The web at this age has become so rich in information and sometimes it can be difficult to find our way around the vast information that is available, and get to the one that we need. Data scraping or data mining is the most common method for information extraction on the web and they do this with the use of a bot.
With the software, you can access the web with your web browser and you can scrape multiple web pages easily. They also present the data to you in a format that you can read and analyze easily but websites are against the use of bots. And so in this article, we would discuss how web scraping proxy networks can help you mine data.
Many businesses are greatly dependent on web scraping methods as it allows them to know what their competition is doing, and gives them an idea on how to be the people’s choice.
With web scraping tools, businesses can analyze information, and also monitor conversions for a topic. The use of proxies allows you to scrape rapidly and reduces the chances of getting blocked or be given false data.
Web scraping is a method of data extraction that allows you to mine data in large amounts more efficiently. The extracted data can be stored in your computer for further analysis so that informed decisions can be made.
Web scraping has helped many businesses grow and compete favorably with their competitors as it gives them access to the vast information on the web. So now companies don’t take decisions blindly but base every step on facts and intense analysis.
Manual data extraction is not efficient enough especially if the data you are after is in large volume. So to get the best result, go for an automated crawler and pair it with proxies to avoid having your IPs blocked.
Interesting Read : How to Use a Proxy in Internet Explorer
Benefits of Web Scraping
Through web scraping, you can monitor the sales you make online, and you can also use it to get data from your competitor about your potential customers and their preferences.
In social listening, you can get data from social media about conversations that are related to your line of business. you can get complaints or compliments that your target audience made concerning the goods and services your competitors offered. This way you can improve on your competitors’ weaknesses.
Web scraping allows you to do intensive SEO tracking by scraping search results from search engines. Analysis from the data would inform you of the best keywords to use in driving more traffic to your site.
Pricing is one of the weapons used in online retail stores to drive sales. Without web scraping, you won’t know what your competitors are doing, and you may be the only one selling a product for a very high price.
So price comparison helps you compete favorably and lets you assign competitive price tags to your products at all times.
Ad fraud is as real as the day, and the use of proxies can help you verify your ads so you can avoid getting scammed. Hackers can create fake websites and generate fake traffic for you and in the end, you get no ROI.
Ad fraud also happens when your competitors direct your ad to bad sites instead of to your site. Imagine your ad linking to a gambling or porn site. Proxies allow you to access your ad as a regular user so that you can see your ad the way your potential customers would see it.
What Is a Proxy Server?
A proxy is an intermediary server that sends your request on your behalf to the web. So the target website sees the request as coming from a different IP address rather than your own.
Benefits of Using a Web Scraping Proxies
Using web scraping proxies makes you anonymous, and hides your real identity from the target website. They won’t see you as a competitor, but rather see you as a regular visitor. You would also get access to sites in locations that you wouldn’t have been able to access due to geo-restrictions. So in summary, you can access more and extract more using a proxy.
When mining data, a lot could go wrong and you shouldn’t put your device and data directly in harm’s way. A proxy provides you with a more secure connection so that in the event of a malware attack, you would remain protected.
Web scraping is a time-consuming process, and your network connection may likely cut you off. If this happens, you may lose everything you have done and it’s a huge risk that can be avoided. Using a good proxy service such as Limeproxies offers you a stable connection so that you can be sure that your web scraping task would proceed to the end without any interruptions.
Types of Proxies
Mobile proxies are the IPs from mobile devices. They are expensive as they are difficult to get, and they are also not easily blocked as they are not seen as proxies. They also limit the data you can get as they only show you content that is meant for mobile users.
Datacenter proxies are not associated with any ISP, and they are very easy to get making them cheap and popular. So it’s easy for you to have and maintain a large proxy pool for a more efficient data extraction process.
These IPs are from real homes and they allow you to route your requests through the networks of real residences. Just like mobile IPs, they are hard to get and therefore are very expensive but are not easily blocked.
Interesting Read : Dedicated Proxy: Service Guide and Reviews
Common Mistakes When Using Proxies for Web Scraping
Not Using a Proxy Pool
With a pool of proxies, you have access to an endless number of proxies that you can connect to per session or time frame. It’s important as using a single proxy is the same as using your real IP, and it would get blocked due to the high number of requests that would be sent from there.
So with a proxy pool, your requests are split and you can imitate human activity with your bot.
Honeypot traps are set by the website administrator to detect and block the use of bots on the site. They come in the form of links that are not visible to human users but bots only. So once it gets clicked, it’s an indication of bot use.
Not Using a Headless Browser
A headless browser gives you a ton of options as it doesn’t display the visual layout of a web page. Since some websites show different content to different browsers, you would benefit more from the use of headless browsers as you can get more information from the site than if you used a regular browser.
Crawling Using the Same Pattern
Bots have customized settings that would determine the scraping pattern when you use them. Allowing this setting will mean your bot would scrape predictably, and that’s one of the ways websites can detect bot use as humans are unpredictable to an extent.
So to avoid being detected, change your settings and try to avoid crawling with a fixed pattern or at a fixed rate. Also, perform some actions like mouse clicks and movements on the page you wish to scrape.
Using A Free Proxy
Free proxies are not the best choice for your scraping activity as they have more cons than pros. They don’t always offer good enough speeds and are not secure as most of them don’t accept HTTPS connections. You could also get your device infected with malware by using them.
Sending Too Many Requests
Sending too many requests to the target server at the same time can cause the server to slow down or even crash. That’s one of the reasons why websites frown at bot use and kick bots out once detected.
By sending moderate amounts of requests per time, the website would be less likely to detect you as a bot, and you can go ahead with your web scraping.