How To Use Google Sheets For Internet Scraping With AI


Scraping knowledge from webpages is a comparatively superior process that, till lately, required a level of technical talent. The concept of diving into code or scripts for knowledge extraction appeared overwhelming for a lot of, myself included.

Knowledge scraping can energy many search engine optimisation duties, comparable to auditing, competitor evaluation, and analyzing web site and knowledge construction.

Google sheets gives easy options to assist.

A type of options is the IMPORTXML perform that permits customers to scrape webpage knowledge utilizing only a few parameters. It makes knowledge extraction accessible to a wider viewers, particularly to those that weren’t well-versed in programming languages.

Whereas this perform is spectacular, the actual breakthrough got here with the adoption and integration of generative AI into the combination.

On this information, we’ll present you the right way to use Google Sheets and AI, significantly ChatGPT, for internet scraping while not having superior coding expertise.

The Instruments: AI And Chatbots

We are actually all acquainted with AI, ChatGPT, and related chatbots.

The truth is, many people use options like ChatGPT to write down our personal code, scripts, and applications with or without very restricted programming information.

It is so simple as offering detailed directions within the type of prompts and dealing with the chatbot to construct instruments that solely till lately we believed have been method above us.

However most significantly, these are instruments which can be deeply altering the best way we strategy our day-to-day work.

For instance, if we ask ChatGPT the next query, “What’s the IMPORTXML perform and the way can I exploit it in Google Sheets to scrape the title of an HTML webpage? Present the required code to try this in Google Sheets,” the response is extraordinarily correct. In a matter of seconds, now we have our formulation prepared to make use of in Google Sheets.

However to be trustworthy, that was a really fundamental and easy process that we may have simply accomplished with out ChatGPT.

The Process

So, how does this work if we wish to extract knowledge that may be a bit much less normal in comparison with a web page title or description?

For instance, how does this work if we wish to extract the next knowledge from the PPC entrance web page of Search Engine Journal?

Record all featured articles, their authors, the hyperlink URLs, and the article description for the columns listed on

Can we do this immediately with ChatGPT?

Executing With ChatGPT

When creating prompts, it took a number of makes an attempt to supply directions that have been detailed sufficient for the chatbot to totally perceive the target of the duty and return good outcomes.

In lots of instances, it felt just like the AI was beneath strain to return fast outcomes regardless of their accuracy.

However let me clarify.

The duty was to investigate the web page and listing all featured articles, their authors, the hyperlink URLs, and the outline for every of the 30 articles listed on the web page. Then compile the information right into a desk and at last export it right into a CSV file.

Easy proper?

At first, ChatGPT returned only a pattern of seven articles and solely their titles and URLs; after a reworked immediate, it managed to listing and export all 30 articles and their hyperlinks.

Now, that was good. So, to finish the duty, we simply wanted so as to add the authors and the article descriptions.

However right here is the place the bot stumbled and was not in a position to present an correct description of every article regardless of us offering examples of the web page ingredient it wanted to seek out and replica.

ChatGPT saved ignoring the directions and offering its personal article descriptions time and time once more.

ChatGPT even failed once we tried with a distinct strategy and downloaded and uploaded a replica of the web page HTML.

ChatGPT extractScreenshot from ChatGPT, February 2024

This time, it was in a position to present correct knowledge for seven articles however couldn’t go previous that. The problem reported:

“…the construction and content material of the web page current important challenges for complete knowledge extraction in a single session.

The web page is kind of in depth and complicated, and it’s not possible to extract all 30 articles within the present format of interplay.”

ChatGPT extracting from 30 articlesScreenshot from ChatGPT, February 2024

ChatGPT + Google Sheets

So, going again to IMPORTXML and Google Sheets.

This time, getting ChatGPT to supply the formulation for every subject was like a breeze.

 ChatGPT extracting instructionsScreenshot from ChatGPT, February 2024

Listed below are a few of the formulation, as advised by the chatbot, which you could simply strive your self in Google Sheets to extract:


=IMPORTXML("", "//*[@id='archives-wrapper']/article/div/div[2]/h2/a")

Creator Title

=IMPORTXML("", "//*[@id='archives-wrapper']/article/div/div[2]/p[1]/a")

URL Hyperlink

=IMPORTXML("", "//*[@id='archives-wrapper']/article/div/div[2]/h2/a/@href")


=IMPORTXML("", "//*[@id='archives-wrapper']/article/div/div[2]/p[2]")

Very quickly, we have been in a position to extract the information into the spreadsheet.

Google SheetsScreenshot from Google Sheets, February 2024

Moreover, through the use of merely constructed nested formulation, we will rapidly pull the information from a number of pages on the similar time.

Within the instance beneath, I used to be in a position to extract the identical knowledge associated to every article (title, writer, URL hyperlink, and outline) for the primary 10 pages of the PPC part.

The result’s a complete of 300 articles scraped in lower than a minute!

Google Sheets extract resultsScreenshot from Google Sheets, February 2024

Evaluating The Two

So, how do ChatGPT vs. ChatGPT + Google Sheets IMPORTXML evaluate?

In my expertise, I couldn’t discover a straightforward and fast method to make use of ChatGPT to scrape the information I used to be searching for – thoughts you, that doesn’t imply that this isn’t attainable, and there is likely to be a number of methods to do that, however I didn’t discover any.

What labored for me was a mixture of the completely different instruments, and that served me rather well for my supposed objective.

ChatGPT was extraordinarily helpful for writing the IMPORTXML formulation I wanted to make use of in Google Sheets, and people formulation did the remaining.

An extra bonus of the ChatGPT + Google Sheets choice is which you could simply use the free 3.5 model of ChatGPT and get the instrument to construct your IMPORTXML formulation, as a substitute of getting model 4 to scan the web page and extract the information.

Key Takeaway

This highlights a important facet of how AI has reworked how we expect and work.

The most effective instrument for the job isn’t merely utilizing AI, Google Sheets, or any particular software program alone however reasonably a mixture of instruments and expertise.

It’s on this built-in strategy that we develop workflows which can be environment friendly and efficient, thus enhancing our general productiveness.

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Featured Picture: Visible Era/Shutterstock


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