Published on November 12th, 2019 | by Sunit Nandi0
Myths About Web Scraping
Just like any other technique in our digital world of today, web scraping and the use of the numerous web scraping software available to us have certain myths surrounding them. If you’re just starting out in the field of web scraping, it is important that you know these myths so you don’t give in to these false impressions made by several other people. See some of such myths about web scraping below.
Nine Myths About Web Scraping
1. Web Crawling And Web Scraping are the Same
Web crawling and web scraping are not the same. Web crawling is the technique used in search engines when a website is being scanned and indexed. A web crawler scans the whole website as well as the internal links available. On the other hand, web scraping is a technique that is used to extract a specific kind of data from a target webpage. Web scraping is used to extract data while the crawler in a web crawler scans a website without a unique purpose.
2. You Must Have Knowledge in Coding
This is definitely not true as the software market is filled with different web scraping software and tools that can do the job for you without you learning how to code. With this web scraping software, there are several web scraping templates that will get you scraping with just a few clicks.
3. Web Scraping is Not Legal
Web scraping in itself is not illegal but can become illegal depending on what you use it for. If you scrape a website without the permission of the owner or as against the Terms of Service of that website, then it could become an illegal scraping. Also, using web scrapers to scrape confidential information for profit could also be an illegal scraping.
4. You are Free to Scrape Anything
With web scraping, people believe that you can scrape anything, and then they would go as far as scraping an email address. Web scraping could become illegal when you break the rules governing it. Before conducting a web scraping, it is important to know that you are not permitted to scrape private data of individuals. Your scraping must agree with the terms of service of the website, and you cannot scrape and copy any data that has been copyrighted by its owner.
5. You can Scrape at High Speed
While it might be possible to scrape websites within seconds, it is important to note that when a website notices that request is been sent too fast from a particular IP address, it will automatically block you. Also, when requests are sent too fast, the web server becomes overloaded and will lead to a server breakdown. It is therefore important to watch how fast you scrape any data from any website.
6. Web Scraping is to Be Used For Business Only
This is wrong as anyone in any field can make use of the web scraping technique. Even students can make use of web scraping API to conduct research concerning a particular topic. Web scraping can definitely be used by anyone, and it is a technique useful for everyone who got the need for it.
7. Scraped Data can be Used for Anything
Scraped data cannot be used for anything. It is good if scraped data is used to benefit the public by making analysis with such data. However, scraping private information from any website especially for making a profit is not allowed. If you scrape any information from a website and package them for sale in order to make a profit, you have made web scraping illegal.
8. Web scraping and API are the Same Things
An API is a passage that transmits your data and sends your request to the web server. Web scraping, on the other hand, allows you to interact and communicate with a website that permits you to get a mental picture of how an API does its work.
9. Web scraping is the Extraction of Data from HTML Source Codes
Web scraping isn’t just the extraction of data from the HTML codes of web pages. It is far more than that and involves the extraction of data from any part that is required. It is also important to note that because you have access to the HTML codes doesn’t give you permission to extract private and official data.
Here are some of the myths concerned with web scraping and the various web scraping software. These myths were generated as a result of different user experiences. Knowing them is important, and is an added advantage.