advanced features
Web Scraper for Windows & Mac – No Coding
Octoparse, the best web scraping tool, is available for both Windows PC and Mac devices. Compared with browser extensions, it has more advanced functions such as cloud extraction, scheduled scraping, IP proxy, API access, etc. And you can convert even every web page into structured spreadsheets with the easy auto-detecting function, whether you are experienced with coding. What’s more, Octoparse provides preset scraping templates for popular sites, and you can get data easily within a few clicks.
4 Steps to extract data without coding
Step 1: Create a new task
When you first open Octoparse on your device, you need to sign up for a free account to log in. After that, copy and paste the URL of the page you want to scrape to the search bar and click “Start” to create a new task. After that, the target page will quickly load in the built-in browser of Octoparse.
Step 2: Select data by auto-detection
Click “Auto-detect website data” in the Tips panel when the page has finished loading to enable Octoparse to scan the page. It will highlight any data that’s been detected and is ready for extraction. You can preview these data fields on the bottom and delete unwanted data.
Step 3: Create and modify the workflow
After you select all the wanted data fields, click “Create Workflow”. A workflow will then show up on the right-hand side. It shows every step of the scraping process. You can check if each step works well by clicking on it.
Step 4: Run the task and export the data
Finally, you can click “Run” to start the extraction. Then Octoparse will take care of the rest for you. When it’s done, you can export scraped data as an Excel, CSV, or JSON file.
Just a few web scrapers were introduced in this post. You can search tools yourself, and choose to add an extension to your browser for a lightweight and convenient experience. But when you download and install software, like Octoparse, on your device, you can use more potent features that contribute to your data extraction. And you’ll discover that data scraping can be simple and enjoyable with these tools!