Quora Scraper 101: How to scrape Quora answers with Python

Scraping Quora answers is incredibly easy with the right guide. In this article, you will be learning about the best Quora scraping tools in the market and how to create your own Quora scraper as a coder.

Quora Scraper

Quora is an incredibly useful web service that is meant for posting and answering questions about almost anything, and everything provided the question makes sense and is not spammy. It might interest you to know that Quora gets as many as 4 million questions posted on the platform daily.

This is some big data you can use as a marketer. Depending on the aspect of Internet marketing you have an interest in, the questions and answers posted on the community-driven question and answer platform can help in your Internet marketing research. A good number of marketers and social researchers are interested in the questions and answers on Quora.

However, extracting those questions and answers is not easy. While they are publicly available, you will find it difficult and tiring to collect them manually, especially if you want to extract data from many pages on the website. To make things worse, Quora does not have an API you can call in other to extract questions and answer.

This means that if you are interested in extracting data from Quora, then you will have to do that yourself. The easiest way to extract questions, answers, and other content from Quora is via web scraping through the use of a web scraper.


Quora Scraping – an Overview

From the above, you already know that Quora will not provide you their content in bulk, and you will have to get it yourself via web scraping.

So, what is web scraping? Web scraping is the technique of using computer programs to automatically extract data publicly available on the Internet.

These computer programs are bots that operate in an automated and repetitive manner, sending many requests in a short period of time. How web scrapers work is simple, they send HTTP requests as browsers do, get the page source (usually in HTML) as a response from the web server, then parse out the required data to either save in a database or use it for making a decision in the program.

For Quora, the process is still the same. All that a Quora scraper requires is to send a get request to the URL with the question and answers he wants to scrape; Quora will send the page as it would to web browsers. Unlike web browsers that would render the page, a Quora scraper would parse out required data.

However, there is something you need to be aware of when it comes to scraping Quora. Quora will not allow you to scrape many pages without a fight. It has an anti-bot system that will block your scraper after a few requests. While the anti-bot system the anti-bot system can effectively put away bots developed by amateurs, it is not effective against experience web scrapers that can bypass it.

There are basically 3 ways you can extract data from Quora and use it for your research project. The first method is the most expensive, and we won’t be talking about it much – making use of a data service that will scrape on your behalf. The other two methods which would be discussed in this article is using an already-made web scraper or developing one yourself.

If you have coding skills, you can go ahead and create your own it will only take a few hours at most, depending on the features you want to be included and how rigid and robust you want it. However, you do not have coding skills; you can make use of the ones already in the market.


How to Scrape Quora Using Python

One advantage of being a coder is that you can develop your own web scraper tailored to your specific need. You can have as many features as you want in the scraper you develop.

While you can develop scraper using any Turing complete programming language, the Python programming language is the most popular programming language for developing web bots. As such, we will be using Python to demonstrate to you how to scrape Quora easily. The libraries we will be using include the Requests library for sending HTTP requests and BeautifulSoup for parsing.

The process of scraping Quora is simple, use the Requests module to send requests to the URL of the question you need to scrape its answers. When a valid response is returned, you can use BeautifulSoup for parsing out the questions and associated answers.

You might need to make use of proxies to bypass IP tracking and block. But in the example below, we are not using any proxy as the code is just a proof of concept. The code will print the question and answer if you provide it a URL to a question.

from bs4 import BeautifulSoup
import requests
headers = {'User-Agent':'Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10_11_2) AppleWebKit/601.3.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/9.0.2 Safari/601.3.9'}
url = "https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-future-of-Donald-Trump"
page_source = requests.get(url, headers=headers)
soup = BeautifulSoup(page_source.content, "html.parser")
question = soup.find("div", {"class": "puppeteer_test_question_title"}).text
print(question)
#scrape answers by looping through
answers = soup.find_all("div", attrs={"lass": "ui_qtext_expanded"})
for answer in answers:
    answer = answer.text
    print(answer)

Best Quora Scraper in the Market

Unlike in the past that for you to scrape any web page, you will have to write code or pay a coder to write code for you. in recent times, web scraping is no longer a programmer thing. You can scrape web pages without writing or knowing how to write a single line of meaningful code.

This is because there are already-made web scrapers in the market that you can use to scrape any website you want – you just have to pay, and some even come with free plans with a few limitations. In this section of the article, I will be discussing some of the best web scrapers to use for Quora scraping.


ParseHub

ParseHub Best Scrapers Logo

  • Pricing: Free
  • Free Trials: Free – advance features come at an extra cost
  • Data Output Format: Excel, JSON,
  • Supported Platform: Cloud, Desktop

Parsehub Overview

ParseHub is not a Quora specific scraper – it is a general based web scraping tool. This tool does not require you to write any code. All you need in other to scrape Quora questions and answers to use the visual scraping tool operated via a point and click interface. ParseHub is a free tool but has a paid plan with premium features.

You can actually use the free plan to scrape Quora. ParseHub has a cloud-based platform, but it is only available for paid users. If you want to use their free plan, then you will have to use their desktop application. ParseHub works even for the most advanced and outdated website.

