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Today, data has become king. As a business, it is so hard to compete effectively without collecting data. How, then can a company successfully collect data? Why is it essential for a business to collect data, and what type of data is beneficial? The only way you can harvest large data quantities within the shortest time possible is through web scraping.
Long gone are the days when a business could use the traditional manual tactics of collecting data. Of course, you can choose to collect data manually – you can gather as much info as possible, free of charge. However, it will take you decades to collect substantial data. Business’ pace is growing every day, and there’s the need to harvest data using a method that allows you to minimize your expenses and efforts while maximizing profits and productivity.
Effective web scraping will not be possible without proxies. Businesses and corporations have become very vigilant when it comes to protecting their sites from scrapers, especially from their competitors and corporates. To protect your crawler from being detected and flagged, you need to use proxies. Proxies ensure that your original IP address is not exposed and therefore you can collect enough data unnoticed.
How is this possible? Well, let’s find out.
Web Scraping: What’s a Proxy?
A proxy is an intermediary server that exists between the web and your computer. Your device has an IP address that allows it to communicate with other online resources. In the same way, a proxy server bears an IP address. Any time you browse the internet using a proxy server, traffic flows from your device passing through the proxy server (which in turn changes your IP address) before reaching the destination site. The response will also flow from the requested site, pass through the proxy, then back to your computer/device. A proxy server will mask your IP address, and you can enjoy high levels of anonymity online.
Web Scraping: Semi-Dedicated, Private, And Shared Proxies
Proxies can either be private (dedicated), shared, or semi-dedicated. Shared proxies, just like the name, are used by different users at the same time. One proxy server (IP address) will be used by multiple users to achieve online anonymity.
Semi-dedicated proxies operate the same way as shared proxies – they are shared proxies to a certain extent. These proxies, however, have a limit to the number of users. The administrator is responsible for limiting the number of users using a particular proxy server. Usually, the admin allows up to three users per proxy.
Private/dedicated proxies are one user proxies. When you purchase a private proxy, you are the only one who will use that particular proxy – it’s all yours! Dedicated proxies are so hard to block since they are only being used by one individual/business/entity.
Web Scraping: Proxy Types
There are different types of proxies available out there. The most popular ones include:
- Data center proxies
- Residential proxies
Data center proxies are independent of your ISP and your internet connection – they are not in any way affiliated to both! These proxy types come from secondary corporations or third parties, including Cloud Server Providers. When data center proxies are used together with the scraper, large quantities of data can be collected anonymously.
Residential proxies are real IP addresses provided to a real homeowner by a real ISP. Residential proxies provide a high-security level of online anonymity.
Market Research Proxies
Almost all trades today have gone online. The same way, market research craft has moved to a different new level. Without doing adequate market research, you won’t survive in business. Web scraping can be a daunting task, especially at a time like now when almost all companies have taken measures to protect their websites from corporate IP addresses. Proxies ensure that you carry out market research under valid, multiple IP addresses without raising suspicion from the target site(s).
Brand Protection Proxies
Building a successful brand takes a lot of time and effort. You will do anything possible to ensure that your brand is protected. Counterfeiting and copyright infringement can damage your business’ image. With the right proxies, you can be able to crawl auction sites, e-commerce sites, and your market niche in general. By doing so, you can collect any relevant information and prosecute any fraudsters. You can also use proxies to bypass any geo-blocks and carry out adequate retail monitoring.
Pricing Intelligence Proxies
The e-commerce market is characterized by competition and rivalry. You must have the right strategy to be able to get a slice of the big cake. The e-commerce market is price sensitive and dynamic. To realize huge sales volumes, you must keep on adjusting your prices strategically according to your competitors.
Monitoring your competition can be a difficult task; that’s where proxies come in. The right scraper will continually react to your competitors’ pricing and adjust your prices accordingly. To ensure that your bot is not blocked make sure you get the right proxies from a trusted provider.
If you are to succeed in business, you can’t ignore web scraping – it’s the future of marketing! Without proxies, data collection is almost impossible. Always insist on buying your proxies from a trusted provider to stay on top of your game.