Whether you have just entered an industry or have been offering a digital service for a long time, you’ll need to scale your business. Web scraping is an effective method for automatically obtaining data from websites. Automated tools, called web scrapers, are used to help users collect data about their target market, customers, and competition. With the right tool suiting specific business needs, companies can get insights into prices, trends, forecasting, and more. Therefore, choosing a web scraper capable of serving different types of business requirements is essential.
This post will shed light on some crucial features that make up a good web scraper, followed by a list of five popular tools available in the market.
Features of a Good Web Scraper
Different data scraping tools are available with varying strengths and styles. Before selecting which tool works best for your business, here are the key features to look for in a web scraper:
- Performance and Speed – Good web scraping tools should be able to set up API with any site and across multiple proxies. Preferably, it should have a browser extension and can facilitate rotating proxies. Likewise, an open-source scraper enables tailored scraping tasks and higher flexibility.
- Optimum Data Quality and Delivery – The Internet is full of unstructured data, which needs thorough cleaning and organization before it can be put to use. Many providers offer tools that clean and organize data that is getting scraped. In addition, the proper solutions also collate retrieved data in structured formats, including XML, JSON, and CSV, for smooth integration with Business Intelligence (BI) tools.
- Right Dealing with Anti-scraping Mechanisms – Some sites have anti-scraping measures in place to stop the web scraping process. However, a web scraper with its own robust mechanism for overcoming such roadblocks is imperative to succeed.
- Transparent Pricing Structure – The pricing model for the chosen tool should be transparent – no hidden costs should crop up later. A good web scraping tool comes with a clear pricing structure to save users from paying more to use some features in the future.
- Great Customer Support – Irrespective of the type of web scraper you select, getting one with excellent customer service support is always a good idea. With powerful customer support, you can avoid the frustration of having to wait for satisfactory responses.
5 Most Popular Web Scrapers
Web scrapers are designed to collect the information required on the website. Not to mention, such tools can save much time for data retrieval. Following is the list of the five most famous and effective web scrapers present in the market:
One of the most popular data scraping tools, ScrapingBee, is known for handling headless browsers and proxy management to enable smooth web data extraction. It performs general web scraping tasks, price monitoring, or real estate scraping without getting blocked.
- Rotating proxies automatically
- Growth hacking (lead generation or contact information extraction)
- Search engine results pages (SERPs) scraping
- No-code web scraping
- Developer expertise required for web API handling
WebHarvy is a simple-to-use solution that can easily obtain data from websites with no coding or scripting. The tool supports web data retrieval via proxy servers to avoid IP blocking. WebHarvy automatically rotates and uses every proxy in the list periodically.
- Point-and-click interface
- Built-in Scheduler for periodic scraping
- Intelligent pattern detection
- Category Scraping (scraping data listed under different categories of the site)
- Safeguard privacy
- Slow speed
- Data loss after many days of scrapping
AvesAPI is a data extraction solution that enables programmers and agencies to scrape structured data from Google searches. It’s keenly focused on web data retrieval rather than comprehensive web scraping. Given its ability to work via a distributed system and obtain numberless keywords, AvesAPI is best suited for SEO purposes.
- Structured data in HTML or JSON in real-time
- Geo-targeted search for local results
- Parse product data on shopping
- Top 100 results from any location/language
- Limited reviews
4. Bright Data
Bright Data is the most efficient and reliable data scraper by virtue of its no-code solutions, fewer resources, and better uptime and support. While being fully compliant, this solution provides a great way of performing swift public data collection and converting unstructured to structured data.
- Proxy management (open source and no code)
- Data unblocker
- Search engine crawler
- Browser extension
- Complex set-up
- Limited bandwidth
5. Scraper API
It’s a web scraping tool that manages browsers, proxies, and CAPTCHAs and enables the extraction of raw HTML from any site through a simple API call. It offers easy integration, as you only need to send a GET request to the API endpoint with your API key and URL.
- 100% customization (request headers, request type, IP geolocation, headless browser)
- Smooth integration with NodeJS and Python Selenium
- Exclusive proxies pools for eCommerce price scraping, social media scraping, and search engine scraping
- Basic web scraping skills needed
- Unsuitable for browsing
To summarize, selecting the right web scraper that perfectly meets your business needs can be taxing. We hope this post has helped you notice the key features of a scraping tool, briefly mentioning the top five web scrapers, like ScrapingBee and WebHarvy.