Free Tool Fridays: Scraping the Web With Mozenda

Happy 4th of July to the US based readers! Here is a tool for you to play with in between barbecue and fireworks displays!

What is scraping? Web scraping, as we define it here, is the act of pulling data form third party websites. For example: pulling a list of people from Facebook after a Facebook Graph Search.

There are a lot of scraper programs out there, the question is which one should you use?

Today I am going to talk about one that I feel is very good and easy to Use. Mozenda is an easy to use scraper program that makes it so simple even a caveman could do it. Well, a caveman with a computer and internet that is.

Mozenda has a simple point and click interface. It has 2 parts; Mozenda Agent Builder, which enables you to build and edit your agents (scraping projects), and Mozenda Web Console which is were you can schedule and run your agents.

mozenda scraper 1

To begin building an agent, simply type in the url of the target website in the url window of the agent builder, and then run it. Click image below to see video.

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mozenda 2

What really sets this tool aside from others is the sheer amount and quality of training available. See below for a listing of the video training avaible.

mozenda 3

They also have a tech support number that will get you a live person who will spend as much time as you need to solve a problem. I just used this tool to scrape a well known and difficult to scrape social site and the support person stayed on the phone for over 30 minutes to help me set it up and ensure that it went as planned.

This tool is quick, accurate, and easy to use. In the end, that makes it another great tool for your tool belt.

Dean is a highly experienced and decorated veteran staffing professional with over 20 years in the industry.He is best known for his gold star winning hiring numbers, and his keen insight and creation of groundbreaking tools and processes, to enhance and change staffing as we know it. Despite all of this he remains first and foremost one of the top sourcers and full cycle recruiters in the industry.

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2 Comments on “Free Tool Fridays: Scraping the Web With Mozenda

  1. That’s a great article Dean.

    At times scraping might not be suitable, especially when the data is unstructured or in disparate locations on the internet. Good old manual data collection is then the way to go. At FillMyTable, we have a community of web researchers that you can delegate your data collection work to.

    Please do take a look – http://www.fillmytable.com

    1. Manual collection is usually much more expensive and less error prone (because of human factor – unless you have automated data validation routines implemented) than data collection done by machine. I think manual collection is only suitable when you need to do research as well in the process of data collection. BTW, Im co-founder of Diggernaut (https://www.diggernaut.com/) so I know a lot about automated data extraction, but I actually see a profit from linkage between automated systems and human based systems. It could work similarly as captcha resolve services, via API.

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