The web is an endless resource of valuable data about the industry and information vital to market research. Taking advantage of this data to make better decisions and develop effective strategies can grow any business into a global giant.
You can manually copy this data from websites and paste it in a local file. But it is time-consuming and requires a lot of manpower. Web scraping enables you to collect real-time data fast and efficiently. It extracts data from your target websites to prevent an overload of unhelpful information.
What is Web Scraping
It is the automated process of collecting data from the web using software known as a scraper. The scraper extracts data from targeted websites. It then parses it and stores it in a device in a database or spreadsheet. Further analysis of these data can help your business in areas such as:
- Better pricing strategies
- Improved customer satisfaction
- Keyword research
- Monitoring competitors
- Staying up to date with technological changes in the industry
- Keeping track of customers’ changes in tastes and preferences
- Quality lead generation
An issue you will face when web scraping is bypassing the website’s security systems. Website administrators are keen on preventing scrapers from their site. And therefore, proxies are vital in web scraping.
What is a Proxy?
This is a server that prevents your device from interacting directly with the websites you are scraping. The proxy acts as a go-between, making web requests and receiving responses on behalf of your device.
A proxy hides your device’s IP address and location with its own. In case you fail to meet the criteria used by the website’s security system to differentiate bots from human users, the web server blocks the proxy IP instead of your device’s real IP.
Types of Proxies
There are two main types of proxies – data centre and residential proxies.
Data centre proxies are artificially made in data centres and issued by cloud server providers. They do not depend on an internet service provider or internet service. They are fast and available in large numbers, making them an excellent choice for large scale web scraping.
Residential proxies come from internet service providers and are issued to homeowners. They are legitimate, exceptionally reliable, and are the least detectable. It makes them suitable for sensitive web scraping projects.
Let’s look at the role of proxy location in web scraping.
Importance of Proxy Location in Web Scraping
Here are four ways proxy location is essential when web scraping
1) Accessing Geo blocked Websites
Geo-blocking is a situation where web administrators block users from specific areas. For instance, e-commerce websites can block visitors from countries where they do not ship their goods and services.
A proxy attached to a location that is not blocked by the website makes it possible to collect the data you need.
2) Bypassing Government Internet Censorship
Countries such as India apply strong internet censorship. Numerous Indian websites are also blocked outside India, restricting your access to data on the Indian market.
A large proxy pool with a wide variety of IPs from different countries will widen the reach of your market research. For instance, you could scrape data from Indian websites by using an India proxy.
3) Accessing Location-specific Content
Search results differ depending on the location of a user. A proxy attached to a precise location enables you to see specific content that the website displays to the browsers in that area. For instance, an India proxy will narrow down your search results to Indian companies and websites.
It enables you to gather more detailed results from your web scraping project. This is especially essential when web scraping data from e-commerce sites.
4) Bypassing Website Limits
Websites limit the number of web requests that a user can make in a given amount of time. An unusual number of requests coming from one user implies it is a bot. You can avoid getting detected by using a vast pool of IP’s with different locations.
Rotating the IP addresses with different locations makes it less likely for the website’s security system to associate the requests with your scraper. You can also run an unlimited number of concurrent sessions on the same site. It will give the impression of several organic users from different states.
Web scraping is essential for understanding your customers and competitors. It helps you set better prices, improve your SEO strategy, stay up to date with changes in the industry, and improve your marketing strategy.
Get a proxy pool with a variety of locations that can help you get past geo-blocking, website limits, and government regulations. You can filter your search results by location, improving the quality of your web scraping project.
Ensure that you are getting your proxies from a reliable vendor. They should be able to provide an India proxy or a proxy for any other country you may need. It will ensure that your web scraping project is extensive and successful.