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Data scraping is the process of automatically sorting through information contained on the internet inside html, PDF or other documents and collecting relevant information to into databases and spreadsheets for later retrieval. On most websites, the text is easily and accessibly written in the source code but an increasing number of businesses are using Adobe PDF format (Portable Document Format: A format which can be viewed by the free Adobe Acrobat software on almost any operating system. See below for a link.). The advantage of PDF format is that the document looks exactly the same no matter which computer you view it from making it ideal for business forms, specification sheets, etc.; the disadvantage is that the text is converted into an image from which you often cannot easily copy and paste. PDF Scraping is the process of data scraping information contained in PDF files. To PDF scrape a PDF document, you must employ a more diverse set of tools.

There are two main types of PDF files: those built from a text file and those built from an image (likely scanned in). Adobe’s own software is capable of PDF scraping from text-based PDF files but special tools are needed for PDF scraping text from image-based PDF files scrape google
. The primary tool for PDF scraping is the OCR program. OCR, or Optical Character Recognition, programs scan a document for small pictures that they can separate into letters. These pictures are then compared to actual letters and if matches are found, the letters are copied into a file. OCR programs can perform PDF scraping of image-based PDF files quite accurately but they are not perfect.

Once the OCR program or Adobe program has finished PDF scraping a document, you can search through the data to find the parts you are most interested in. This information can then be stored into your favorite database or spreadsheet program. Some PDF scraping programs can sort the data into databases and/or spreadsheets automatically making your job that much easier

In roughly the past few weeks, Google has upgraded its indexing system to Google Caffeine and has one again become best search engine out there. Yes, even better than Bing. In addition to being faster and more accurate, Google is no longer easily manipulated by “black hat” SEO techniques. Anybody who bought incoming links from what are called high PR or Page Rank sites and connected them to relevant keywords on their homepage, depending on industry, could rank very highly for some pretty competitive search terms. In online marketing lingo, the improvement in s.e. rankings are referred to as “increase in SERP rankings” or some variation thereof. “SERP” stands for “search engine results page.”

Before Google Caffeine, the search engine used to determine its website rankings or SERP rankings for a particular search by the quality of “inbound links”. The higher ranked these links were and the more of them a site had, the better your search engine results would be. Makes sense, right? If the search engine ranked a site highly (see below for examples) and that particular site was vouching you were what you claimed to be, then, in most cases you were. Obviously, this did not turn out to be the case and Google needed to make a switch.

Google was basing the importance of these inbound links based on what is referred to as Google Page Rank. You can quickly look up the page rank “checker” if you would like to see examples. Page Rank or PR is ranked on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the best. As one could imagine, there are not many 10s out there; the primary 10s are your Googles, etc. To a certain extent, link relevancy and Alexa had something to do with it, but the s.e. seemed to be manipulated by the same sites it ranked highly. To back track a second, link relevancy is how relevant a site to your industry was linking to you.

For instance, if you run a drycleaners in Dallas, any list with some Google authority (how much Google perceives that a website knows about a topic), would be considered a relevant inbound or incoming link. About a month and a half ago, a high PR (maybe 6) software site could make your rankings jump. This is no longer the case.

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