See also Web Bot, Web Spider, Web Scraping, Web Parsing“Scrape website” describes the process of collecting information from one or more pages of a website, usually with an automated software, with the general aim of organizing the information in a format that can be more easily analyzed.
Why would someone want to scrape a website?
Mozenda is a user-oriented method of screen scraping that coordinates seamlessly with your goals and objectives and uses a browser to navigate through pages just like you are used to doing. By working with the Mozenda tools, you define the tasks your screen scrape will perform, Mozenda does the work, assembling and parsing the information, and placing it at your fingertips in a manner that is useful for your own aims.
The purpose and intent of web scraping is to simulate the human browsing experience by replicating computer commands to browse, search, navigate, and ultimately extract specific data fields from a web page. The benefit and value of web scraping lies in the automation of the data collection and the transformation of the data itself from an unstructured format to a structured format such as CSV, TSV, or XML where it can be uploaded, stored and analyzed.
Common uses of web scraping include such things as intelligence gathering, price comparing, list building, data monitoring, competitive research, and mashups to name a few. Web scraping is also now being used aggressively for Business Intelligence purposes and in Big Data implementations to augment certain external data gathering requirements which demand high volumes of web data to be processed and analyzed on scheduled intervals.
There are several alternative techniques to web scraping which are human labor intensive or require advanced computer or programming skills. These methods are primarily ad hoc techniques used to find and isolate data elements within the HTML of a web page. Although these techniques can be useful and are still performed by many companies, they are time consuming to develop and difficult to maintain. Some of these techniques include:
- Human Copy & Paste
- Text Grepping
- HTTP Programming
- HTML Parsing
- DOM Parsing
- Computer Vision web page analyzing
The Mozenda Advantage
Unlike other parsing based web scraping software, Mozenda uses browser rendering technology which allows the Mozenda application to look and behave like a web browser, but act like a web scraper. There are multiple benefits to this approach:
- Mozenda loads pages and navigates pages just like a browser.
- Mozenda can click and activate any item on a web page and wait for it to load.
- Mozenda can easily navigate through sub-pages.
- With Mozenda you only have to set up the navigation and capture action once and it will replicate across pages and categories.
Mozenda Training Videos
|Input Text Into a Form||0:44|
|Refining Captured Text||4:43|
|Click the “Next” Button to Load the Next Page of Results||1:58|
|Schedule an Agent to Run Regularly||1:08|