Semalt Provides The Test Results Of Web Scraping Tools

Every user faces two options when they want to use web scraping tools. They either use an off-the-shelf web scraper or a custom scraper. While a custom scraper is a better option, a lot of people shy away from it because of its high cost. The tool has to be developed to suit your business and preferences, so it requires a lot of work.

On the other hand, off-the-shelf web scrapers are too generic since they are designed for general web scraping tasks. They are usually better at some web scraping projects and do shoddy jobs at others. To help you make the right choice, some web scrapers were subjected to thorough web scraping tests and the results have been displayed below.

Test Criteria

The web scrapers were tested on the following common data extraction tasks. They were tested on their ability to scrape tabular reports, text lists, and login forms. In addition, the web scrapers were also tested on their ability to extract data from dynamic web pages built on AJAX. This is usually one of the most difficult tasks for many web scrapers. Their ability to handle Captcha was also put to test. Lastly, they were tested on their ability to handle block layout.

Test results

The web scraping tools that were tested are Content Grabber, Visual Web Ripper, Helium Scraper, Screen Scraper, OutWit Hub, Mozenda, WebSundew Extractor, Web Content Extractor, and Easy Web Extractor.

The results showed that Content Grabber is the best since it performed excellently in all the tested areas. Hence, it earned the highest average rating. It was also observed that all the web scraping tools were able to scrape login forms and to also scrape data from web pages built with AJAX. So if these are the two reasons you need a web scraper, you can pick any of them. They all did very well in both areas.

The next to Content Grabber in performance is Visual Web Ripper. It performed well in all the areas but not as well as Content Grabber, so it earned an average rating of 4.5. The next web tool is Helium Scraper. Its performance is almost as good as that of Visual Web Ripper. The only problem with Helium Scraper is its poor performance in handling block layout.

According to the test results, the web scraping tools performed in this order: Content Grabber, Visual Web Ripper, Helium Scraper, Screen Scraper, OutWit Hub, Mozenda, WebSundew Extractor, Web Content Extractor, and Easy Web Extractor which put up the worst performance.


Considering the test results analyzed above, Content Grabber got a rating of 5 in all the test categories. So, it is obviously the best. You may need to try it out too. Unfortunately, two web scrapers pulled out of the test for different reasons. The developers of Web Data Extractor and WebHarvy pulled their products out of the test.

Despite not taking part in the test, a few things were learned about both of them. WebHarvy is designed for scraping data from well-formatted paginated lists while Web Data Extractor is solely for gathering emails, URLs, etc.

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