There are two reasons why you might be reading this article – you either want to learn more about the process of web scraping or you want to use it for growing your business. Nonetheless, no matter why you opted for opening our article, you should know that there is a wide range of myths revolving around the process of web scrapping.
So, what are those misconceptions? Why are companies still worried about using it for obtaining data? Fortunately for all, our guide below will provide you with the answers you’re looking for. Before we take a look at the misconceptions people have, let’s learn what web scraping actually is:
Web Scraping: Explained
In the last few years, web scraping has become increasingly used, mostly because it’s a process that enables people and organizations to extract different data from the Internet. If it’s utilized properly, it can be a very powerful and important tool. This is one of the reasons why various firms utilize this data gathering method for growing their businesses. However, there are misconceptions people have about it, including the following things:
- Myth 01: “It’s Actually Forbidden by Law to Use The Process.”
- Truth: It Won’t Be if Used in The Right Way.
One of the most obvious misconception is, perhaps, that individuals think that this technique of obtaining data is prohibited by law. Now, to put it as simple as possible, it can easily be utilized for both good and bad things, which means that whether or not it’ll be against the law will rely on how you opt for using it. If you, for example, make sure that you aren’t violating any rules of a particular website, it won’t be illegal for you to use it for your business needs.
This is why you might want to do some digging on the websites’ permissions before you start mining data from them. Also, if required and applicable, you can talk with the owner and/or manager of the platform and ask for permission to gather info. Hence, by doing all of the things we’ve mentioned, you won’t cross the line, thus, you could use the data you gather for improving the performance and effectiveness of your organization.
- Myth 02: “You Need to Learn How Coding Works.”
- Truth: Nope, You Don’t Have to.
Another thing that people believe is that they have to be excellent programmers to be able to scrape a particular site. The reality? Well, you don’t have to be, nor do you need to understand coding. You don’t have to know anything about it. How is that possible? Well, it’s relatively simple to understand, there is a wide range of companies that offer web scraping services, which means that you won’t have to learn how to do it by yourself, instead, you can hire someone for the job.
Visit https://datamam.com if you want to see how those companies work.
- Myth 03: “You Can Use it For Gathering Personal Information.”
- Truth: This Might Be Illegal.
You should know, it’s possible for you to gather personal information such as email addresses by web scraping, however, this might not be sensible, and more importantly, it might even be illegal. Yes, you’ll need a lot emails and telephone numbers to generate new audiences and customers, but, using this strategy for data extraction may not be the most suitable one for you, especially since the info might not be updated, nor relevant for your business.
Also, it’s important that we mention that different websites have differing policies in place as well, hence, you may want to skip gathering private info by utilizing this process. This means that most sources on the net that are authentic and updated will most likely prohibit you from gathering personal data by scraping them, which is exactly why you must be extra careful when choosing which data you’ll gather.
- Myth 04: “It’s Quite Affordable.”
- Truth: No, It’s Complex And Daunting to Maintain.
If there is one thing that you must take away from our article, it’s the fact that the process of web scraping isn’t cheap, instead, it’s complex and difficult to maintain and set up. After all, there are algorithms that’ll have to be created so that you can customize the entire process, which means that you’ll require someone experienced, skilled, and knowledgeable for the job – something that won’t be affordable.
- Myth 05: “You Can Gather Data From Any Platform.”
- Truth: You Won’t Be Able to do This.
A lot, I repeat, a lot of individuals think that they can scrape every single website and platform out there, however, as we’ve mentioned above, different sites have different standards, rules, and policies, which is why it might be impossible for you to gather data from some of them by using a web scraping service. After all, these regulations are there to protect personal data and other information, meaning that a platform might prevent a bot from gathering various info.
One of the most common examples of this is if a site is copyright protected. If it is, you won’t be capable of scraping the data of their pages. Even if you do try to do it, you could end up in some serious legal trouble, which will again, cost you a fortune to get yourself out of. Thus, it’s quite crucial that you pay attention to a specific platform, as well as all the rules and policies that they might have implemented.
- Myth 06: “It Uses The Same Processes as Crawl Bots.”
- Truth: It Isn’t The Same Thing.
Last on our list of myths and truths is the fact that a lot of individuals think that scraping is the same as crawling. Now, although both of them utilize the same techniques for rendering data, the processes and tech used are completely different. Web crawling implies that the data is indexed and on the other hand, scraping means that it’s extracted. Additionally, crawling is cheaper and easier to do, mostly because it involves following different links to reach a wide range of pages.
No matter why you wished to learn more about the most frequent misconceptions individuals have about web scraping, it’s important that you know about them, especially since it can stop you from making some really costly and terrible errors that can easily cause you to close the doors of your business.
Hence, since you’re now aware of all the myths and truths about web scraping processes, don’t lose time. Instead, you might want to head to a new search tab and from there, you’ll want to start looking for a web scraping organization that’ll help you gather data that can make your business grow and thrive.