This scraping tool is incredibly powerful and flexible. Quora make use of indefinite scroll, and ParseHub has been developed for that. It has support for IP rotation, which you will provide the proxies, you can use Regular Expression to scrape texts that meet certain text patterns, and you can export the scraped data in JSON and Excel.

Pricing of parsehub


Octoparse

Octoparse Logo

  • Pricing: Starts at $75 per month
  • Free Trials: 14 days of free trial with limitations
  • Data Output Format: CSV, Excel, JSON, MySQL, SQLServer
  • Supported Platform: Cloud, Desktop

Octoparse youtube scraper

Octoparse is a premium web scraping tool that comes as a paid tool. With this tool, you can scrape all kinds of websites, including Quora. The tool comes with advanced features such as its anti-bot detection system that make it evade detection and blocks. While it is a paid tool, it provides a 14 days free trial, which you can use to try out the service before making payment. Octoparse can convert links of Quora into a spreadsheet in a few clicks. It has a cloud scraping service with which you can schedule Quora scraping tasks and get them done periodically without you interfering.

How Octoparse work is simple. All you need to do is use the point and click interface provided by the tool to specify the data you want to scrape, and Octoparse will get the job done for you. Regardless of the number of pages you want to scrape, Octoparse has got you covered. One thing you need to know about Octoparse is that they offer a professional data service that can help you scrape if you do not want to deal with their scraper directly.

Pricing of Octoparse


ScrapeStorm

Scrapestorm Logo

  • Pricing: Starts at $49.99 per month
  • Free Trials: Starter plan is free – comes with limitations
  • Data Output Format: TXT, CSV, Excel, JSON, MySQL, Google Sheets, etc.
  • Supported Platforms: Desktop

ScrapeStorm Best Scrapers

ScrapeStorm is another general visual web scraping tool you can use for scraping questions and answers from Quora. The team behind the development of Quora is an ex-Google crawler team, and as such, they have tons of experience under their sleeves.

With ScrapeStorm, no programming is required in other to scrape, all that is required is just a few points and clicks, and you will have the required data in a few minutes depending on the number of pages you want to scrape. One feature you will come to like about ScrapeStorm is that it has support for intelligent data identification, which makes manual operations not necessary in some scenarios.

ScrapeStorm has one of the most extensive export systems with support for multiple formats and databases. It also has support for many platforms, including Windows, Mac, and Linux. The ScrapeStorm visual scraping tool is one of the best you can use for scraping Quora. Interestingly, they even have an API endpoint if you are looking forward to a developer-focused Quora scraping tool.

Pricing of scrapestorm


WebHarvy

WebHarvy Best Scrapers Logo

  • Pricing: Starts at $139 for a single user license
  • Free Trials: Not available
  • Data Output Format: TXT, CSV, Excel, JSON, XML. TSV, etc.
  • Supported Platforms: Desktop

WebHarvy Best Scrapers

WebHarvy makes web scraping easy, including scraping from the Quora web pages. It has support for intelligent pattern detection and the use of Regular Expression (Regex) to scrape patterns. One feature you will also come to like about WebHarvy is its support for category scraping by submitting links with the same page structure – this works perfectly for Quora.

WebHarvy has support for proxies, which will help you keep your real IP address hidden in other to bypass the anti-bot system of websites. WebHarvy has a built-in scheduler, which is helpful for scheduling your scraping tasks.

One feature you will come to like that comes with WebHarvy is its support for browser automation. With WebHarvy, you can automate repetitive tasks you carry out on your browser, including filling forms, clicking links, and opening popups, among others. The customer support team of this scraper will provide you a free one-year technical assistance when you purchase this scraper.

Pricing of Webharvy


WebScraper.io

webscraper io

  • Pricing: Extension is free – cloud is paid from $50 monthly
  • Free Trials: available
  • Data Output Format: CSV, Excel, and JSON.
  • Supported Platforms: Chrome and Firefox

webscraper overview

Unlike the other web scrapers discussed above that are standalone software, the Webscraper.io extension is a browser extension (available for both Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox) that works from the browser environment. You can use this web scraper to carry out your Quora scraping project.

You can use the tool to scrape data from any website, including dynamic web pages using their point and click interface – no programming required. One thing you will come to like about Webscraper.io is that it is built for the modern web with modular selector systems that make it possible to tailor data extraction to different site structures.

In terms of export formats supported, the Webscraper.io extension has support for Excel, CSV, and JSON. If you need to automate the web scraping tasks, you can opt-in for their cloud scraping service. The cloud scraping service allows you to manage the scrapers via an API, has support for schedule scraping, and helps you to streamline the post-processing tasks.

Webscraper Pricing

Conclusion

From the article, you can tell that there are a good number of options available to you – use a data service, develop a scraper for yourself tailored to your specific need, or use an already-made web scraper in the market. The option you choose will depend on your coding skill and the level of involvement, and the money you are ready to spend.

For non-coders that will want to make use of free scrapers, it is important for you to know that you cannot avoid spending as you will need to buy high-quality proxies for the web scrapers to work effectively. You can buy the proxies from Smartproxy, Soax, and Shifter.