Semalt: How To Extract Data From Websites Using Heritrix And Python

Web scraping, also termed as web data extraction is an automated process of retrieving and obtaining semi-structured data from websites and storing it in Microsoft Excel or CouchDB. Recently, a lot of questions have been raised regarding the ethical aspect of web data extraction.

Website owners protect their e-commerce websites using robots.txt, a file that incorporates scraping terms and policies. Using the right web scraping tool ensures that you maintain good relations with website owners. However, uncontrolled ambushing website servers with thousands of requests can lead to overloading of the servers hence making them crash.

Archiving files with Heritrix

Heritrix is a high-quality web crawler developed for web archiving purposes. Heritrix allows web scrapers to download and archive files and data from the web. The archived text can be used later for web scraping purposes.

Making numerous requests to website servers creates lots of problems for e-commerce website owners. Some web scrapers tend to ignore the robots.txt file and go ahead scraping restricted parts of the site. This leads to violation of website terms and policies, a scenario that leads to a legal action. For

How to extract data from a website using Python?

Python is a dynamic, object-oriented programming language used to obtain useful information across the web. Both Python and Java use high-quality code modules instead of a long-listed instruction, a standard factor for functional programming languages. In web scraping, Python refers to the code module referred to in the Python path file.

Python works with libraries such as Beautiful Soup to render effective results. For beginners, Beautiful Soup is a Python library used to parse both HTML and XML documents. Python programming language is compatible with Mac OS and Windows.

Recently, webmasters have been suggesting to use Heritrix crawler to download and save content in a local file, and later use Python to scrape the content. The primary aim of their suggestion is to discourage the act of making millions of requests to a web server, jeopardizing a website performance.

A combination of Scrapy and Python is highly recommended for web scraping projects. Scrapy is a Python-written web scrawling and web scraping framework used to crawl and extract useful data from sites. To avoid web scraping penalties, check a website's robots.txt file to verify whether scraping is allowed or not.