Web scraping (a.k.a. web data mining, web data processing, web data extraction, web content extraction, web harvesting, web screen scraping, web crawling, web ripping, web content extraction, etc.) is a process of extracting useful information from the web.
The problem is simple. The web contains a lot of useful information, but most of the information is formatted in a way that is convenient for human understanding, but not for a computer to sort through efficiently. In other words, if you want to use that data in your business, you’ll need to find somebody who will scour many websites, copy and paste the useful content, and combine and format it in the way you want. Even if the data you need is well presented in the web, collecting and sorting “by hand” is labor-intensive. This work is best done automatically by a screen scraper or data extractor engine.
When you need to gather this type of information on a regular basis, spending many man-hours is a waste of time and effort. This is where web scraping software comes in!