With many businesses moving online and scaling their services to a global audience, data has never been more important than now. Having more data available on your competitors, the market, etc., means that you can make more informed decisions regarding your own business.
Web scraping has proven to be an exceptional way to gather large amounts of data from public websites quickly. But, when combined with a good proxy, such as a US proxy, means you can scrape data in any country you wish. The best proxies will disguise your IP address, meaning that you can browse the internet anonymously. This also means that you cannot be tracked, making browsing safer.
Let’s look at how web scraping can benefit your business. We’ll also look at how tools like a US proxy to use alongside your web scraper can help, and the best ways to start using these tools now.
Why Is Web Scraping Important for Your Business?
Web scraping is a process of collecting information across many websites. The data is then compiled into a single format, such as Excel, that can be evaluated and analyzed. Automatic web scraping relies on software to scour the websites and collect data instead of a person. Since these are software specifically developed for the task, they are fast and effective.
Effective web scraping has many benefits for your business. For one, as a business owner, you already understand how vital data is for making the best decisions for your company. Web scraping can be an effective tool to help you gather information on the markets and current trends.
Web scraping can also gather information on your competitors, see what they are doing, what techniques are working for them, and even opportunities that they haven’t identified yet where you can capitalize. Businesses that have been using web scraping to gather data have reported profits increasing by 300% due to higher quality data and faster data acquisition.
Not only can the information gathered be used to help you identify opportunities in the market, but it can also help you with financing, budgeting and price intelligence. This is critical as there are many businesses online, and if your prices aren’t competitive, you’ll miss out on sales.
Here are a few more areas where effective web scraping can benefit your business:
- Market research
- Product development
- Generating leads
- Brand monitoring
- Identifying investment opportunities
Problems You Can Encounter With Web Scraping?
Web scraping public data is completely legal. As long as you don’t attempt to scrape personal information or information that is encrypted or protected in any way, you are free to collect and analyze the information. A few problems may hamper your data harvesting effectiveness, but these often have simple solutions.
For one thing, attempting to scrape data from your IP address can severely slow down your connection as you are sending many requests from the same address. This means your other business efforts that require an internet connection (emails, customer support, your website) may all suffer.
Another issue you may face, especially if you’re looking to grow your business globally, is geo-restrictions. Some countries, and even certain websites within a country, have the content geo-locked. This means only people accessing the internet from within that country can see the content. Anyone outside of the country will not see any of the information.
Another concern that may affect your web scraping is being blocked by the websites you are trying to harvest. This can often happen if a website notices your IP address accessing the website too often, acting suspiciously or even identifying the web scraper you are using. The website will then block your IP address, meaning you can’t scrape the data.
Overcoming These Issues With a Proxy
The solution to these above issues is a simple one. By connecting your web scraping tool to a residential proxy, you can already solve most of these problems. Residential proxies are linked to real IP addresses of existing smart devices. As such, they are less likely to be blocked. VPNs and even datacenter proxies aren’t linked to real IPs and stand a bigger chance of becoming blocked. Residential proxies are also 2000% larger than datacenter proxy networks, making them have a global reach for penetrating the global data market valued at upwards of $36 billion.
If you are looking to scrape data from locations that may be geo-restricted, then using a residential proxy for that location, such as a US proxy, is an ideal solution to get around those restrictions. A US proxy will make it appear that you are accessing the internet from within that country, and you can often choose which location you need, such as Germany and the UK, for example.
How to Use Web Scraping Tools for Your Business
To start using web scrapers for your business, you can build your own web scraper if you have programming knowledge – there are many open source files to get you started. If you have no programming knowledge, scraping tools such as Octoparse and Parsehub work well without needing programming skills.
You can connect your web scraper to your proxy and input the criteria of the data you want to be collected. You can also set the format that you want the final data in, such as an Excel spreadsheet. Then you start the scraping tool, and it will do all the work while being protected by your proxy.
Data is critical for any business wishing to move online or scale and grow its operations. Business owners can monitor the market and identify trends and opportunities with enough data. This data is essential for businesses to make informed decisions. A web scraper connected to a reliable proxy is the most effective way to gather large amounts of data safely.