News Aggregation is about compiling news articles from different websites and forums together in a single database. While this has been happening for quite some time now, News Aggregators have started using different strategies like showing related news when you are viewing one, or customizing your news feed based on your past usage. But the core of a News Aggregator is Web Scraping and that is what we will be discussing today.
Most News Aggregators follow the following steps in order to get their content to the masses-
Businesses have to focus on their main product or offering first, before they go over everything else and make things look good and stuff. For news aggregators, this is the news articles that they collect from the internet. Here web scraping would not only involve getting articles from top websites but also searching for specific keywords in local as well as smaller news media, so that the news aggregators can get more news for local people and at the same time give visibility to smaller players who are actually covering the civic and criminal investigations in certain regions responsibly.
When you are giving a summary of a news in your news aggregating website, you must provide the link for the article in the original website as well. This link might have been scraped and stored in your database already. These links are important since on finding the summary of an article interesting, a customer might very well want to read the entire news and gain a full understanding of the present situation.
Often, for a single event, you will be getting more than one news articles from different news sites. If it is a big event or news, it might even happen that the latest developments keep coming in every few days or weeks. It is your responsibility to collect all these news articles, remove repetitions in case of similar articles by keeping the one with the best summary and also building a timeline of events for the entire episode, so that a person can understand how the thing happened, what actually happened, and how the authorities dealt with it, and what was the final outcome. This way, the reader gets access to a historical timeline on a newsworthy story.
How do you know which article is better written when you have different versions of it in similar news websites. One option is manual intervention but that can be kept aside for unique situations, since manual intervention is costly and cannot be implemented at scale. So one could build an intelligent scraping mechanism with the help of a Web Scraping service like PromptCloud, that would be able to detect the number of thumbs up and positive comments on an article and only deliver the ones with the best statistics.
Certain online news sites are more popular than the others although theoretically every website actually covers the same news. You can scrape the top news/news aggregator websites to see what is making their sites click. You can also capture customer behavior in their website by going through comments, most viewed articles and more. Systematic checks on your competitors can help you remain in business for longer.
News and Media is a big business and like any other business it needs technology to reduce operational costs and remain viable. Web scraping and intelligent systems can provide this edge to news aggregators.