Web page scraping as a concept goes back a long way, but recently it has taken on new significance due to unsavory and illegal theft of information. Web page scrapinghas been used to access data quickly and efficiently where it can then be manipulated, for example in a database or on a spreadsheet.
An advantage to real-time web page scraping is the ability to get the most recent data available, particularly advantageous with information that changes rapidly. Stock market professionals analyzing today’s volatile prices and real-estate brokers looking for hot listings fit neatly into this category.
Web page scraping also gives you the ability to access strategic information where you gain a vital edge in business. Restaurants or successful shoe retailers can mine data from competitor sites to help them readjust their marketing strategy; lawyers can potentially use web page scraping to check out criminal records in one fell swoop from courthouse archives.