Smart Scraper 101: How to Use Smart Scraper (Step by Step)

Smartproxy, a premium proxy provider, has just released a new product into the market known as the Smart Scraper.

Smart Scraper for web scraping

The Smart Scraper product is a web scraper that has been developed to make web scraping easy. Unlike other web scrapers that are specifically developed for specific sites, the Smart Scraper is a general web scraper that you can use for scraping any website you can think of.

The web scraper is free to use and comes as a Chrome browser extension. With the Smart Scraper added to the list of products owned by Smartproxy, the company gradually dipping its hands into the world of web scraping and not just the provision of proxies as they are known for.

Download Smart Scraper


How Does Smart Scraper Work?

The Smart Scraper is a web scraper and, as such, does not have much difference when compared to other web scrapers available. However, being a browser extension, the heavy-lifting is done by the browser. Unlike other web scrapers that send web requests and also take care of parsing out the required data, Smart Scraper is not like that.

Instead, all it does is parse out required data from a page. How it does this is simple. You will need to use the Chrome browser to access the page that has the data you are interested in and then use it to parse out the data.

Smart Scaper for Smart Proxy

For parsing out data, it provides you a no-code tool that has smart selectors that will let you identify and choose multiple fields of the same value with a single click. So technically, all it does is parsing while the browser takes care of sending web requests. With the model, you won’t even hit the speed that you would be seen as a bot.

While the model is quite simple, it has proven to be effective provided you do not have thousands of pages you want to scrape from, as Smart Scraper isn’t for such. It is for scraping on a per-page basis. Because it works in a browser environment, it does have support for scraping even JavaScript-heavy pages.


Major Features of Smart Scraper

Major Features of Smart Scraper

The Smart Scraper has got support for a good number of features that you need to know of. Let take a look at some of these few features.

  • No-Coding Is Required

Smart Scraper Coding skills

One feature you will come to like about Smart Scraper is that it does not require you to write a single line of code in other for you to use it. It can best be described as a visual scraper. All you need to know how to do is to point and click your data of interest, which is what all web users should know how to. That is how easy web scraping has become, and the Smart Scraper is one of the tools that make it that easy.

  • Built for the Modern Web

Modern Web scrape websites

Some websites can be difficult to scrape because of either how messy they are or because they are heavy on the use of JavaScript. Well, if you are finding it difficult to scrape a website, then you might just want to try using the Smart Scraper and see. It is built for the modern web, integrating techniques that make it scrape websites that are seen as difficult to scrape.

  • Support Data Preview and Export

Data Preview and ExportWhen you click on the data you have interest in, it does not do the scraping right away. Instead, the data is presented in a tabular form, and you can even give the columns the name you want to. In terms of export format supported, the Smart Scraper tool has support for both CSV and JSON format.


How to Use Smart Scraper in 6 Easy Steps

Unlike the other tools provided by Smart Scraper that depends on your subscription, this one is free to use even without an active subscription. Interestingly, you can use it for any scraping task. Below is a step-by-step guide on how to make use of the Smart Scraper offered by Smartproxy to scrape any data publicly available on the Internet.

Step 1,

Smart Scapper for Smart Proxy

Step 2,

  • Go to the right-hand side of the page near the address bar; you should see the extension added. If you have many extensions installed, you might not see it unless you click the “Extensions” button. This will open up the interface like below. With this, you are sure the extension has been installed correctly.

 

Smart Proxy App Instalation

Step 3,

  • Navigate to the page where you want to scrape data from. Go back to the list of extensions and click on the “Start Scraper” button. A toolbar will be added to the page where you will see the data you want to scrape. From this toolbar, you can either download or erase the data you have added to the list. The interactive interface is basically a point-and-click interface. The cursor would become the tool for pointing and clicking on the data of interest.

Start Scraper

Step 4,

  • Hover over the text you want to scrape and click. The tool will not only add the one you click on but also automatically extract all the elements of the same type as you click.

Step 5,

  • You can click on each column to give it the name you desire.

Step 6,

  • When you are done pointing and clicking on the data you have interested in, you can then click on the download button and choose the file format you want it downloaded in. the tool will download the data, and you can find it in the location you choose to save it.

smart scrape websites

Conclusion

Smart Scraper, even though new, has proven to be quite effective at scraping data from web pages. However, as a way of concluding this guide, I need to mention that the tool is still in its infancy stage, and there is a plan to add some features currently not supported, such as downloading images, as well as scheduling, and data storing capabilities.


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