Semalt Elaborates On URLitor – Very Cool Web Scraping & Data Extraction Tool
URLitor is a new but effective web scraping and data extraction tool. To use URLitor, you just need to add a list of all the URLs the content of which you want to scrape online in the provided template. Then you need to specify the HTML element you want to extract from the webpages and click the submit button. It is as easy as that. With this tool, you don't need to make a copy or paste from the browser anymore.
xPath is a language that is used to search for information in XML files. It uses certain expressions to select node-sets or nodes in XML files. The expressions that XPath understands are quite similar to the ones that are used with normal computer files or documents.
Although XPath is used with several programming languages, this tool has been built for users who do not have any programming knowledge. So, you do not need to be a programmer to make use of it. With this tool, you can extract data from several HTML and XML pages.
For simplicity of use, several frequently used XPath expressions have been predefined into a drop-down menu so that users will only need to select any of them depending on their aim. However, highly experienced users of XPath have the liberty to use their custom expressions whenever they wish.
The tool has been designed with the capacity of 100 URLs in a single scraping session, and it takes a maximum of 10 expressions at once. In other words, it can scrape data from a maximum of 100 URLs at a time.
Some important XPath custom expressions that can be modified or added have been outlined right below:
1. //div - This expression selects the second div hierarchically;
2. //link[@rel='canonical']/@href – This expression selects the location (ref) of the tag that is used to set the rel attribute equal to canonical;
3. /html/head/meta[@name='description']/@content – This expression is used for selecting content;
4. //*[@class='class-name']– You can use this expression to select all elements with 'class-name' as CSS class;
5. //h2 | //title – This expression can be used to select both the first H2 and the page title;
6. //*[name()='h1' or name()='title'] – This expression works exactly like the one above. However, the expression presented above is better since it is shorter;
7. //*[contains(@class, 'thumb')] – This expression selects every element that has CSS class and also contains 'thumb' for extraction;
8. //parent::*[text()='Welcome'] – This expression selects the parent of any element that has the text 'Welcome';
This tool is a Beta version and could still work with some errors. However, it is still a great tool for users with little or no programming knowledge as all the frequently used expressions have been predefined into a menu as mentioned earlier.