Businesses are leveraging external data to thrive in a competitive space. It is either you monitoring the competition, or your rivals doing the same and leaving you out of business. If that is not an option for you, we hope you looked into web scraping practice and if you haven’t – this article is perfect for you!
Scraping data off of different sites may appear to be daunting, especially if it is performed manually. However, there is a better way of scraping vast amounts of data.
For instance, Web scrapers are the perfect tools to scrape information off any site, and switched-on businesses are using them to stay in the frontlines. Read more to get a deeper insight into this matter.
What is Web Scraping?
Web scraping is the process of mining large amounts of data from sites on the internet and saving them to a local file on your computer. It is the practice of automating the “copy and paste” process so that a web scraper searches for the data you need and saves them on your behalf.
A web scraper is a piece of code engineered to search for, precisely, and save useful data automatically. Web scraping works in two parts: the activities of the web crawler and the web scraper. The web crawler is a bot also called the “spider” that searches for data. It is continuously on the lookout for the specific data, exploring the internet by finding and clicking relevant links on chosen websites.
Then the web scraper takes over as it is designed to quickly and accurately extract the data found by the spider from web pages.
Web scraping is perfect for news and content monitoring, price monitoring, market research, sentiment analysis, etc., making it highly beneficial for any business which wishes to increase their sales and improve their product.
However, web scraping practices are becoming increasingly fierce as automatic scraping detection systems set up by many websites are taking over. These systems detect web scrapers by the number of requests within a short while and then block their IP addresses. If you want to evade these detectors, your best option is to use proxies provided by legitimate service providers.
Web scraping with Proxies
Proxies primarily work to hide your IP address by running your internet requests through a middle-man server that uses its IP address instead of yours. It makes you anonymous as the internet only communicates directly with the proxy and not your device as its IP remains hidden.
How does this help with web scraping? Firstly, it is always advisable to hide your IP address when surfing for sensitive data on the net, especially if you’re a business owner. A hacker could use your corporation’s IP address to access your browser history, getting your internet requests at the click of a button. It is unhealthy, and for this reason, private proxies suffice in this situation — to keep potential hackers at a distance.
Private proxies are also great for getting past rate limits on target sites. Websites set rate limits to detect how much traffic is coming from each IP address and then block it when the request is indicative of web scraper activity.
Rotating proxies are perfect for this as they change your proxy IP address periodically. So they don’t just hide your real IP address, they make your internet requests appear as though they are coming from different IPs instead of only one proxy address. Therefore, getting a rotating proxy server, which automatically changes your proxy IP addresses between requests, results in effective web scraping.
As a business entity, you have to make sure that your business is growing and reaching target goals. To achieve that in today’s world you have to automate your operations. Proxies and other web scraping tools and solutions are here to help.
To make sure you are getting the best of the best – check reviews of providers, check all the websites that test proxies, just to make sure you are not getting into hands of scammers.
And also, remember that it is worth paying for stability and security of provided service if they guarantee you success.