With every passing day, the world is taking a 180 degree shift from what it is right now. There are a lot of things that are changing. The fashion trends, earning sources, crime natures, business ideas, schooling methods and much more. This all started when a revolution named Internet came into place. At first, the things migrated at a slow pace but with time it impressed the human population to such an extent that everybody became a huge fan of the Internet.
Rise Of The Internet
The rise of the internet gave rise to many websites that became a signature and brand in their domain. No segment of society remained immune from the Internet by the 21st century. The greatness and innovation had started to seep in to almost everywhere. By everywhere I mean business, schooling, gaming, science, military and other infinite domains. This happened gradually but it seemed so big a change because no one ever expected it to happen.
It was like the real world has started to become less valuable. Well, that was just an apparent view of what was happening. It was an invention that changed the world. Everything has its pros and cons.
In online business, people started having more benefits than their real life setups. This was happening because of a number of reasons. The first one being ease of access. The customers had access to products and services from across the globe. They did not have to come all the way from their house or office to get a service or a product.
They simply ordered online. This might seem to be a totally normal thing these days, but back then was no less than some magic trick. Human race is addicted to comfort. Since ages they’ve worked to elevate the levels of comfort in every aspect of their life. It started from stone-age and is still going on.
A never ending struggle I’d say. Coming back to the reasons why Internet was growing at such a fast pace. The huge reason was fences being mend. Inter country trade had multiplied and when there’s a mutual benefit, everyone becomes happy. Everything seemed to be so perfectly in place. Although there were problems, such as hackers sabotaging the big websites, but deterrent measures were taken rapidly.
This was because even the authorities and governments were benefiting from it. Therefore it expanded its span under a safe shadow. As time passed, multi-billionaire economies started getting associated with the internet. There were websites that were and still are making the most money in the world from online business. These include all the e-commerce giants such as Amazon, Ali Express, Facebook etc.
Success did not come to them overnight. Neither was it served to them on a plate. Success isn’t something that you can order online or bought from a shop. This rule is applicable to all times. The past and the incoming, all times.
Success Is Never Easy
The owners of these web giants had to burn the midnight oil to get to the top. They were doing well. There were many others who were doing great. But why are they the number ones? The secret to this lies in consistency and hard work that was fueled by the will to succeed.
In their success, they derived a formula that took all the nights and days that they worked to get to this place. This formula if used properly with the same fire in the spirits, can lead to success.
This formula is not actually a formula. It is just how they work. The plan is what makes them what they are. The plan includes everything from the type and price of products to promotions and offers/discounts on products. Each and every step of such websites is calculated.
Every product is given attention and worked on with dedication. Different stats about the populations of an area are studied and then such conclusions are made. Now all this effort is worth the top position.
When people start working online now a days, they are mostly youngsters who have a limited amount of funds but an unlimited reservoir of hope and zeal to succeed. All they need is proper guidance and some of that success formula of one of those e-commerce giants. The problem is, very few people actually want to help others succeed. They simply don’t want to make competition for themselves. Nevertheless, there are some successful entrepreneurs who actually help and share their success stories with startups.
They conduct different training sessions which are paid of course. So there are very few choices left for the ones who have limited funds. This is when Web scraping steps in. This is a technique that can bring you great fortunes, if used properly.
There is a lot of data on the websites that are successful now a days. That data is very important to the startup owners. It includes prices, product information, delivery time, delivery charges, the demand of a particular product in an area and a lot more. This data can be used to assess the condition of market relative to one or more than one products. Also, when you know the demand and the prices that your competitors are offering, you will become a better competition for your rivals.
Apart from this, your brand will flourish if you sell the same thing that is sold by some brand, in a lower price. People notice such things. The news like this spreads like fire. Why wouldn’t it? Just put yourself in the shoes of a customer.
If he/she gets the same quality of a product or service from some other place at the same cost. Why wouldn’t they go for it? Let alone buying that service, they will brag about it in front of their colleagues and family. Your customers will be your marketing agents. They will make your brand a renowned one in the market.
