Companies use web scraping to extract important data about other competing industries and market insights. This valuable piece of information extracted helps the organization to make decisions based on the data and offer services accordingly. Business entities use proxies to enable them to scrape data effectively from different sources on the web. The company stands a risk when doing this which is why using proxies is important. Proxy servers act as layers of privacy by hiding the IP addresses of the computers the companies use for scraping websites.
Importance of proxies when scraping the web
If you are really interested in doing the web scraping business then you should know that proxy management is a key factor in your project. Using proxies is a must when scraping the web at any reasonable scale but managing and troubleshooting those proxy issues takes more time than the web scraping itself. An IP address is a numerical address assigned to every device that connects to the internet, giving that device a unique identity. An IP address looks like this: 18.104.22.168.
A proxy is a third-party server that enables you to send through your request using its server and in the process make use of its IP address. This way, the website you want to surf no longer recognizes your IP address but that of the proxy. This will give you the ability to scrape the web anonymously if you want to. Now, those running some important websites usually set a crawl rate to stop scrapers from making too many requests. This is because too much traffic on their website will slow down the web speed. Your company can counter this crawl rate by using a sufficient pool of proxies on the target website. This will send access requests from different IP addresses and prevent the target website from locking you completely. The use of rotating residential proxies in the background also helps in hiding your identity as a web scraper by providing you with many options of residential proxies to use as decoys. GEOnode proxies will help you achieve this.
Process of web scraping with proxies
So to scrape websites using proxies, the proxy is your shield per se. The website you want to scrape as a company usually has important pieces of information you will need to improve upon your business. Maybe your company deals in clothes sales for different age ranges and you find out that there are some companies beating you to it in some locations around the world, you have two choices. It is either you go to those countries to find out why you are losing to your competitor or you can sit in the comfort of your room, save yourself the troubles of paying for and taking flights by using your laptop to scrape off important information from the website of your competitors. This information could be what kinds of clothing they sell to those in that location and at what price. Whatever information sets the difference between you and your competitor can be extracted from any website that has been geo-locked against you or against your IP address.
Why your company needs to use proxies for web scraping
The big question will be why you need to go through all these to the extent of concealing your identity as a company. The truth is this. It is a rough world out there in the market place and if you wish to make meaningful progress with your company, you need this approach badly to beat your competitors in the game. Apart from getting competitor analysis which is the main goal of web scraping for companies, there are other reasons why your company needs it.
- SEO: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) aims to increase website traffic and convert leads. When you scrape the web ethically, you can quickly get your hands on relevant keywords and ranking positions in various geo-locations. With this important piece of information, you can adjust your own online campaigns and capture more of people’s clicks worldwide.
- Brand protection: Ethical web scraping helps to continuously monitor a brand’s presence online. You can identify counterfeit products or copyright infringements. These two alone would have been very labor-intensive jobs having to physically browse the internet to know if your brand is losing value. However, with proper web scraping, this information can be retrieved in seconds and your company can take the necessary steps to protect its brand.
- Generation of leads: As a company, you need qualified leads to reach out to prospective clients. Collecting important data for this purpose is very critical. This is where ethical web scraping can support lead generation efforts. It collects data from competitors’ portals and forums so you can find out who is doing business with them. You can use this data to generate enhanced leads.
Other reasons for doing ethical web scraping for your company include cybersecurity, price monitoring, email protection, and verification of advertisements.
Web scraping is slowly becoming the norm for companies to compile data and analyze them. Your conclusion on the analysis can be used for a number of end-goals that you want to prepare your company to achieve. Scraping those websites using proxies is one of the most reliable ways to compile huge data on a particular subject. There are many proxies out there but as a company, you can only rely on premium proxies.