A web scraper is a specific tool – an automated script – used to extract large amounts of data from websites.
A lot of people mistake Web scraping for Web crawling. But they are not the same things. Web scraping is related to targeted data extraction on a certain webpage. While web crawling is what search engines are able to do. A “crawler” surf web pages without a specific target, and scans and indexes the website with internal links.
Neither is necessarily illegal, but web scraping can be programmed to scan and steal updates, content, product details, and prices. Scrapers are bots seeking data and will never become real customers. They can really be a problem for your Go-To-Market strategies.
How they are implemented?
From the simplest to the most complex ways. Web scraping can be done by the human ctrl c + ctrl v, copying and pasting data from a website into a spreadsheet, and it can also be done by computer vision web-page analysis, a more technological way of doing it through machine learning and computer vision, which is able to identify and extract information from web pages by visually understanding the pages just like a person does.
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