No doubt, web scraping is a very useful tool, you can access any amount of data from any website. For this reason, some website owners have opted to hide their content and data behind login screens. This practice prevents most web scrapers from collecting the required data legally because they cannot log in to gain access, without accepting websites specific terms and conditions which usually prohibits use of automation to scrape data.
In this article, I’ll take you through how to collect data legally from a website that requires login.
Michael AttwoodHow to collect data legally from a website that requires a login?
For a couple of months now, the debate out there has been revolving around the legality of web scraping. The question out there is, is web scraping legal? Is web scraping illegal? Well, for starters, web scraping, also known as crawling or spidering, is the process of gathering information or data from someone else’s website using some form of software, web scraping software to be precise. Even though some people still scrape websites manually.
The legality or illegality of such a process largely depends on the intention of the person gathering the information.
Many businesses nowadays are looking for ways to gather a wide range of data from various websites because a large pool of data could give them a competitive advantage in the market. Many businesses utilize web scraping techniques to help them meet this need.
While many businesses have started using web scraping, misunderstandings about this data scraping technique still exist. I’ll try to debunk some of those misconceptions here to help you have a deeper understanding of web scraping.
1. Web scraping is illegal
Perhaps this is the biggest myth surrounding web scraping technology.
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What is the biggest challenge facing a budding entrepreneur or business owner? Well, most of them struggle to generate good quality leads that can be converted into loyal customers.
No doubt, the advent of the internet in the 90s and subsequent birth of digital marketing has led to the adoption of diverse lead generation techniques. You can no longer rely on old way tactics like manual searching, saving to spreadsheets, cold calling, and promotional SMS. Perhaps you could change tact and focus on using different social media platforms such as LinkedIn for lead generation.
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Have you ever found yourself in a situation where, for professional or personal interests, you have needed to pull data from the website of a third party? While finding out whether or not this site has an official API can be beneficial, there are more constructive ways to gather this information from a much broader pool of potential pages.
This comes in the form of web scraping; a handy tool that allows you to extract data straight from the source of a page. To put it simply: If a website has viewable content, it has scrapeable content!
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Are you a new business looking for new ways to reap the benefits of digital discourse?
Maybe you’re a company with deep roots hoping to stay up-to-date and relevant in the online age?
Whatever your situation, there is always more to be gained from engaging with digital platforms to market your brand. Unfortunately, this wide array of services on offer to you and your offerings has led many businesses to become overwhelmed when attempting to cobble together definitive strategies to boost their reach.
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Regardless of your chosen field, the internet is a fantastic place to connect with your audience. This is a sentiment that can be seen across the business and marketing landscapes, as now more than ever companies can be seen investing heavily into their online strategies. With that said, the building and maintenance of a digital presence in some ways a double-edged sword.
While the versatility and possibilities for experimentation that the internet inherently provides can give brands the chance to set themselves apart in a way that many physical mediums won’t allow for, this freedom also means that maintaining a captive audience can be near-impossible…
Why should customers pay attention to YOUR brand within an endless stream of content that is constantly being updated?
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