Web harvesting, or also known as web scraping, can be a powerful tool to help you with many things like:
- Market research
- Lead generation
- Brand monitoring
- Industry insights
Many data scientist and marketers will use web harvesting tools to efficiently and effectively extract online data
We are ParseHub, and today we’ll define what web harvesting is and the legality of web harvesting.
What is web harvesting (web scraping)?
Web harvesting refers to the extraction of data from a website. This information is collected and then exported into a format that is more useful for the user. Be it a spreadsheet or an API.
Although web harvesting can be done manually, in most cases, automated tools are preferred when scraping web data as they can be less costly and work at a faster rate.
But in most cases, web harvesting is not a simple task. Websites come in many shapes and forms, as a result, web harvesting tools vary in functionality and features.
Is web harvesting legal?
With you being able to extract online data with ease, is web harvesting legal?
In short, the action of web harvesting isn't illegal. However, there are some rules that need to be followed. Web harvesting becomes illegal when non publicly available data becomes extracted.
The legality of web harvesting (or web scraping) is a common question that many people ask.
This comes as no surprise given the growth of web scraping and many recent legal cases that related to web harvesting.
The data has to follow these 3 criteria for it to be legally extracted:
- The user has made the data public
- No account required for access
- Not blocked by robots.txt file
As long as it follows these 3 rules, it's legal!
If you want to continue to read on the leagilty of web harvesting, you can click here: Is web scraping legal?
Best Web harvesting tools
So, now that you know what web harvesting is, what's the best web harvesting tool?
The answer, it depends.
It all depends on what you or your business needs
While there are several web harvesting tools available, we think you’ll enjoy ParseHub. Not only is it free to download, but comes with a suite of features we think that you’ll enjoy like:
- Easy to use
- Cloud-based scraping
- IP rotation
- Multiple output formats
- Any many more
ParseHub is able to extract all kinds of websites and can help you extract any type of data that you need!
Want to learn more about web scraping? Read our guide here: Web scraping basics