How a Web Scraping Proxy Enhances Your Business Strategy
Businesses with the best digital marketing strategy, and understanding of their customers, tend to be the ones that have the most data collected. It doesn’t have to be only customer-specific data. Information about larger trends and behavior is also invaluable to companies these days. However, everyone on the web is constantly producing information, so companies have to find ways to keep up with everything in an efficient way. This is where a web scraping proxy comes in.
Proxies are useful tools for businesses for a lot of reasons, but web scraping is getting to be a more and more popular one. Learning how to use proxies to web scrape might seem daunting, but it is actually pretty simple once you get going. Even if your company is not full of computer scientists, finding the best proxies for web scraping only requires a bit of background knowledge, which we’re going to go over in this blog post.
What is a Web Scraping Proxy?
First and foremost, we have to define what a web scraping proxy is. It’s really two things that you use together: a proxy IP address and a web scraper. A proxy IP address is an IP address that covers your device’s IP address. The IP address locates your computer geographically, but it is also what lets your Internet-enabled device communicate with websites and applications. The IP address that’s tied to your personal device can allow websites to give you a more localized experience, especially if you’re using a search engine to look up nearby restaurants or something like that. However, many individuals turn to proxies to enhance their online security.
Proxies are great for businesses as well, especially those that are dealing with proprietary or sensitive information. The proxy IP address adds that extra layer of privacy, which is great for any business that wants to invest in security. There are a ton of proxies available across the Internet, but business owners should be especially wary of free or public proxies. Although these do provide you with another IP address, they are largely unregulated and don’t provide any of the benefits of using a proxy. For your business, it is much better to look into paid proxies that ensure security and other benefits. In addition, by choosing a private proxy, as opposed to a shared one, means you are selecting a tool that will be used exclusively by you and you alone. Having your own proxy means faster speeds and a secure connection to the internet. For more information about the different kinds of proxies, check out our blog here.
Best Web Scrapers for Web Scraping Proxies
A web scraper is a bot that you can use to scoop up large amounts of data and deposit it in a simple, readable document. This is incredibly useful for a lot of different websites, from social media to online retail. Instead of going to every page and collecting the data manually (copying and pasting comments, threads, and prices one by one into a separate document), you can set a web scraper to do all of that collection for you and deposit it into an Excel sheet or a .CSV file.
Even though web scrapers aren’t doing anything wrong, websites are hypersensitive to them and tend to ban IP addresses they suspect of a proxy scrape. Web scrapers send a ton of requests at inhuman speeds, so websites tend to read that as a malicious behavior or a virus. This is where proxies come in to help you: they provide you with different IP addresses so if you do get banned while using your web scraper with a data proxy, you can keep going.
Web scraping proxies are helpful on a variety of websites. If you want to do an analysis of how people responded to product launches for your business, web scraping with a proxy is a great way to collect a lot of information from social media websites. You can get all of the comments from posts announcing product launches and search keywords, and see in general how people were responding. Web scraping proxies allow you to do a ton of work in a short amount of time so you can change up your tactics to respond to the information you’ve collected on your customers. You can also use web scrapers to do SEO research.
Web scrapers that work with proxies are pretty easy to find. Scraping Robot is a great one for beginners because it’s super customizable, but those customizations are great for larger businesses that want to do high-level scraping as well. Scraping Robot also offers 5000 free scrapes when you sign up, so you can really dig in and test how it works and see what the best way to use it will be.
Why Use Proxies to Web Scrape
Using a proxy for web scraping is really important for all kinds of businesses, but you have to make sure you’re getting the most out of them.
Using anonymous proxies for web scraping can keep you from getting banned. However, you need to make sure you pick the right one. There are three main types of proxies: dedicated, semi-dedicated, and rotating. Dedicated is one proxy IP address to cover one user, while a semi-dedicated one covers three to five users. Both are perfectly fine options for individual users, but a business that wants to accomplish a lot of data collection with web scraping should use a rotating proxy. This means that the proxy will rotate out IP addresses as soon as one gets banned. You’ll have a constant stream of new IP addresses with which to do web scraping projects and not have to worry about getting tripped up by bans.
Upon proxy purchase, you will choose the location of your proxy server. This location will help you bypass restrictions placed on your current location. This is useful for general web browsing but also for scraping, as you are able to jump onto websites you may otherwise not have access to were it not for your web scraping proxy.
Datacenter proxies are anonymous and tend to be located all around the world—the IP addresses from a datacenter IP proxy look more suspicious to websites because they’re coming from elsewhere, so that’s why they’re more likely to get banned. However, you can also look into residential proxies. These have IP addresses that originate from the country of residence, so they look a little more like humans to websites and are less likely to get banned, even when you’re using a web scraper. When you’re trying to figure out the best data scraping proxy, it can come down to location.
Scrape at high volumes
One of the main reasons to learn how to use proxies to web scrape. As I said before, the more you scrape, the more websites are able to track your online activity. Proxies give you the opportunity to routinely switch out your IP address, making it look as though you are scraping websites from different locations and different devices altogether.
Tips for Web Scraping with a Proxy
In order to make each scrape a success, we have a few suggestions for using your web scraping proxies.
Set the query frequency
Once both of your tools are set up as I mentioned above, there is also another step to take in order to ensure everything works properly. You will want to put your dedicated proxies into your web scraper when you are ready to scrape. In order to do this, you will need to go into the application program interface to fine-tune your settings. When you are in there, find a setting for the query frequency.
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. We suggest limiting it to every 5-10 seconds. Humans make requests every 5-10 seconds, but they do not make requests every 1-2 seconds. If you keep it every 5-10 seconds, you should not have any problems regarding your query frequency.
Switch up your SEO tactics
Proxies and scraping tools are incredibly powerful, a fact you are about to find out for yourself. They use multithreaded technology and conduct hundreds of searches at once. These tools can even send 100 proxies out at the same time to search for the same keyword. 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. In order to avoid this, you stagger your requests. This will still be a lot faster than trying to collect data manually.
Make searches appear random
Since human behavior is random, and you want to mimic it, you need to scrape information randomly. For example, do not 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 because it will be difficult for the search engines to realize that your scraper is not a human.
As I mentioned above, you can do this by staggering your requests across your proxies. Plus, set different proxy rate limits for your proxies. Then, your proxies will go out and search at different times.
The Best Web Scraping Proxies
When you’re looking for the best web scraping proxy, Blazing SEO has your best interests at heart. We have proxy locations all over the world, 24/7 customer service, and end-to-end control of our hardware so we can address any security issues if they come up. We also give you the ability to set how long you want to use the proxy, and will always be available to help with any confusion.
Our Residential Proxies are ethically sourced and meet the highest standard of integrity possible. We believe in fair and mutually beneficial partnerships for fast and reliable, real user ISPs so that you get the best product possible. Sign up for our Residential Proxy beta and find out how Blazing SEO can enhance your web scraping projects.
Our partner company, Scraping Robot, offers a ton of modules as options for your web scraping proxy needs. Our API is also here so you can scrape any page quickly and easily. It’s important to us that technology gets to be for everyone, and you don’t need a computer science degree to make it work for you and your business.
A web scraping proxy is one of the best things you can get for your business these days because there’s so much information available. From customers to competition research, it’s all out there for you to find and tailor to your business strategy. Scraping will quickly become an essential part of your business, and getting the high-quality tools will make it an overall easier experience.
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