There are thousands of tons of information on the Web. It’s been growing beyond the most daring predictions. And if you want to keep pace with the times, you need to process information faster than others.
Over the past three years we have developed several big projects which involve scraping and data processing. They were developed for completely different industries, and our approach to the matter allowed to find solutions for all of them.
Why particularly scraping for your website, system or application?
Let’s imagine you have an online store. You sell goods or services, but have a lot of competitors. How can you stay ahead of the game and get consumers buy at your store? Good question.
We’ve implemented several projects where scraping helped to:
- provide site owner with up-to-date information on prices and availability of goods as well as on additional services and offers from competitors so that they can react quickly. Site owner has all information in one single place and doesn’t have to spend a lot of time monitoring the market – the system does 80% of work for them. All he has to do is react appropriately;
- provide a price comparison to potential consumers. If there is a real advantage – show it to your consumer, make him think that your offers are the best. They should be sure that your prices are lower, or they include special services, which are not offered by competitors. And the more up-to-date the information is, the more your consumers will be inclined to buy your goods or services;
- collect data for data portals. You have a big job board? Collect job postings from various websites and attract your visitors with a lot of information in a single place. Internet users love saving time on browsing, the ability to view one website instead of 20-30.
- simplify your analytics. It’s a known fact that he who owns the information, owns the world. Marketing research and analysis is very helpful for growing business. Collecting valuable information and automating the process of its analysis greatly improves the effectiveness of market research.
Overall, scraping is very useful. Google earns billions. Google does scraping.
And we can help with scraping and mobile app development. You would probably be interested in how we do that and if we have faced any issues like that. Of course we have, and a lot. Each and every scraping task or project is a challenge, and each challenge prepares us for further steps.
Here are some examples and facts that may be interesting for you:
- For one of our SEO projects (i.e. promoting web pages and link exchange organizing) we had to scrape and parse thousands of web pages to identify outbound links. Well, to begin with, a lot of web sites don’t follow usual requirements for HTML markup, but that is not the biggest problem. Reading and parsing these pages is possible, it just takes more time for scripts processing. But if a single page has simple text and links about 10Mb in size – that is a problem already. And if you have thousands and thousands of such pages, that’s an issue. To get that done, we created an advanced queue algorithm. The system builds queues of page scraping with an intellectual algorithm. The algorithm estimates the time needed to scrape and process the content of web pages. The algorithm allowed to increase effectiveness of the scraping and parsing process to 99.9% (very few pages are omitted) and reduce processing time by several times.
- For one of the portals we have developed for our client, we had to develop ~100 scrapers for ~100 websites. Single project, ~100scrapers… We had to deal with monitoring of scraping process – if anything changes on the remote web page, scraping may stop working. But we need to react immediately. We automated the monitoring process by creating an advanced logging tool, which monitors scrapers results and output and notifies appropriately if something goes bad. It helped us save time on support by about 50-60%. Updates for scrapers, web pages of which were updated, take little time, but the time needed to react is much bigger. We solved the issue.
We have more interesting facts of course.
Also, one more thing. We have built a lot of projects with scraping facilities. As we do not like repeating work, we re-used as much repeated code, as possible. Of course, every scraping process is unique. But the management tool for scrapers, error logging process, data validation and processing can be utilized and built in a universal way – so each new project could be started with customization of previously created modules.
Do you think scraping will help you?
Don’t hesitate to contact us about its advantages for you and your business.
We are sure we can find a great solution.