The Best Web Scraping Tool to Extract Online Data in 2022

This ultimate guide will help clearly guide you through all of your options, empowering you to make an educated decision, so that you can get started with the web scraping tool that is right for you
The Best Web Scraping Tool to Extract Online Data in 2022
Nadav Roiter - Bright Data content manager and writer
Nadav Roiter | Data Collection Expert

In this article we will discuss:

What web scraping tools are used for

Web scraping tools are designed to enable companies to collect open source web data that is:

  • Structured
  • Cleaned 
  • Synthesized 
  • Processed 
  • And ready to be analyzed by teams, and algorithms. 

Web scraping can be done manually but is an extremely resource-heavy, and time-consuming endeavor which is why many corporations opt for a tool that can help automate this process. 

Here are some of the most popular use cases that companies are currently using web scraping tools for:

  1. Market research: Companies looking to roll out new products or enter new marketplaces collect information on potential target audiences, while examining successful competitor activities that can be replicated/learned from. 
  2. Stock market data: Hedge Funds, portfolio managers, and Venture Capitalists all collect financial data including securities volume, corporate news stories as well as growth based on the number of employees or geospatial data (e.g. satellite imagery on the progress of a building site or factory). 
  3. Travel aggregation: Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) collect information in real-time regarding competing sites’ vacation bundles, special offers, as well as flight/car rental/hotel pricing so that they can better compete. 
  4. Food delivery market: As food delivery on demand has exploded over the past two years, companies are increasingly looking to collect restaurant menu data, trending cuisines over search (Chinese? Japanese? etc) as well as order volume based on consumer geolocation. 
  5. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) / Search Engine Results Page (SERPs) collection:  Many consumer journeys begin with a simple search query driving businesses to rank higher in search engine results. They therefore collect and analyze top search results for relevant search queries and Keywords in their space in order to optimize their own pages and rank higher going forward. 
  6. Website testing: Companies that build sites/apps for different geographies or that roll out new User Experiences (UX) and User Interfaces (UI) use web scraping tools in order to view front-end results from a consumer perspective. This enables them to perform better Quality Assurance (QA) as well as load balancing.   
  7. eCommerce: This is an extremely competitive field with many value-driven shoppers. Vendors, marketplaces, and brands collect product pricing, customer reviews, Sell-Through Rates (STRs) and other data points in order to optimize item listings, design and production lines in order to capture higher conversion rates. 
  8. AdTech: Marketing teams and agencies use web scraping tools to ensure that localized campaigns are displayed to target audiences using the intended copy, visuals, and URLs. They also collect information on competitor ad campaigns, derive insights and optimize campaigns for better Click-Through Rates (CTRs). 
  9. Social media for marketing: Businesses utilize web scraping tools in order to gain insights into target audience social sentiment, in order to discover influencers that they can collaborate with as well as identify posts that consumers are engaging with so that they can join the narrative, and generate newfound interest.

Who should use web scraping tools? (Pros and cons) 

Team leaders, managers, and C-levels at companies often wonder whether or not they should be using a web scraping tool in their day-to-day operational flow. Consider the following as part of your decision-making process:

Web scraping tool pros 

  • Freeing up resources: Scraping for web data independently requires building and maintaining software. This includes Cloud servers, Networks and APIs (Application Programming Interfaces). Additionally it requires teams of engineers, It personnel, DevOps to clean, and structure data points as well performing code enhancements to address site architecture changes. Web scraping tools enable companies to shift this burden to their third party provider so that these internal resources can be used for product development, and user experience enhancement. 
  • Tapping into data collection know-how: Scraping open-source data can be challenging, may target sites block multiple information requests from a certain Ip (rate limitations). Other sites serve misinformation to IPs that are identified as suspicious/ deemed to belong to a competing entity. Web scraping tools have developed global peer networks, and technology that implements Machine Learning and Retry Logic that navigates these issues with ease, saving time and projects from being put on hold. 
  • No-code based agility: Web scraping can be a challenging endeavor for Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs) with limited manpower. Additionally team leaders, and portfolio managers want to be able to access important data points without having to outsource assignments to other departments only to get data points when they are no longer relevant due to backlog. Web scraping tools empower anyone in the company (marketing/sales/design) to access relevant data in real-time with zero coding. They can also turn on and off data collection jobs based on current needs enabling workflow/budgetary flexibility. 

Web scraping tool cons 

Maintaining information security/ market dominance: Some companies may prefer to have full control over all of their data collection systems keeping these in-house. Their belief in developing, and maintaining proprietary data scraping mechanisms may pertain to data security, maintaining a hermetic informational advantage over competitors, and/or ensuring their Unique Sales Proposition (USP) in the context of a product that derives its value from data (e.g. a stock trading platform or an eCommerce vendor’s dashboard). 

These concerns are typically fear/emotion-driven and not typically fact-based as web scraping tools use end-to-end encryption, parsing information into millions of information particles that can only be deciphered by the receiving party. Data collection networks are monitored by compliance teams and real-time mechanisms that discover and shut down malicious activities.

Why Data Collector is the ultimate scraping tool 

Data Collector is a fully automated, zero infrastructure web data collection tool. It is extremely easy to use with ready-made templates so that companies can get quicker results, these templates include:

What features businesses love?

  1. Easy, no code web data collection – Instead of having to employ data acquisition experts that specialize in proxy management, and web data extraction, team members can simply use ‘Click & Collect’ technology to get the information they need.
  2. Fully automated data structuring, and cleaning – Artificial Intelligence (AI) capabilities take care of all necessary data processing so that it is ready to be analyzed by management and/or algorithms. All data is delivered matched, synthesized, and structured.
  3. Data collection scalability and flexibility – Serving as an alternative to permanent data-related overhead, Data Collector gives companies increased agility. When there is a new client, Proof of Concept (PoC) or talk of entering a new target market then the ‘data collection machine’ can be turned on. On months where there is no need it can be turned off and funds can be allocated elsewhere.
  4. Industry-leading compliance and best practices – These include ongoing systemic log reviews, usage monitoring, Know Your Customer (KYC) calls, code-based prevention/technological response mechanisms, as well as an independent Compliance Department.

Choosing the web data collection tool that is right for you

Choosing a web data tool for your company’s needs can be a daunting task. Here is a checklist that you can use in order to see if a provider is a good fit for you and your business:

  1. Are the tools on offer really zero coding/infrastructure or are there undisclosed technical backend tasks that will slow down the data collection process?
  2. Is the pricing model straightforward with no hidden fees?
  3. Is the quality of the data high, and is it sourced in an ethical/compliant manner?

Bright Data offers exclusive ‘Click & Collect’ technology, a transparent pricing model, and high quality, GDPR/CCPA-compliant data that ensures the long-term value of your data pools, and derivative front-end products. 

Nadav Roiter - Bright Data content manager and writer
Nadav Roiter | Data Collection Expert

Nadav Roiter is a data collection expert at Bright Data. Formerly the Marketing Manager at Subivi eCommerce CRM and Head of Digital Content at Novarize audience intelligence, he now dedicates his time to bringing businesses closer to their goals through the collection of big data.