As much as search engines like Google have made our lives easier, they come with obvious constraints. For example, Google can certainly give you thousands of results on a single search stroke, but the majority part of it will be fetched from the surface web.
As a result, while you are getting a lot of information, you aren’t always getting what exactly you are looking for.
So, what exactly is the surface web, and how can we get the better of it? To understand that, let’s have a detailed look at the surface web and the phenomenon of deep web scraping.
Understanding The Differences Between Surface Web and Deep Web
The surface web is the part of the internet that everyone can read. It includes any website that doesn’t require a password, which is easily accessed by search engines like Google and Bing.
The deep web is just the opposite; it’s everything that you can’t read on everyday search engines.
So, how can we access the deep web and can gather the information that isn’t there to be gathered otherwise? This is where deep web crawling comes into play and can help you go well beyond the surface web and bring you the results that Google will not bring for you.
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Introduction of Deep Web Scraping
Deep Web scraping is a process that extracts data from websites. This can be done either manually or by using software to extract the data. Web scraping, being a relatively new technology, has been used in different ways throughout history for various purposes.
In this article, we will focus on modern-day web scraping and how it works, as well as some of its benefits and disadvantages.
In order to scrape information from a website, you must have access to the source code of the site being scraped, which is typically not available without permission from the owner of the site.
However, there are other methods, such as creating an API key that allows limited access to parts of a site’s content through programming languages like Python or Perl with modules like mechanize or cURL.³
The Art of Creating a Deep Web Scraper
In order to create a complete deep web scraper that will extract all of the data from a website, a number of technologies must be used.
Languages like Python or Perl are typically used as they have several modules available for extracting and parsing HTML pages. Scrapy is currently one of the most popular frameworks widely used by developers to build web scrapers.
- Web Crawlers
A Crawler is a program that browses through websites, following links to other pages, downloading and extracting data as it goes. It can be written in any language, but for our purposes, we will use Python.
Crawlers are typically used when the source code of the website is not available or when there are too many pages to be scraped manually.
When it comes to web crawlers, the point is incomplete without mentioning scraping spiders. A scraping spider is a program that uses a crawler to navigate through a website and extract data. It is written in the same language as the crawler and is used to process the data that has been extracted by the crawler.
Importance of Deep Web Scraping
There are several reasons why web scraping is important in the modern world that is all about data. Here are a few of the important points that deep web scraping offers
- Deep web scraping can help you get data that’s not available on the internet.
- Deep web scraping can help you get data in a timelier manner than you would be able to get it from other sources.
- Deep web scraping can help you automate the process of getting data from the internet.
There are many advantages of deep web scraping. Some of the advantages are that it is a fast and easy way to collect data, it is a great way to gather data from difficult-to-reach sources, and it is a cost-effective way to collect data.
- Fast Way to Collect the Data
Deep web scraping is a fast way to collect data. When you use web scraping, you can quickly collect large amounts of data from a variety of sources.
This is because web scraping automates the process of collecting data from websites. Instead of having to manually gather data from each website, web scraping can do it for you automatically.
- Easy Way to Collect the Data
Deep web scraping is also an easy way to collect data. You don’t need any special skills or knowledge to use web scraping. All you need is a web browser and the ability to copy and paste the text. This makes web scraping a great option for collecting data from difficult-to-reach sources, such as websites that are not accessible to the general public.
- Cost-Effective Way to Collect the Data
Finally, web scraping is a cost-effective way to collect data. Web scraping is much cheaper than hiring a data entry specialist to collect data manually. It is also cheaper than purchasing a subscription to a data aggregator. This makes web scraping a great option for businesses and organizations that need to gather large amounts of data but are on a tight budget.
Solution of big data Problems
As we have discussed the problems with deep web scraping and crawling and the challenges that are faced by everyday deep web scraping and crawling platforms, there was a need for a deep web crawler that could answer all these questions.
Although the advantages of deep web scraping are evident, this new technology is not widely available to the public. Deep web scraping has several advantages, but the learning curve is more difficult than existing search engines. Therefore, only experts and businessmen use deep web scraping to draw information.
However, this paradigm seems to be changing. As the amount of information we process every day increases rapidly, automation of intellectual labor is becoming a key factor in improving productivity. People automate news curations, shopping, e-mails, and even phone calls using artificial intelligence to spend their time on more valuable labor. As this type of demand increases, we expect that deep web scraping tools will soon emerge for the general public to meet the needs of the market.
Communicating Knowledge, Saltlux.
 5 reasons why web scraping may benefit your business. Octoparse. (n.d.). Retrieved December 27, 2021, from https://www.octoparse.com/blog/why-web-scraping-may-benefit-your-business
 How scrapy makes web crawling easy. Zyte (formerly Scrapinghub) #1 Web Scraping Service. (2021, October 20). Retrieved December 27, 2021, from https://www.zyte.com/blog/how-scrapy-makes-web-crawling-easy/
 Sahin, K. (n.d.). Web scraping with python: Everything you need to know (2021). ScrapingBee. Retrieved December 27, 2021, from https://www.scrapingbee.com/blog/web-scraping-101-with-python/
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Deep Web Scraping – Why It Matters to You was originally published in Chatbots Life on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.