Web scraping, also known as web harvesting or web data extraction, is the process of extracting data from a website by parsing and analyzing the HTML or other web-based structured data format of a web page. Web scraping is often used to collect large amounts of data from websites for a variety of purposes, including data mining, data analysis, and price comparison.

There are many tools and techniques that can be used for web scraping, including web crawlers, APIs, and browser extensions. Web crawlers are automated programs that follow links from one web page to another, extracting data as they go. APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) are tools that allow developers to access data from a website or other service in a structured way. Browser extensions are add-ons that can be installed in a web browser and used to extract data from websites.

Web scraping can be a useful tool for collecting data from websites that do not have APIs or that do not make their data easily accessible. However, it can also be controversial, as it can involve accessing and extracting data from websites without the knowledge or consent of the website owner.

To ensure that web scraping is legal and ethical, it is important to follow the terms of service of the website being scraped, as well as any applicable laws and regulations. Some websites may explicitly prohibit web scraping in their terms of service, while others may allow it as long as it is done in a responsible and respectful way.

Overall, web scraping can be a useful tool for collecting and analyzing data from the web, but it is important to use it responsibly and ethically.

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