Data collection has become a crucial part of any business environment. Just like cars cannot run without fuel, companies need the information to improve and accelerate their work. To compete in today’s market, businesses have to shift their attention to the digital world and join the struggle for oceans of knowledge on the internet.
Most likely humanity’s best invention, the internet has so much information that it’s just impossible for our brains to process and comprehend. Without computational power, no human could extract and process so much data into an understandable format.
Information technologies dominate our lives. Businesses that invest their time and resources into technical advancements always have an advantage against their peers. Especially now, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the companies that always focused their attention on the growth of E-commerce and overall internet presence have triumphed over their competitors.
Without systematic data collection, there is no fuel for such improvements. Some companies learn to adapt and create data analytics teams to stay adaptive and impactful. As an alternative, others may choose to hire companies that specialize in helping businesses with web scraping.
Related Article: Web Scraping Vs. Web Crawling: Key Difference and Concepts
A good start is half the work. Companies that have the right tools at their disposal will hit the ground running with their first web scraping tasks. Residential proxies are extremely versatile helpers that let us achieve these goals. Even the slightest increase of scale in data aggregation tasks can create some problems, and once we face them, a residential proxy is the best tool to mitigate any trouble (but more on that later).
Now let’s take a deeper look at how web scraping can enhance our business environment!
How do we use scrapers to extract valuable data?
Scraping is a very comfortable method of extracting data from the web. There are many types of scrapers with customizable features to target any possible requirements.
Practicing with free, open-source scrapers is a great way to learn the intricacies of data extraction. IT students and curious individuals often use these tools to perform assigned tasks and even create their scraping frameworks. We encourage beginners to scrape websites like Wikipedia to get familiar with the process and avoid any obstacles.
Once we move to pre-built, advanced scraping bots with additional features, the beauty, and convenience of the process start to show. Powerful web scrapers simplify data extraction and open a whole new world of possibilities. When used together with residential proxies, we can use multiple iterations of scraping bots on different IP addresses. Why should you limit yourself to one scraper when you can have a whole army complete simultaneous scraping tasks at a much faster pace? Residential proxies let us assign a different IP to every scraper without ever showing your main address.
How to scrape and avoid disruptions
First, let’s target any doubts and gray areas surrounding public data extraction. Web scraping is a legitimate way to collect information. As long as you are not collecting and selling private information for profit, anyone can scrape public data on the web. Most successful companies engage in some form of web scraping to get an advantage over competitors.
Just because scraping is legal, that does not mean you won’t face any obstacles while trying to scrape a website. For example, Amazon is the most scraped website, but data collection violates the company’s policy. Fortunately, the website grants a possibility to request information via the application program interface (API). Some websites do not object and even benefit from data sharing but may impose limitations to web scraping. It is often done to minimize the necessary load on a page with heavy traffic. If the website has an API, be respectful and avoid scraping.
Still, many businesses bump into obstacles while trying to scrape public data from valuable websites and competitors. Some companies go overboard to limit data aggregation. However, just because they have the right to protect themselves, you have all the power in the world to legally bypass these limitations.
Rate limiting and atypical scraping patterns may force you to sacrifice the speed of data aggregation tasks but with the right calibration, they will still exceed the efficiency of manual extraction. Still, we haven’t yet properly discussed the best web scraping companions – residential proxies.
Residential proxies – the swiss army knives of web scraping
As we already established, when done correctly, web scraping can benefit every area of business. To make sure that data extraction tasks run smoothly and efficiently, smart companies use residential proxies to mask their main IP. With the help of a business-oriented proxy provider, we can automate scraping bots and push them to peak efficiency. A proxy IP pool consists of addresses from real internet service providers. You can always protect your identity and continue the extraction of valuable data. Residential proxies are the most helpful and versatile tools for scrapers!