BeautifulSoup To Grab Webpage Content In Five Minutes – Semalt Expert

Beautiful Soup is the Python package used for parsing XML and HTML documents. It creates parse trees for web pages and is available for Python 2 and Python 3. If you have a website that can't be scraped properly, you can use different BeautifulSoup frameworks. The data extracted will be comprehensive, readable, and scalable containing lots of short-tail and long-tail keywords.

Just like BeautifulSoup, lxml can be integrated with an html.parser module conveniently. One of the most distinctive features of this programming language is that it provides spam protection and better results for real-time data. Both lxml and BeautifulSoup are easy-to-learn and provide three major functions: formatting, parsing and tree conversion. In this tutorial, we will teach you how to use BeautifulSoup to grab the text of different web pages.

Installation

The first step is to install BeautifulSoup 4 using pip. This package works on both Python 2 and 3. BeautifulSoup is packaged as Python 2 code; and when we use it with Python 3, it gets updated automatically to the latest version, but the code is not updated unless we install the full Python package.

Installing a Parser

You can install a suitable parser, such as html5lib, lxml, and html.parser. If you have installed pip, you'll need to import from bs4. If you download the source, you'll need to import from a Python library. Please remember that the lxml parser comes in two different versions: XML parser and HTML parser. The HTML parser doesn't function properly with old versions of Python; so, you can install the XML parser if the HTML parser stops responding or does not get installed properly. The lxml parser is comparatively fast and reliable and gives accurate results.

Use BeautifulSoup to access comments

With BeautifulSoup, you can get access to the comments of the desired web page. Comments are usually stored in the Comment Object section and are used to represent a webpage content properly.

Titles, Links, and Headings

You can easily extract page titles, links, and headings with BeautifulSoup. You just have to get the markup of the page with a specific code. Once the markup is obtained, you can scrape data from headings and subheadings too.

Navigate the DOM

We can navigate through the DOM trees using BeautifulSoup. Tags chaining will help us extract data for SEO purposes.

Conclusion:

Once the steps described above are completed, you'll be able to grab webpage text conveniently. The whole process won't take more than five minutes and promises quality results. If you are looking to extract data from HTML documents or PDF files, then neither BeautifulSoup nor Python will help you. In such circumstances, you should try an HTML scraper and analyze your web documents easily. You should take full advantage of BeautifulSoup's features to scrape data for SEO purposes. Even if we prefer lxml's HTML parsers, we can still take advantage of BeautifulSoup's support system and can get quality results in a matter of minutes.