Semalt Explains What Skills You Need To Master Web Scraping

If you are looking for data to fuel your online business, it may not be possible for you to collect data simply searching on Google. Sometimes we have to use a couple of web crawlers and data scrapers to get our projects done, and sometimes we have to develop basic skills. It's true that the search engines can help you find what you were looking for, but you do need to develop the following skills in order to succeed.

1. Ability to read the robots.txt file

You should be able to read and edit the robots.txt files properly. This file is used to limit the crawlers from hitting your site too frequently. At the same time, it helps you maintain the quality of your scraped data and improves the speed of your website for human visitors. That's why you must learn how to edit the robots.txt file. When you have edited this file properly, you will be able to get rid of bad bots that don't comply with the rules and regulations of search engines. Moreover, you can target different web pages at the same time and can scrape or extract desired data conveniently.

2. Set up the data infrastructure

It is very important to set up the data infrastructure as it will unlock quality data from the entire website. For instance, you should learn SQL, PHP, and other similar languages as they help maintain the infrastructure of your data in a better way. Providing SQL access and setting up the data infrastructure will enable you to become a self-serve analyst, getting you more accurate and well-scraped data within a few minutes.

3. Basic ideas of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript

It is important to learn HTML, JavaScript, and CSS if you want to scrape the entire website without compromising on quality. If you wonder how programmers work and haven't done anything to scrape your web content, it's time to learn some programming languages and develop a couple of skills. To someone who had never coded before, the concepts of HTML, JavaScript, and CSS will be relatively new. You might have to scrape data again and again until the quality results are not obtained. It's a complicated process, but once you gain knowledge of these things, you will be able to scrape as many web pages as you want without any need for a data scraping tool. HTML and CSS are not technical programming languages, so they are easy to learn, and you can have a grip on them within a few days.

4. Ability to write and scale the bots

You should be able to differentiate the good bots and bad bots. The good bots help crawl your website in the search engines results, giving you well-structured and high-quality data. On the other hand, the bad bots are harmful to your site and will never get you well-scraped data. You not only need to differentiate both good bots and bad bots but you have to write and scale the bots. You should bear in mind that bots are the next step in the evolution of computer and human interaction. It means the more you know about bots and write them regularly, the higher will be your chances to scrape quality data and take advantage of your business.