As you probably already know, we are being flooded by our own digital data. Finding something on the Internet, though, is pretty easy: open up a browser window, Google what you need to find out, and that’s pretty much it!
But what do you do when you need to collect some data from a website?
Even the most used search engine joins the enemy’s side. Just as you thought that gathering up the data was the easy step, you hit a wall. When search engines find out you’re trying to scrape their website without permission, they restrict your access. Based on your physical location, a website can completely ban your access if requests come from untrustworthy regions.
Thus, in the following article, I will help you build your own web scraper using NodeJS without being blocked. But before we get straight into the subject, let’s find out more about web scraping.
What is web scraping?
Creating your web scraper
∘ 1. Choose the page you want to scrape
∘ 2. Inspect the code of the website
∘ 3. Write the code
∘ 4. Run the code
∘ 5. Store your extracted data
Extracting data on your own has never been simpler
A web scraper represents the tool that will help us automate the process of gathering a website’s data. In the absence of it, people have to make a request to the website, inspect the HTML page and break it down to get the data they need.
For those of you who don’t already know what a web scraper can be used for, I’m going to mention some of the main use cases below:
Let me give you a more practical example: Using some web scraping technology, a company called Brisk Voyage helps their users save up to 80% on their last-minute weekend trips.
They manage to do this by constantly checking flight and hotel prices, and right at the moment their tool finds a trip that’s a low-priced outlier, the user gets an email with the booking instructions. Pretty neat, right?
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