The competitive nature of every activity at the current times needs you to be a step ahead of everyone else. You need data, statistics, and information about the latest trends in technology in the dynamic world. While there are many ways you can extract these data, web scraping is a reliable and straightforward way to do so.
Several web scraping chrome extensions are available. In this guide, we've listed the best and most preferred extensions. Read through to learn more.
How to Carry Out Web Scraping Using Web Scraper Chrome Extension
Before outlining how web scraping with web scraper chrome extension works, let's see what data you can extract from web pages using this scraper extension.
You can extract the following sets of data using the Chrome extension.
Real estate listings, pricing, and descriptions
Stock market trends, statistics, and data
Movie titles on Netflix
Email addresses and links
Social media's latest trends
Let's then proceed to the steps to follow to scrape data using the extension. The process involves six steps. Follow the steps listed below to conduct the process.
Installation of web scraper chrome extension on your device
Setting up the scraper task
Selection of product subcategories
Title and pricing selection from the listing page
Running the scrapper
How to Install Web Scraper Chrome Extension on Your Device
Use the guide below to install the chrome extension on your PC.
Launch Chrome browser on your PC.
Select the "Add to Chrome" button. This button is the green tab at the top-right corner of the interface. The Add to Chrome changes to Added to Chrome, confirming a successful extension installation.
How to Set up the Scraper Task
Follow the guide below to set up a scraper task.
- Open the browser you want to extract data on your chrome browser.
- Launch the web scraper extension you installed. You can do so by using the ctrl+shift+i keyboard shortcut and selecting the web scraper tab. Alternatively, you can:
- Open Chrome browser.
- Go to the more tools option.
- Select the developer options tab from the list.
- Click on the web scrape tab.
- At this moment, the screen splits into two sections; the main browser screen and the developer tools screen.
- Select the "Web Scraper" tab on the developer tool screen. This function displays the web scraper dashboard.
- Select the Create New Sitemap button.
- Go on and click on the Create Sitemap tab.
- The screen shows a display that requires you to fill in the sitemap name and the start URL. Fill in accordingly. The sitemap name is the task's name, while the start URL is the website URL you want to extract data from.
- Click on the create sitemap tab to finish setting up your scrape task.
How to Select Product Subcategories
Web scraper chrome extension uses selectors to select elements like links, photos, or texts from a web page. To do so, use the guide below.
- Click on the Add new selector to open a new window.
- In place of the Id, fill in the products name you want to scrape, followed by subcategories. For example, shirts-subcategories.
- In place of Type, specify the kind of data you want to extract.
- Select the link option on the drop-down menu to select all subcategories.
- In place of the selector, choose the select button to select all product subcategories.
- Move from the developer tools screen to the Main Browser Screen.
- Move the cursor to the menu to display all the menu items.
- Click on each of the subcategories to select your product's subcategories.
- Click on the Done selecting to finish the process.
How to Select Title and Prices From the Listing Page
Use the guide below to select the title from the listing page.
- Fill in the title in place of the Id and text in place of the Type.
- After adding the title, proceed to Elements and add a new selector.
- In place of Id input discounted prices.
- In place of the Type, input text.
- Go to the selector, discounted prices, and click on the Done selecting tab.
- Click on the save selector button.
- Follow the same procedure to add regular prices.
How to Run the Scraper
Use the guide below to run the scraper.
- Go to the Sitemap and select Scrape.
- A new window opens.
- Select the Start Scraping tab. A new window opens on the chrome browser and sets off the scraping process.
- You'll see a notification once the scraping process is done. A table containing the output data is displayed on your dashboard.
How to Extract Data
To extract the scraped data, use the guide below.
- Go to Sitemap.
- Select the Export data as CSV tab.
- In a new window, click on the Download now link.
- This function downloads the extracted data in a CSV file.
