Myths and Facts about Web Scraping

Myths and Facts about Web Scraping

May 6, 2020

We all know that internet is a gold mine when it comes to collecting data and information. Many people use this data for business or for personal use. Web scraping as largely described is basically a system which is used to gather data from various sources and store it in the computer at one place. This type of data collection is new but many large scale businesses are using it for scraping data and storing it in database. Although it has been gaining large popularity there have been many myths about scraping data from the web. In this article we’ll be addressing to a few myths and the facts corresponding to them. So let’s get started right away!

Web scraping is illegal.

Now this is the most common misconception that people have as one might think of web scraping as copying but that’s not entirely true as long as one knows how to use it wisely. It is totally normal to have this type of concern because when you are at a position you need to sure of things and not risk the company value. There are about hundreds of tutorials on internet that teach you to scrap data for personal use these are the videos one shouldn’t entirely trust. If you wish to scrap someone’s website you should take permission or look for terms of service (TOS). Different sites have different TOS and it is important to know them. It may seem like that is one big task but if you are scraping data and not following the TOS that might get one in a lot of problems. Using someone’s work or claiming it to be yours is very illegal if its done without permission. One more wrong thing would be stealing data that is not for public and make it available to all. That is not web scraping. Web scraping itself can’t be claimed as Illegal as long as one does it following all rules and regulations.

Coding skills are key to web scraping

It comes pretty naturally when one talks about web or anything related to it that it may need coding or high level of understanding so its pretty accurate where this myth might have derived from but as said earlier this opinion remains a myth. There are a lot of user friendly tools and softwares created nowadays to make life of non coders easier and to make the process of data extraction easier for all equally. Saying this the fact remains that you don’t need to know coding to be able to scrap data or to read data and gain immense knowledge. You can always use proxies for the same.

Web scraping means useful data ONLY!

Although web scraping is a very useful tool doesn’t mean that all the data that you scrap from web is going to be of use. There are times when the data is raw or times when there is duplicated data as well which may contain many unwanted parts. But when you clean the data that you have scraped from the internet you get data with has great value. So being said not every piece of Information you get is useful you need to segregate it and use the cleant data.

Raw data is waste of time.

No way can this be a fact, right? Because if you give up on the data you will miss out on things you actually scraped the web for. Of course like discussed earlier there is going to be some unfiltered part and some gold data that you have been looking for. So no raw data is not a waste of time its just like digging the mine to look for gold. Just considering that raw data is useless is just going to be a set back for your company because sure and certain you will find what you need with patience and hard work.

Any website can be scraped.

As happy as this may sound its not entirely true. Its true that with all the digital world going on around it is easy to find whatever you need just a touch away but you have to be aware that not every website is available for scraping. For the same there are many proxy servers that help you to collect database. These servers can get you more information than you can get on your own. So if you want to reach your target start by contacting them. TOS plays a very important role. If a site mentions it doesn’t allow web scraping its better late than sorry. Alongside there are a lot of other websites that allow data extraction and which have great amount of information too so instead of getting into trouble it is always better to looks out for something that is legally available.

Above mentioned are very few of the many myths that are about web scraping to know more about all the myths and facts keep reading new articles. I hope this article gives you information in the right direction.



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