Web scraping – What is Web Scraping?

Web scraping is a technique that seeks to obtain information from different web pages and also do so in an automated way. It is a simple and fast way to obtain thousands of data, which is why companies are very interested in this technique.

But by itself it is worthless. Once the data has been obtained, you have to know how to organize it and what to do with it.

For example, if you have done web scraping on the pages that are your direct competition to see what topics they are covering in their blogs and are giving better results, you should then take advantage of that information to design your own content strategy and improve what the competition already has. is doing.



What is the use of web scraping?

As we have just seen, one of its uses is to help with content marketing strategies. But scraping also serves to create statistics with the data obtained, to control the image and visibility of a brand online and even to gain presence on social networks through a bot that interacts with users.

The truth is that the information obtained can be used in hundreds of different ways. It is frequently used for price optimization in online stores, and even to discover trends that are about to arrive.

Although there is much debate about whether this technique is ethical or not, the truth is that both content aggregators and Google are the main users of web scraping, and without them access to information would be very complicated.

How to do web scraping

If you have some knowledge of programming, you can create software yourself that is responsible for extracting the information that interests you from certain websites. What you need is to have knowledge of web layout, know how to use data visualization software and also have minimal knowledge of regex to manage the data.

If you don’t understand these topics, don’t worry, you can also find software and even companies that are dedicated to web scraping and can give you the data already analyzed and ready to use.

There is no doubt that scraping is useful, but it is also a technique on the verge of legality. Depending on the information you are trying to obtain, the owner of the website could even report you, although in most cases what is done if scraping is detected is to send a notice or directly cancel the bot. Therefore, it is not a risk-free technique.