Data Scraping – What Is It Used For?
Now the question arises, how can someone get access to such data? Data that can be tagged as digital gold. The answer is already discussed before. Now we will concentrate on how to scrape a website for important data.
So it all starts with deciding what data a particular website needs to grow. This has to be decided by the analysts that are hired by that particular website. Afterwards they have to decide on a list of websites that they are going to scrape. This can be crucial as the selection of websites will dominate the selection of data that is being scraped. For instance if a website is related to shopping all kinds of products. Amazon will be on top of their list.
Many people use proxy servers to scrape websites. This is because the proxy server hides the real location and IP address of the user and hence one can send multiple requests. Multiple requests being sent from a single IP can cause problems such as being blocked from the website. This will be a great loss for someone who has invested some money in a proxy server.
Web crawling is also used by a lot of people working online to index their websites in google search results. This works in a very simple way. As we call internet as the World Wide Web. It actually is a series of information sorted into a web. This means that every information is somehow related to the other.
So when you search for something on the internet, there are some tools that are deployed to search the content on the internet. These tools are referred to as web spiders. When something is searched, the spider looks for similar words in all the pages that contain that word. It also looks inside the hyperlinks and generates search results.
In this way the spider tool travels all across the internet and indexes all the websites. It initiates from the most popular websites and selects the most viewed search results.
So the people who are working online, use this algorithm of google to make their websites rank higher in the google search results. They simply look for keywords that are being searched on the internet and then use it in their content.
So coming back to Scrapy. I will be explaining how one can use Scrapy to scrape different websites. So the first step is installing Scrapy on your computer. If someone wants to use scrapy efficiently, they should be aware of the fact that it is written in Python language. So one should have a clear idea of what Python is and how it works.
So it all starts from making a new scraping project on scrapy. One has to be familiar with the syntax of python. It starts from making spiders on your project. Spiders are the classes of data that you are going to scrape. When a spider is coded and all the mandatory amends are done, it comes the time of execution of that spider.
When a spider is executed it works the same way I explained earlier. This time it would be scraping the data.
What Scrapy does up till now is simply saving the page that is having the data that a user demanded. The next step is storing that data in a format that can be used for making interpretations. This can be done by using the feed exports by using a .json command on python.
The next thing that one should know about Scrapy is how to add proxy in Scrapy tool. One is going to need proxy servers while scraping. One cannot make a huge number of requests from a single IP. They need to swap IPs to keep their scraping requests going on. When a huge number of requests are being made from a single server, the host website will detect it and eventually block it.
One can easily add proxies to the Scrapy script. The first step is opening a terminal window and navigate yourself to the main folder of the project. This also has a command. The proxy middleware has to be downloaded. This would be provided by your proxy provider.
When you download the middleware project and add it to Scrapy, you will be able to see it in the list of added proxies.
One needs multiple proxies for this and these need to be carefully selected. One should research a lot before buying any Scrapy proxy server. As I mentioned that there are a lot of things that are done only by using a code on Python. One has to be aware of the language. It will make things easier for the Scrapy user. A programmer can be hired but knowing the language will not only decrease the cost of the project but also help you exercise these skills in some other project.
Skill never goes wasted.
Whatever it is, whether web crawling or scraping, the technical aspect of these projects do matter a lot but some of the things that are underrated should be given special attention. The first one being, knowing the syntax of Python, is already discussed. The second one is analyzing the data that is scraped. Scraping might get you with all the data but this data would be merely a raw material if you don’t know how to use it. Therefore one has to do a multi-dimensional work to ensure the success of the website they are launching.
Scraping would bring you at par with your competitors in a lesser amount of time. It requires determination to success. The products should not be a copy of what the original websites is providing and the prices should be the same or lower than the original website’s product rates. This is a huge domain. Programming, content writing and business analysis can make you go from 0 to 100.