What You Need to Scrape Using Web Scraper Chrome Extension
Just like other web scraping software, the web scraper chrome extension needs you to have the necessary tools and skills. Below are some of the things you'll need to scrape web pages using the web scraper chrome extension.
- You need a Google Chrome browser installed and running on the PC.
- You need an operational computer to configure the extension.
- A Google chrome web scraper extension for scraping web pages.
- A stable Internet connection to ensure an uninterrupted scraping process.
- Human Intervention. You need to be present to choose when to start and end the scraping process. Also, you need to select the elements you need to scrape. However, you can use Cloud-based solutions to automate the scraping process. You'll get an email notification once the process is complete.
- Storage. When using the web scraper chrome extension, you should remember that there is no cloud storage. Therefore, you'll have to download the output data to local storage at the end of every scraping process. Alternatively, you can consider cloud-based scrapers that store scraped data on your Cloud account.
- Understand your need before scraping with web scraper chrome extension. This extension is ideal if you wish to scrape small amounts of data from web pages. If you scrape large chunks of data, you'll be blocked, making the service unavailable. However, you can consider Cloud-based solutions with proxy integration to request large chunks of data without getting blocked.
- You need prior knowledge of HTML and CSS. Scraping data from web pages using the web scraper chrome extension needs you to select elements to extract manually. To navigate the appropriate selects, you need to understand HTML and CSS and how they work; HTML outlines the web page structure while the CSS locates the HTML elements and uses them to extract data. Note that each kind of data you need to extract has a distinct selector. Examples of selectors include data extraction selectors, link selectors, and element selectors.
Web Scraper Chrome Extension Key Features
Web scraper chrome extension has distinguishing features that differentiate it from other web scraping software. Among them are:
- It allows you to import or export sitemaps.
- The extension allows you to scrape multiple pages
- There is no need to integrate it into mobile or desktop apps, for it primarily operates on Chrome.
- You can browse the output data you scrape from web pages.
- You can store your output data or sitemaps in your browser's local storage
- It stores extracted data in CSV file format.
Why Use Chrome to Scrape Web?
Web scraper chrome extension has many benefits you can consider instead of installing the actual web scraper extension on your device. Below are some of the reasons why you should use a web scraper chrome extension.
- It's simple to use. Web scraper Chrome extension needs no prior technical knowledge to use it. You only need to click on it to conduct a scraping process.
- Web scraper Chrome extension is free. Web scraping software is expensive. On the other hand, web scraper chrome extensions are available for free as downloads.
- You should consider the web scraper chrome extension if you wish to scrape a small amount of data from a site. A web scraping software is ideal if you want to scrape data in bulk.
- Web scraper Chrome extension is ideal for web scraping software trials. If you're scraping for the first time, it would be better to use an extension rather than purchasing a web scraper software. In such a way, you get a chance to learn how to use it, learn its benefits, and determine if you'll go on with it or not.
- Scraping data using the web scraper chrome extension stores your dataset in CSV format, allowing you to process it later.
- Web scraper Chrome extension is ideal for learners. Learning web scraping on an actual web scraping software is expensive. The chrome extension is a better alternative to do so.
Does Web Scraper Chrome Extension Support API?
No, the web scraper chrome extension does not support API. You'll, therefore, not be able to perform competitor analysis from the data you extract from web pages.
Web scraper chrome extension will require you to download the output data after a successful scraping process. You'll then need to develop a database from the output data, after which you can apply your function. In the end, you'll realize that you spend so much time doing the process.
Contrary to this feature, a Cloud-based or desktop web scraper has API support that allows you to access data on an unlimited scale and do competitor analysis functions.
Final Word on Web Scraper Chrome Extension
Scraping web pages using the Web scraper Chrome extension - see also Firefox scrapers - is an easy and affordable alternative. It is user-friendly to learners and requires no prior technical knowledge or programming skills. However, you can not rely on it to scrape large chunks of data from web pages; you're likely to get blocked. Its lack of support for APIs makes it unsuitable for comparative data analysis.