Data are an internet marketer’s best friends. The more data you can get, the better you can perform as a marketer. You have two options for getting that data. First, of course, you can go out and collect it all on your own, without any tools. This is an incredibly time-consuming process. For instance, take Craigslist: manually hand-scraping this site you will spend years gathering all of the data that you need. This is not the recommended option for gathering data.
Second, you can scrape the data. This is a much better choice. Your web scraper will go out and get the data for you. You won’t have to put a lot of effort into the process, but you’ll get all kinds of data. This is the best option if you want to get all kinds of data in a short period of time.
If you’re going to do this, you need to get some tools. Once you gather up your tools, you must follow some tips to get the most out of the tools.
Let’s start by looking at your tools.
You need three tools to scrape the web. You need a dedicated proxy, a web scraper, and a virtual private server. Let’s take a closer look at how you should pick out these tools. Then, you will be one step closer to scraping the web for data.
Choosing the Best Proxy
You’re going to have to use a proxy with your scraper. Otherwise, the search engines will ban your IP address. Your proxy will mask your identity. You can use a variety of proxies so the search engines will never be able to figure out who you are, no matter how much data you scrape.
All proxies aren’t created equal, though. You have to be smart when selecting a proxy or you’re going to end up with some problems on your hands.
First, you need to pick a private proxy that has blazing-fast speed. Otherwise, it won’t be able to keep up with your scraper. Consider going with a proxy that has unmetered bandwidth so you won’t be held back when you scrape data.
Subnet diversity is also important. You want to keep your search engine of choice on its toes, and you won’t do that if all of your proxies come from the same subnet. Subnet diversity is a good way to mask your identity.
Finally, it’s a good idea to go choose a company that offers proxy replacements in case you do end up with a banned IP address. That happens from time to time, and Blazing SEO offers free proxy replacements. You’ll get your new proxy in seconds so you can continue scraping the search engines.
Choose a Good Scraper
You also need a good scraper. There are tons of web scrapers out there. Let’s take a look at two of the best on the market.
ScrapeBox is one of the most popular web scrapers out there. It has a ton of features you can use when scraping search engines.
The search engine harvester is one of the key features. You can harvest URLs from over 30 search engines, including Yahoo and Bing.
It also has a keyword harvester and link checker. You can easily harvest all of the keywords and check all of the links that you need with this tool.
These are just a couple of the features. Plus, it has a bunch of add-ons. You are basically getting a complete SEO tool with ScrapeBox. You won’t just use it to scrape the web. You will use it to manage your SEO campaign. If you want to become an SEO powerhouse, this is a great tool to use. You can use it to manage your own SEO campaign or to take on campaigns for clients.
WebHarvy is another top scraper. You can use it to extract data from various pages, categories, and keywords. It also has a built-in scheduler. The point-and-click interface is easy to use, and it has automatic pattern detection. If you want something quick and easy, this is a great tool. It doesn’t have all of the features that you’ll get with ScrapeBox, but it is still a nice tool.
Select a VPS
Your scraper will use up a lot of resources. Unless you have a supercomputer, you need to get a virtual private server. A VPS will give you the resources you need to run the scraper all day and all night. You will have enough CPU cores and RAM to deploy the scraper at full speed. You will be able to open it up and let it go when you use a VPS.
You can access your VPS from your home computer or mobile device. You’ll just log into a mobile client, and then you can control the VPS. This is very easy to do and it’s a great way to get more out of your software. If you are afraid that your computer is going to hold you back, get a VPS from a company like Sprious and then you won’t have to worry about a thing.
Tips for Scraping the Web
Once you have your tools, you’ll be ready to scrape the web. You need to keep some tips in mind before you get started, though. These tips will prevent you from standing out to the search engines. For some reason, search engines don’t like it when people use scrapers. They assume they are using them for bad reasons, when in reality, marketers use the data for important work-related reasons all the time. To combat people from using scrapers, search engines ban IP addresses and use CAPTCHAs. Fortunately, you can follow these tips to avoid bans and CAPTCHAs. Then, you can get the data that you need without the hassle.
