Web scraping is becoming one of the most valuable research tools for businesses. It’s no real wonder why, as web scraping allows people to quickly gather a lot of information. However, as with any new technology, there are effective ways of using it, alongside ineffective methods. To make sure that you can harvest enough quality data, you need a few tools along with your web scraper. But what are these tools?
In this article, we’ll cover what web scraping is and also look at proxies and how proxies can help you collect a lot of quality data. We’ll also discuss some of the added benefits of using location-specific proxies, such as UK proxies, to gain access to website content in the UK. Keep reading to find out exactly how you can optimize your web scraping efforts using a proxy.
Web scraping is an automated collection process across many different public websites. Can you imagine how this process worked in the past? Someone would sit and go through different websites and copy the information they need into a sheet and then move to the next website. This would go on until they’ve collected enough data. Just think how long this process took. And the number of errors that could crop up. This was not the most effective or efficient way of collecting information.
There are web scraping tools available that make it easy to automate this entire process. All you do is input the parameters of the data you need, i.e., the prices of certain products. Then you just let the scraper run, and it will collect all the data requested across hundreds, if not thousands, of websites and compile it into a single format. A popular format that you can choose is a spreadsheet, such as Excel, making it easy to compare and evaluate the data. When it comes to web scraping tools, there are many different ones available, ranging from free ones to feature-rich paid options. Some of the web scrapers available include Octoparse, ParseHub, and ScrapeBox.
There are many different ways that your business can benefit from web scraping. The data collected can be used to help owners make important decisions for their businesses. Some of the uses of web scraping include pricing intelligence, financial planning, gathering stats for business and sales proposals, monitoring the market, identifying trends, monitoring customer sentiment, and much more.
Alternatively, some individuals make money from collecting data they perceive as valuable and selling it to other businesses. Many individuals have even built an entire business just by collecting and selling data to interested parties.
Proxies act as the middleman between the user and the internet. Proxies have their own IP address. These can be linked to real devices, known as residential proxies, or they can be randomly assigned fake IP addresses, known as datacenter proxies.
By being the intermediary between the user and the websites, proxies protect the identity and IP address of the user along with other benefits. For example, suppose you used location-specific proxies such as a UK proxy. In that case, this will make it appear that you are accessing the internet from an IP address in the United Kingdom, even if you’re elsewhere in the world. This makes it easier and more convenient to collect data from UK websites.
As you can see, using location-specific proxies like a UK proxy and others not only gives access to geo-restricted content but can also help spread your reach to a global market. Knowing what the prices and trends are in other countries makes it easier to scale your business and appeal to a worldwide audience.
Other uses of proxies include being used by website owners to improve security and balance website traffic. By doing this, the website doesn’t place such a strain on the owner’s bandwidth and can avoid unnecessary crashes. Are you interested in getting a proxy? Many ‘best residential proxy lists’ are available to help you discover the best proxy provider for your needs.
There are many benefits to using a proxy with your web scraper. Proxies can increase your online security, help avoid IP bans, enable access to geo-restricted content and enable high volume scraping. When it comes to the type of proxy needed, we recommend using residential proxies with your scraping tools. These are linked to real devices with IP addresses and ISPs. This means that they are impossible to track, and they look like real people searching the internet, so they won’t get banned. Businesses that use a residential proxy with their scraper report that profits from web scraping operations increase by 300% due to higher quality data and faster data acquisition.
There is also another benefit of using residential proxies instead of datacenter proxies or VPNs. These residential networks are at least 2,000% larger than datacenter proxy networks, making them have a global reach for penetrating the truly global data market valued at upwards of $36 billion.
Web scraping can be a powerful tool for any business to use. Whether you want to improve your own business or make money selling data – web scraping can help you. However, to ensure that you collect quality data or to penetrate the global market, you’ll have to use reliable residential proxies alongside your web scraping tool.