Web scraping and web crawling are two words that are sometimes used interchangeably. Why? Because web scraping and web crawling, although not identical in every way, are pretty close and even the same to a certain degree. Both have applications that are comparable to one another.
Table of Contents
Even though these phrases have many similarities, significant distinctions distinguish them from one another. Although the web is replete with references to web scraping and crawling, none of them would be of much use unless you read the term’s description more straightforwardly. Please keep reading to get a clearer understanding of them!
What is Web Scraping?
Web scraping, or information harvesting, is like web crawling because it detects and uncovers the relevant information from web pages. There is a significant distinction because, with web scraping, we know exactly about the data set we are looking for, such as an HTML structure for websites from which data must be collected.
Web scraping is an autonomous method of obtaining specified data sets from the internet via the use of bots, often known as ‘scrapers.’ Once the relevant information has been gathered, it may be utilized for comparing, inspecting, and analyzing following the demands and goals of a particular organization. Web Scraping requires different types of proxies like data center proxies, residential proxies, & ISP proxies to access different websites.
Web scraping Examples
- Web scraping would include extracting specific information from a particular web page or site on the internet.
- Consider the case in which you wish to focus on pricing intelligence. From Amazon or any other e-commerce site, you would extract the prices of various/specific goods for use in your project.
- This would fall under the category of web scraping. Similarly, you may take data and utilize it for various purposes, including company leads, stock exchange statistics, and property ads.
What is Web Crawling?
Web crawling, also known as categorizing, is a technique for categorizing information on a website using computers to collect information from the page. Search engines crawl the web to find relevant results. It ultimately comes down to looking at a page as a whole and categorizing it. When a tool explores a web page, it scans through every section and URL, all the way down to the last web page, seeking ANY information that could be there.
Web crawling tools are utilized mainly by search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, statistics agencies, and huge web organizers to gather information. Web crawling often takes general information, while web scraping focuses on data set fragments that have been identified.
Examples of Web Crawling
- Everything Google, Yahoo, and Binge do is a clear example of web scraping.
- This kind of search engine crawls web pages and uses the information gathered to organize the content on the websites.
What is the procedure for web scraping?
The web scraping procedure is divided into three parts listed below.
Step 1: The Request-Response Cycle
For starters, you must request the contents of a specific URL from the targeted website. The extractor receives the desired data in HTML format due to the request.
Step 2: Process and retrieve information
The term “Processing” refers to a process that may be applied to any programming language. It is the act of taking a piece of information in the form of text and converting it into a data structure that the machine can comprehend and use.
Suppose you want to put it another way. In that case, HTML processing simply takes in Html tags and retrieves essential information such as the name of the website, sections within the page, headers within the page, hyperlinks within the page, bold text, and so on.
Step 3: Download the necessary data
The next step is to download and store the data in a database format to be accessed and utilized manually or integrated into any other software later.
What Is the Procedure of Web Crawling?
The Web Crawling Process is comprised of the following steps:
Step 1: Choose a beginning seed URL or a set of starting seed URLs.
Step 2: It should be included in the boundary.
Step 3: Choose a URL from the frontier at this point.
Step 4: Get the web page that corresponds to the specified URL.
Step 5: Process the web page to discover new URL linkages.
Step 6: Include all the newly discovered URLs in the border.
Step 7: Repeat steps 3 and 4 until the border is completely depleted.
Advantages of Web Crawling Vs. Web Scraping
Main Advantages of Web Scraping
- Web scrapers let you remove error rates from your processes, allowing you to be sure that the data you get is correct to the cent second.
- Web scraping is more cost-effective than other methods since it takes fewer employees to run, and, in many circumstances, you will be able to use a highly autonomous option that involves no need for technology on your end.
- Many online scrapers enable you to search precisely for the data sets you are searching for, which means that you may specify that on a specific task, they gather only photographs and not recordings or just prices and not details. With time, this may help save time, energy, and cost.
Main advantages of data crawling
- Each target page is subjected to an in-depth indexation process as part of the deep-dive approach. When attempting to find and acquire information from the deepest recesses of the World Wide Web, this may be pretty beneficial.
- Web crawling is better for enterprises seeking an authentic picture of their target data sets since it allows them to be more quickly adapted to current events than other data collection methods.
- When it comes to quality control, they perform better than humans in assessing the quality of the content, making them a valuable tool for conducting QA operations.
To avoid confusion between web crawling and web scraping, it’s essential to know the difference between them. Once you understand the differences between web crawling and scraping, all that remains is for you to choose the one that best suits your needs.
After reading this article, we hope that you have a solid understanding of what each of these terms means, how they vary, and when they could be used.