How To Use Google Sheets For Internet Scraping With AI


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

Information scraping can energy many search engine marketing duties, akin to auditing, competitor evaluation, and analyzing web site and information construction.

Google sheets provides easy options to assist.

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

Whereas this operate is spectacular, the true breakthrough got here with the adoption and integration of generative AI into the combo.

On this information, we’ll present you easy methods to use Google Sheets and AI, significantly ChatGPT, for net scraping while not having superior coding expertise.

The Instruments: AI And Chatbots

We are actually all conversant in AI, ChatGPT, and related chatbots.

In truth, many people use options like ChatGPT to jot down our personal code, scripts, and applications with or without very restricted programming data.

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

However most significantly, these are instruments which might be deeply altering the way in which we method our day-to-day work.

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

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

The Activity

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

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

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

Can we try 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 stress to return fast outcomes regardless of their accuracy.

However let me clarify.

The duty was to investigate the web page and record 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 info 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 record 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 capable of present an correct description of every article regardless of us offering examples of the web page component it wanted to search out and duplicate.

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

ChatGPT even failed after we tried with a distinct method and downloaded and uploaded a duplicate of the web page HTML.

ChatGPT extractScreenshot from ChatGPT, February 2024

This time, it was capable of present correct information for seven articles however couldn’t go previous that. The difficulty reported:

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

The web page is sort of in depth and sophisticated, 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 among the formulation, as prompt by the chatbot, which you can simply strive your self in Google Sheets to extract:


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

Writer Identify

=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 capable of extract the info into the spreadsheet.

Google SheetsScreenshot from Google Sheets, February 2024

Moreover, through the use of merely constructed nested formulation, we are able to rapidly pull the info from a number of pages on the similar time.

Within the instance beneath, I used to be capable of extract the identical information 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 examine?

In my expertise, I couldn’t discover a straightforward and fast approach to make use of ChatGPT to scrape the info I used to be in search of – thoughts you, that doesn’t imply that this isn’t doable, 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 mix of the completely different instruments, and that served me rather well for my meant goal.

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

An extra bonus of the ChatGPT + Google Sheets possibility is which you can 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 info.

Key Takeaway

This highlights a vital facet of how AI has reworked how we predict and work.

The very best instrument for the job isn’t merely utilizing AI, Google Sheets, or any particular software program alone however moderately a mix of instruments and expertise.

It’s on this built-in method that we develop workflows which might be environment friendly and efficient, thus bettering our total productiveness.

Extra sources: 

Featured Picture: Visible Era/Shutterstock


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