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Why Can’t Scraper See Content? Understanding JavaScript Rendering Issues

While scraping, it’s not uncommon to find that certain page elements are visible in the web browser but not in our scraper. This phenomenon is due to dynamic JavaScript data, which is created by JavaScript upon page load. If our scraper isn’t running a full browser to execute JavaScript, it won’t be able to see these dynamically rendered elements. To address this challenge, integrating a robust web scraping API into our scraping toolkit can significantly enhance our ability to access and extract data from web pages that rely heavily on JavaScript for content rendering. By utilizing such APIs, we can simulate a full browsing environment, enabling our scrapers to interpret and capture the dynamic content just as a regular browser would.

There are numerous methods to scrape dynamic data, one of which includes using web browsers:

On the other hand, there are instances where dynamic data is already embedded in the HTML document, but in a different location than what we observe in the browser. Most often, this data is concealed in <script> elements as JavaScript variables and then unpacked into the HTML upon page load.