The majority of "Autocrapers" are still rule-based web scraping applications

The majority of "Autocrapers" are still rule-based web scraping applications

Rule-based extraction works in many cases but there are definite downsides. Many of the sites most worth scraping change regularly or have dynamically created pages.

As with most forms of tech these days, web scrapers have recently seen a surge of claims that they’re somehow based on AI or machine learning tech. While this suggests that an AI will detect exactly what you want extracted from a page, most scrapers are still rule-based (there are some exceptions, such as Diffbot’s Automatic Extraction APIs). Why does this matter? Historically rule-based extraction has been the norm. In rule-based extraction, you specify a set of rules for what you want pulled from a page. This is often an HTML element, CSS selector, or a regex pattern. Maybe you want the third bulleted item beneath every paragraph in a text, or all headers, or all links on a page; rule-based extraction can help with that.

web scraping tools autoscrapers rule-based

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