Originally published as https://reurl.cc/QX1pWb
Web scraping has become a hot topic among people with rising demands for big data. More and more people are hungry for data from multiple websites and apply web scraping to collect wanted data. Because this data can help with their business development.
The process of scraping data from web pages can, however, not always be smooth. You might face many challenges while extracting data, such as IP blocking and CAPTCHA. Platform owners use such methods for anti-web-scraping, which can hinder you from getting data. In this article, let’s look at these challenges in detail and how web scraping tools can help to solve these problems.
Web Scraping May Not Work Because of
The first thing to check when your scraper does not work well is if your target website allows for scraping. You can check the Terms of Service (ToS) to learn about whether the website is available for scraping or unavailable via its robots.txt. Some platforms might need permission for web scraping. You can ask the web owner for access in such a situation and explain your scraping needs and purposes. To avoid any legal issues, it’s best to find an alternative site that has similar information if the owner does not accept your application.
Complicated and Fast-changing Website Structures
Most web pages are based on HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) files. However, designers and developers might have their own standards for building pages, so web page structures are widely divergent. As a result, when you need to scrape multiple websites and even different pages on the same platform, you might need to build one scraper for each site.
And that’s not all. Websites periodically update their content or add new features to improve the user experience and loading speed which often leads to structural changes on the web pages. The previous scraper might not work for an updated page because web scrapers are set up according to the design of the page. Sometimes even a minor change in the target website will have an effect on the accuracy of the scraped data and require you to adjust the scraper.
Web scraping tools provide an easier alternative to writing scripts to extract data. Taking Octoparse as an example, it uses customized workflows to simulate…