The web scraping technique is a variant of data scraping (data scraping) and consists of using bots to extract all content and public data from a website and replicate it in another location.
In this technique, bots will extract the HMTL code from a page, managing to find the data stored in a database. Remember that web scraping is different from screen scraping, another variant in which bots will capture the screen. In case if you’re here and want to know Myths about Web Scraping then you’re at the right place.
Here are 10 myths about Web Scraping
1. Scraping data from the internet is prohibited
Many people have erroneous perceptions of web scraping. It is because some people do not respect the excellent work that has been done on the internet and take advantage of it by stealing the content. Web scraping isn’t illegal in and of itself; the issue arises when users utilize it without the site owner’s consent and in violation of the Terms of Service (Terms of Service).
According to the report, the misuse of content through web scraping might result in a loss of 2% of online sales. Web scraping is covered by legal restrictions, notwithstanding the lack of a specific law and conditions to handle its application.
2. The terms “web scraping” and “web crawling” are interchangeable
Web scraping is the process of extracting specific data from a selected webpage, such as sales leads, real estate listings, and product prices. Search engines, on the other hand, trawl the web. It crawls and indexes the entire website, including internal links. “Crawler” is a program that navigates across web pages without a defined purpose in mind.
3. Any website may be scraped
People frequently request web scraping services for email addresses, Facebook postings, and LinkedIn information. Before doing web scraping, it is crucial to consider the following principles, according to an article titled “Is web crawling legal?”
- Scraping private data that require usernames and passwords is not possible.
- Compliance with the ToS (Terms of Service), which expressly prohibits web scraping.
- Copyrighted data should not be copied.
Several laws can be used to prosecute the same person. One, for example, swiped certain confidential information and sold it to a third party despite the site owner’s cease-and-desist order. Trespass to Chattel, Violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), Violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), and Misappropriation are all possible charges for this person.
It doesn’t rule out the possibility of scraping social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. Scraping services that adhere to the restrictions of the robots.txt file are welcomed. Before engaging in automated data gathering behaviour on Facebook, you must first obtain written permission from the company.
4. You need to know how to code
Non-tech professions such as marketers, statisticians, financial consultants, bitcoin investors, academics, journalists, and others benefit greatly from using a web scraping tool (data extraction tool). Octoparse introduced a one-of-a-kind tool called web scraping templates, which are preformatted scrapers that cover more than 14 categories on more than 30 websites, including Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, eBay, Instagram, and others.
Without any complicated task setting, all you have to do is insert the keywords/URLs into the parameter. Python web scraping takes a long time. A web scraping template, on the other hand, is a quick and easy way to get the data you need.
5. Scraped data can be used for a variety of purposes
Scraping data from websites for public consumption and use for analysis is totally lawful. Scraping confidential material for profit, on the other hand, is not legal. Scraping private contact information without authorization and selling it to a third party for profit, for example, is prohibited.
Furthermore, repackaging scraped content as your own without referencing the original source is unethical. You should adhere to the principle that no spamming, plagiarism or fraudulent data use is permitted by law.
6. A web scraper is versatile
Perhaps you’ve come across websites that change their layouts or structure from time to time. Don’t get frustrated if your scraper fails to read a website for the second time. There are numerous explanations for this. It isn’t always triggered by being identified as a suspicious bot. Different geo-locations or machine access could potentially be at blame. It’s usual for a web scraper to fail to parse the website in these circumstances before we make the modification.
7. You can scrape at a fast speed
You may have noticed scraper advertisements boasting about how fast their crawlers are. It appears to be promising, as they claim to be able to collect data in seconds. You, on the other hand, are the lawbreaker who will be prosecuted if you cause damage. It’s because a scalable data request coming in at a high rate may overload a web server, potentially resulting in a server crash.
Under the law of “trespass to chattels,” the person is liable for the harm in this circumstance (Dryer and Stockton 2013). If you’re unsure whether a website can be scraped, many data integration solutions can assist with data visualization and analysis. There are numerous web scraping companies that are in charge of ensuring consumer pleasure in the first place.
8. Web scraping and API are the same things
APIs function as a channel through which you may submit data requests to a web server and obtain the information you need. The data will be returned in JSON format using the HTTP protocol. Facebook API, Twitter API, and Instagram API are just a few examples. However, this does not imply that you will receive any data you request. Because it allows you to interact with web pages, web scraping can help you visualize the process.
9. The scraped data only works for our business after being cleaned and analyzed
Many data integration solutions can assist with data visualization and analysis. Data scraping, on the other hand, does not appear to have a direct impact on business decision-making. Web scraping gathers raw data from a webpage that must be analyzed in order to obtain insights such as sentiment analysis. In the hands of gold miners, though, certain raw data can be incredibly useful.
10. Web scraping can only be utilized for commercial purposes
Aside from lead generation, web scraping is used in a variety of industries such as price monitoring, price tracking, and market analysis for business. Students can also perform paper research using a Google scholar web scraping template. Realtors can undertake housing research and forecast housing market trends. By collecting news media and RSS feeds, you will be able to locate YouTube stars or Twitter evangelists to promote your company or your own news aggregator that covers only the topics you wish.
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