Web scraping offers a convenient way to extract data automatically, saving you the hassle of manual work. It gathers and exports the data in a structured format for you to analyze it further.

Designing a scraper is not an easy process – pretty complicated and generally requires professional guidance. Most web scraping tutorials focus on the common scraping languages like PHP, JavaScript, and Python.

Today, we’ll look at an entirely different programming language: Golang web scraper. 

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Let’s take a deeper dive into what it offers and how you can use it to scrape the web.

What Is Web Scraping?

If you aren’t new to the world of technology, perhaps you know about web scraping. Almost every industry depends on data to make necessary business amendments and even take stock market decisions.

Web scraping offers an automated way to collect essential data that is otherwise challenging to extract manually. Although there are a variety of use cases of web scraping, we’ll discuss a few below.

  • Lead generation and market research. To perform market research and lead generation tasks, you can scrape phone numbers, email addresses, and other important information.
  • Price intelligence. Thousands of ecommerce owners are selling products in a niche similar to yours. Have you set a competitive price? This is something you cannot know unless you check their product prices. Web scraping allows you to compare prices and set a suitable one accordingly.
  • Data collection. Analyzing data – the right way – can help you outshine your competitors. Fortunately, web scraping gives you quick access to reliable and up-to-date information needed to upgrade your business practices.

What Is Golang Web Scraper?

Golang, also referred to as Go, is created to upgrade the efficiency and typing of C and the functionality of programming languages like JavaScript and Python.

It consists of additional features that boost its networking and multi-processing performance. Additionally, the support for concurrency makes it a quicker and more robust programming language.

The most prominent companies like Meta, Netflix, Cloudflare, Twitter, Uber, and even Google use Go which speaks volumes about its reliability.

Find more info about building a web scraper in Golang by following the link.

Web Scraping With Go

When wanting to scrape websites with Go, you have the option of choosing between two popular libraries, including Colly and goquery.

Aside from that, you need to follow a few prerequisites before proceeding with the scraping. For instance, you are required to install the libraries and tools on your PC. Below, we’ll discuss this in detail.

Prerequisites

Perhaps you cannot make an HTTP request before installing Go or understanding its usage. Here are the steps you need to take.

Install Go

  • To begin with, visit the Go downloads Here, you’ll find all the options required to download the language
  • If you would like to go for package managers on macOS, you can pick Homebrew
  • If you’re a Windows user, you can go for Chocolatey package manager.
  • Once Go installs, you can pick any IDE or code editor compatible with Go. Generally, Visual Studio Code is the most popular and recommended by experts.

Understand Go

It is always better to have a basic understanding of Go before proceeding with web scraping. Although this programming language doesn’t require a learning curve, there are basics you’d still want to be aware of.

Make sure you watch this Go tutorial to make scraping more convenient.

Making an HTTP Request

As with any other programming language, Go has HTTP libraries. These offer techniques to connect and fetch content.

You can check out the HTTP package here.

When you enter a particular URL the HTTP “get” method provides a “GET” request. Here, the timeout is set to 0.

This signifies it never times out. As such, your app may hang. Therefore, it is better to upgrade the timeout.

Adjusting Timeout

When you create a new client, it enables you to upgrade the default setting and use the newly set client to access the web page. This ensures that your app would not hang nor wait indefinitely – even when the site takes longer to connect.

You’ll receive a timeout error and you can manage it correspondingly.

Setting Headers

Before connecting to a site, it is helpful to set the headers. For instance, you can set the “user-agent” in the header field. It is always better to set headers. This way the site owner can see the client requests they receive.

First off, you can print the site content using this code:

  • _, err = io.Copy(os.Stdout, response.Body)

Nonetheless, you can do a lot more after fetching the response body. From parsing the links to indexing and more.

Conclusion

There is no secret sauce to implementing web scraping with Go, especially with the help of the Colly library. However, note that the methods discussed above are not exhaustive or the only ways out.

You can always experiment with new techniques to see what Golang web scraper has in store.

Web scraping comes in handy for a variety of purposes and knowing an appropriate programming language for scraping complements the process.

About the author

Milo Chesov is a data science and marketing specialist  with 15 years of experience. He has a passion for technology and new features. He thinks that the fusion of fields can produce effective results and interest in data science.

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