Looking for a particular thing on the internet may be as easy as finding a needle in a haystack, or not quite so. Every day, millions of information are uploaded on the internet. Information on so many things, from easy to complex, across various fields. A simple inquiry on a search engine might give you the information you seek, but does it work every time?
Those who deal with specific data would find the process more complex. Especially data that has to be continuously updated or one that is not so common, such as prices, rates, time, listings, and so on. Searching for such data can take time and consume more resources, not to mention the fact that you may post inaccurate or outdated data. What can you do? How can you improve your search method? By using a web scraper.
A web scraper scours a web page for specific data or information. The scraper goes below the surface, only picking things it has been programmed to do. Say, for example, you program a web scraper to search for data related to “cartoons for kids” on a cinema website, it would give you only results that have to do with cartoons for kids and nothing more. Smart, right? But that is not all it can do.
We live in a world where information is constantly being updated, so something correct a few hours ago may be wrong this minute. This is common in prices and rates so anybody dealing in such business would need to be constantly informed to always he correct. But finding information is not always easy, as that would require sifting through large, unnecessary data. In such a case, a web scraper can come in handy.
If you are still wondering how web scrapers can help you, today at Zenscrape, we have compiled a list of possible ways you can apply web scraping.
First, you need to understand the advantage web scraping has over manual inquiry or search.
Web scraping takes less time to find more data compared to more traditional ways of doing it.
With web scraping, you can be sure of finding data that is accurate since it is extracted from the site, hence no chance of having errors.
Web scraping can also get used to gather large volumes of data with ease. This gives it an edge over other methods.
Here are some of the following ways you can apply web scraping
1. Academic Research
Believe it or not, web scraping can save you lots of time in your academic research work. The work of research requires that you gather as much information on specific data. This can be tedious when you do that on the internet as you are bound to come across so many unnecessary information. But having a web scraper can help you save time and even so it better. Simply come up with relevant sites and set up the parameters to include tags that could be useful to you, and let the scraper do the work. You can continue to redefine the parameters to make the search more and more specific.
2. Job listings
If you need to know available vacancies in a particular company, department or a specific position, then let your web scraper do the job for you by visiting various sites to pull information related to the job you want for you to use an act upon. This is very great if you run a site that advertises jobs.
3. Booking sites
Websites that deal with booking, whether for travel or hotels would find web scraping very useful for them as it helps them save time. These types of sites have to display prices in real-time since they are always subject to change. Looking for the latest prices manually and updating it could cost you serious time. Allow your web scraper to go to work and give you the latest information as it constantly scrapes relevant sites.
4. Directory Sites
Sites that act as a directory, providing the contact of businesses, firms, schools, and even people need a great ton of information related to the business or people they list, including addresses, phone numbers, emails, and so on. Getting such data is not so easy and a lot of time has to be vested into it. But you can skip through all that with a web scraper.
5. Competitor’s Activities
Businesses into trade or e-commerce can use web scraping to track and monitor their competitor’s activities including prices, products, and reviews. This allows them to restrategize or follow the trend of their competitors.
Web scraping is useful to everybody and can help make work easier and better. Gone are the days of getting irrelevant or inaccurate data. With a web scraper, you can be sure of getting the exact data you need for your personal or commercial project.