Step-by-step tutorials for you to get started with web scrapingDownload Octoparse
Scrape listings from AirbnbThursday, November 01, 2018
In this tutorial, we are going to show you how to scrape the listing details from Airbnb.com.
To follow through, you may want to use this URL in the tutorial:
We will enter each listing and scrape the details including the title, location, price, and rating.
This tutorial will also cover:
· Handle pagination empowered by scrolling down in Octoparse
· Locate all the listings by modifying the loop mode and XPath in Octoparse
· Reformat star rating into numerals with RegEx tool in Octoparse
1. We strongly recommend to set up the filters as you need in your own browser and enter the configured URL into Octoparse to start the task.
2. The structure and display of airbnb.com might vary depending on your IP, preferred language, display screen, and even browser.
Here are the main steps in this tutorial: [Download task file here ]
1) Go To Web Page - to open the target web page
· Click "+ Task" to start a task using Advanced Mode
Advanced Mode is a highly flexible and powerful web scraping mode. For people who want to scrape from websites with complex structures, like Airbnb.com, we strongly recommend Advanced Mode to start your data extraction project.
· Paste the URL into the "Extraction URL" box and click "Save URL" to move on
2) Set Scroll Down - to load all items from one page
· Turn on the “Workflow Mode” by switching the "Workflow" button in the top-right corner in Octoparse
We strongly suggest you turn on the "Workflow Mode" to get a better picture of what you are doing with your task, just in case you mess up with the steps.
· Set up Scroll Down
· Check the box for "Scroll down to bottom of the page when finished loading"
For some websites like Airbnb.com, clicking the next page button to paginate is not an option for loading content. To fully load the listings, we need to scroll the page down to the bottom continuously.
"Interval" is the time interval between every two scrolls. In this case, we are going to set "Interval" as 3 seconds.
For “Scroll way”, select "Scroll down to the bottom of the page"
To learn more about how to deal with infinite scrolling in Octoparse, please refer to:
3) Create a "Loop Item" - to loop click into each item on each list
· Click the titles of the listings on the current page
Octoparse will automatically select all the listings on the current page. The manually selected listings will be highlighted in green while other listings will be highlighted in red.
· Select "Loop click each element"
Octoparse will click through each listing on the current page.
As mentioned above, in order to enable Octoparse to capture the listings fully loaded after scrolling down to the bottom for enough times, you’ll need to modify the loop mode and the XPath. See how it's done in Step 5.
4) Extract data - to select the data for extraction
After you click "Loop click each element" from "Action Tips", Octoparse will open the detail page of the first listing.
· Click on the data you need on the page
· Select "Extract text of the selected element" from the "Action Tips"
· Rename the fields by selecting from the pre-defined list or inputting on your own
When you click on the rating of the listing, choose "Extract button outer HTML". The data extracted needs to be processed further with Regular Expression. See how it's done in Step 6.
5) Customize data field by modifying XPath - to improve the accuracy of the item list (Optional)
Once we click “Loop click each element”, Octoparse will generate a loop item using “Fixed list” loop mode by default. “Fixed list” is a loop mode used for dealing with a fixed amount of elements. However, the number of the listings on Airbnb.com is not fixed but increases with scrolling down. In order to enable Octoparse to capture all the listings, including those to be loaded later, we need to swift the loop mode to “Variable list”, and enter the proper XPath to have all the listings to be located.
· Select "Loop Item" box
· Select "Variable list" and enter "//div[@class="_fhph4u"]/div//div[@class="_v72lrv"]//a"
· Click "OK" to save
1. "Fixed list" and "Variable list" are loop modes in Octoparse. For more about loop modes in Octoparse:
2. If you want to learn more about XPath and how to generate it, here is a related tutorial you might need：
6) Customize data field using RegEx tool - to reformat the rating of the room (Optional)
When the data we want is not shown as readable text on the web page, we need to extract its source code (HTML) at first, and then process the extracted source code into our desired format.
· Select "Rating" and click "Customize data field"
· Choose "Refine extracted data"
· Click "Add step" and choose "Match with Regular Expression"
· Choose "Try RegEx Tool"
· Check the box for "Start With" and enter "Rated "
· Check the box for "End With" and enter " out"
· Click "Generate" and "Match"
· Click "Apply" and "OK"
· Click "OK" to save
Octoparse offers 8 data reformat options for you to further process or clean the data extracted into the right format. For more about how to reformat data with Regular Expression:
7) Start extraction - to run the task and get data
· Click “Start Extraction” on the upper left side
· Select “Local Extraction” to run the task on your computer, or select “Cloud Extraction” to run the task in the Cloud (for premium users only)
Here is the sample output. You can see some blank fields in the column “Rating”. This is because these listings don't have a rating.
By default, if Octoparse cannot find the element of the defined pattern on the page, the field will be left blank. However, Octoparse may fail to find the element of the defined pattern even if the element needed is shown on the website. If you encounter this problem, here are a related tutorial you might need:
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