Web scraping, in layman’s terms is capturing data on websites. All it takes is a single command or code, called a scraper, to do the job. First, the code sends a query targeting a specific site, then parses the HTML based on results received. The scraper then sifts through all the data and saves the ones within your set parameters. The compiled data is structured for human review, analysis and usage.
The data collected can be any of the following- text, images, videos, products or contact information, including phone numbers, email addresses, names, etc.
Web scraping, or otherwise called web content extraction has almost an unlimited number of applications. There are companies who exist to harvest data and extrapolate on the results.
Developers can maximize the ability of a web scraper by creating user-testing scenarios or for monitoring a site’s performance. It goes without saying that SERPs are difficult, and web scraping has its own challenges, including managing proxy servers, parsing a constantly-changing markup and captcha solving, just to name a few.
Therefore, it makes total sense to use a SERP tracking api to ease up on the amount of work in a web scraping process. With it, developers will find themselves finishing much faster and with greater efficiency.
Web scraping can be used for the following as well.
Price Comparison. Specialized websites can use web scrapers to gather up product descriptions and their corresponding prices and provide invaluable information to their partner sites or aggregate companies. Companies can also make use of scrapers to check out what their competitors are offering and come up with a counter-promotion.
Market Research. Researchers use web scraping software to extract data from social media platforms and forums for analysis.
Faster Innovation. Web scrapers can help businesses move faster as they can test and execute ideas as soon as they think of it. For instance, you can quickly build a database of independent artists for a product or service than having to slog through a traditional model.