Set the Proxy’s Query Frequency
You’ll put your dedicated proxies into your web scraper when you set everything up. You’ll need to go into the application program interface to fine-tune your settings. When you’re in there, find a setting for the query frequency. This is one of the most basic, yet most important, settings you’re going to come across.
This refers to how often a certain proxy will send out a request. You can set it for a single second or even have it wait a minute between requests. The key is you want it to mimic human behavior so it doesn’t look like a bot.
Limit it to every 5-10 seconds. That is reasonable. Humans make requests every 5-10 seconds, but they don’t make requests every 1-2 seconds. If you keep it every 5-10 seconds, you shouldn’t have any problems regarding your query frequency.
Enter a Referrer URL
When you use a search engine, you go to that search engine and then search for a keyword or URL. For instance, if you’re using Yahoo, you go to Yahoo and search for the keyword. That is how humans conduct web searches.
Bots are different, though. When you plug keywords into a bot, it doesn’t have to visit Yahoo.com to conduct its search. Instead, it is able to bypass that step and collect the data.
That sends up some serious red flags to the search engines. Fortunately, you can make the bot go through that step by setting up a referrer URL. Go to the settings and put the search engine in as the referrer URL so the bot has to go through that step when gathering data. That way, it won’t be able to bypass that step and you won’t send up red flags to the search engines. Your bot will look like a normal person gathering data instead of a bot scraping the web.
Don’t Go After the Same Keyword at Once
Proxies and scraping tools are incredibly powerful. That is why people like them. They like to use the multithreaded technology and conduct hundreds of searches at once. In fact, they might send 100 proxies out at the same time to search for the same keyword.
They think this isn’t a problem. The search engines will never know what they are doing since the proxies all have different IP addresses.
However, this can send up red flags. You might not get banned, but you will likely end up getting a CAPTCHA or two to solve. You don’t want that to happen, so stagger your requests. Don’t try to get all of your data at once. You have plenty of time to get your data. You don’t need it all today. You’re still going to get it much faster than you would if you weren’t using a tool.
Avoid Search Operators
Marketers love the idea of using search operators when scraping data. They can use commands like intitle to conduct specific queries. These commands let them look for keywords in URLs, titles, texts, and more.
Unfortunately, the search engines know that most people don’t use search operators when searching the web. Instead, search operators are mainly utilized by bots. Because of that, the search engines keep an eye out for search operators, and if they notice that they’re being used a lot, they will flag your bot.
This is especially true if you conduct a search with multiple search operators. The more you try to get away with, the more likely you’re going to get caught.
It is best to avoid search operators altogether. If you simply cannot avoid them, you need to at least steer clear of common keywords when using search operators. That will make it a little bit easier to fly under the radar.
Scrape Information Randomly
Human behavior is random, and you want to mimic human behavior. That means you need to scrape information randomly. Don’t set your scraper up to work like a machine all day and all night. Instead, avoid patterns as much as possible. If you can do this, you will have much better results. It will be difficult for the search engines to realize that your scraper isn’t a human.
You can do this by staggering your requests across your proxies. Set different proxy rate limits for your proxies. Then, your proxies will go out and search at different times. That is a great way to mimic human behavior.
Switch User Agents
Most people don’t think of user agents when scraping search engines for data. Then, they end up getting banned and they can’t figure out why. They used dedicated proxies and followed all of the other tips. However, the search engines caught up with them because of their user agents.
Your user agent tells the search engine information about your browser and operating system. If you send out 2,000 queries from the same browser and operating system, the search engine is going to notice that something is strange. It will start to wonder if a bot is behind the queries and it might ban your private proxy. Fortunately, there is a solution to this problem.
The User-Agent Switcher for Chrome is one such option. This extension changes user agents for you.
You can also get extensions for other browsers. Then, you don’t have to worry about getting caught because of your user agent. You will get a new user agent with each query so the search engines will be left in the dark. They will think that each request is coming from a different system. This is a great way to fool the search engines and avoid CAPTCHAs and bans.
If you follow these tips, you will be able to scrape the web and gather all of the information you need. Then, you can use it to create a niche site or market your existing site on the web. You will have enough information to do anything that you want to do. Best of all, you can continue to gather information with the help of your dedicated proxies and other tools. Continue to gather the information so you will always be on top of your game, no matter what you’re doing online.
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