Web Data Is A Powerful Tool You Should Never Overlook
We need to talk about web data. I know, it is hard to think of a topic broader than that. The amount of data on the internet is far past what we can fathom. But that’s part of why we have to talk about it. All of this information can represent mountains stacked on top of each other. And somewhere in there, you can find a few bits of data that can give you a huge leg up. But how do you get to what you need?
To take a deeper dive into finding accurate website data, use the table of contents below.
Table of Contents
What is Website Data?
Let’s start at the most basic level. What do we mean when we talk about web data? When you consider the internet as a major network of interconnected data on a global scale, it is everything you encounter online. It is each individual line of text as well as every detail of every video and image. Right now, everything you are seeing and reading accounts as more bits of data. However, that is just the surface of data.
We cannot forget about metadata. This is pretty much just data about the data. If that is confusing, think about it this way. When you take a picture with your phone, that image is data. It is information stored digitally. There is more to it than that, though. Your phone has associated the date, time, and sometimes location that the image was captured. When you look at the properties of your image, you can view these details. That information is metadata. Do not discount this, because metadata is far more valuable than the data in question far more than you think.
How to get Data from the Web
Primarily, we gather data online with our senses. We browse online, read the text displayed, and consume the media with our eyes and ears. This practice has become convenient with the invention of search engines like Google. Earlier, I mentioned all of this data on the web amounts to stacked mountains. I asked the question of how do you find what you are looking for in all of that? Right now, we use search engines to quickly parse through enormous mounds of data and return relevant results.
However, there are more automatic ways of getting your hands on data.
Using a Web Data Extractor
Instead of going through the process of collecting the data yourself, you can use a program to extract it. These are often called scrapers. These programs let you configure them to find what you are looking for. Then, you activate it and let the software automatically pull what you specified. These tools are extremely helpful when you need enormous loads of data.
You need to keep in mind that these extractors are not typically meant to work alone.
Web Data Proxies
Web data is variable. What I mean by that is different data can be shown to different users. Much of this is because of the location. When a user is from a certain city or country, the data often conforms to better suit the user based on that location. This is why visiting a website based in another country will often give you prices based on your own currency. Unfortunately, this leads to a lot of inaccurate data as well. Data can change like this in ways where you will not get the full picture. Using a proxy helps make sure you get access to accurate data.
There are a couple of reasons as to why proxies can help. But first, what is a proxy? A proxy is like when you use a third-party delivery service like Uber Eats. You specify what food you want from the restaurant, but you do not interact with it directly. They only have the information you specifically give them (like your name). Someone else comes in to get what you ordered and they bring it to you. This third party is the one that handles the payment as well. As far as the restaurant is concerned, it served the deliverer, not you. This translates online in that websites and online services you use with your proxy do not see you directly. They see that your proxy is requesting the data. This includes the location of the proxy. If you are in France and use a proxy located in Germany, your online destination sees a German connection. This gives you privacy as well as access to many creative uses.
Using extractors without proxies
A common attack on websites is called a distributed denial of service (DDoS). This is when a bot (or a collection of bots across many computers), sends a torrent of requests to a website. Requests are actions as simple as accessing the page. In order to work properly, these websites have to consider every one of these requests and process them. The idea of a DDoS attack is to send so many requests all at once that the website’s server cannot handle it. This causes the website to move slowly and eventually crash so no one can use it.
Why bring this up? Well, these attacks can be devastating for a website’s owner. Because of that, there are measures in place to stop users from doing it. It notices when requests are coming from the same location at superhuman speeds. This activity is a red flag telling the site it needs to ban that IP. Running an extractor directly through your computer will end up with a ban every time. That is where proxies come in.
How proxies help data extraction
When you use proxies with your extractor, requests for data look like they are coming from multiple places. Now, instead of one source bombarding a site, it seems many places at once are each pulling information at more realistically human speeds. Now everything looks more normal, and there is a higher chance the website will not start banning any IPs. And, even if it does catch on and ban some proxies, you should have access to plenty of others that you can rotate in and continue the work.
Using proxies without an extractor
You do not have to use a web scraper to get web data. If you do not need hard drives full of data, you might just need a proxy. Why would you need a proxy if you aren’t scraping? As stated above, it is about accuracy. If you are checking a competitor’s prices, they might have their site set up to show different prices for different areas. If they think about it, they could even show an inflated price for your business’s location for misdirection. Using a proxy helps you to see objective data.
Aside from that, proxies give you privacy when looking for data. Even general web browsing is safer with a proxy. It is much harder for anyone to track you, and your comings and going are not easy to keep account of. Even if you have nothing to hide, it can be unsettling to know everything you do online is visible to anyone looking.
Best Proxies for Web Data
But what features should you look for when you need web data? You absolutely need to use a service that can supply proxies across the globe. You never know where you need accurate data from in the future, so having many locations to choose from is a good idea. High speeds and unlimited bandwidth are also huge pluses. This is especially true if you are interested in using web scrapers. No matter how powerful your computer is, it can only move as fast as your proxy.
This is why Blazing SEO works hard to provide the fastest speeds with the most reliable connections. And of course, we offer unlimited bandwidth. We have proxies located all over: the US, Germany, Brazil, the UK, India, Japan, Canada, Australia, Vietnam, France, the Netherlands, Spain, and Italy. Whether you need a huge amount of data or just need to make sure you are getting accurate data, Blazing SEO has the proxies you need to get the job done. Have a look at our proxy pricing plans and get the proxies that fit you best.
Web data consists of everything we encounter online. It is easy to get lost in it, so it is important to stay focused on the data you need. Whether you need to make sure you are pulling accurate data or you need a huge dataset, a good proxy can help you complete the task.
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