Beyond scraping… WAY beyond!
Anyone building portal web sites or doing any type of AdSense or other PPC oriented income stream, has undoubtedly run across “scraping.” It’s the concept of grabbing content from another web site, and displaying it on your own site. Now, issues of legality or ethics aside (don’t even get me started down those roads – I have vary strong opinions on the subjects that go a bit against the “mainstream”) – this has been used for a long time and is a cornerstone of how RSS feeds are used today. But it really gives you no power… all you can do is regurgitate the content. Sure, some clever people will run it through their own processor first, changing keywords, or in some cases swapping out links with their own (oh you dirty black hatter… 😉 ). But it’s possible to do MUCH more, with the same basic idea… just taken up a level.
So, what if you could run YOUR variables, through a script on someone ELSE’s website, and return the results to YOUR page? This introduces some very very powerful ideas. Now you’re not just scraping, you’re actually leveraging off of someone else’s site functionality.
That’s the premise as I see it behind this tutorial from Zend Technologies. It introduces a huge array of possible uses, and I intend to put it to work shortly. Imagine being able to use just about any script on any web site, but just as if you had it on YOUR site? I’m sure there are probably limitations I’ll discover as I investigate further, but the possibilities are exciting. Oh and yes, maybe even a little Black Hat. 😉