What are Alternatives to News Scraping Tools?

News scraping usually refers to an automated process which copies and extracts data from the web, whether from a central local database or spreadsheet. It mimics the human version of browsing the web for data and copying and pasting it into a file to save on your computer. With web scraping, contents of web pages are automatically copied through parsing, or analysis into syntactic and semantic components to find specific data such as phone numbers, contact information, names of organizations, emails, etc.

Examples of news scraping applications can include gathering information about product reviews, real estate listings, tracking mentions of businesses or brand on the web, or weather data monitoring. The downside is that you’ll have to manage a list of sources and define specific crawlers for the different types of HTML-webpage templates out there. You may end up having to use a dedicated server or pay a 3rd party to host your scrapers.

If you want to scale your web scraping operations, however, to include thousands or millions of posts, you’ll want to instead consider a News API. Google News, Reddit and the BBC are all examples of News APIs that monitor news in real-time.

Scraping Tools Versus News APIs

With Webhose’s News API, you won’t have the hassle of managing and defining specific crawlers, which saves you a lot of time and resources. Instead, we do the heavy lifting for you, storing and indexing the data so all you have to do is to define which part of the data you need. For example, you can limit your search to only articles mentioning a specific person, or from a certain organization or in a particular language. We also offer advanced filters that include the ability to filter according to sentiment analysis and social signals.

If you are looking to extract information from only a few websites, however, a web scraper might be the best solution for you. Depending on your organization’s development resources, you may even be able to build your own web scraper.

Web Data Extraction on Demand and at Scale

Although advanced scraping tools do allow for data extraction, they often have a prohibitive cost as they are not built to scale.

Webhose’s News API, on the other hand, provides machine-readable data on-demand and at scale that is accessible to anyone. The RESTful API extracts and structures data into a unified format in JSON and XML formats from over 75 million websites — including archived news data going back to 2008.

Businesses interested in receiving web data extraction at scale will find a web data feed to be better value for their cost. For example, if you are a media monitoring company searching for the latest news sites, blogs, forums, and online reviews in an industry, you want to cover as many data points as possible to satisfy your customer’s expectations. In addition, a web data feed will free up critical resources that would otherwise be used in scraper bot development, source list management and field parsing.

If you need customized parsing for extracted data sets on a smaller scale, however, scraping tools might be a better choice for you.

Omer Turner
Omer Turner is a Full Stack Team Leader at Webhose.io, a leading web data provider used by hundreds of data analytics, cybersecurity and web monitoring companies worldwide. Previously, he worked as a software developer at Buzilla Ltd, a web monitoring and analytics company that helps brands track, monitor, analyze and extract insight from online content.
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