Web scraping has proven to be a very beneficial tool for businesses. Web scraping allows you access and insights into what’s going on in other companies and with your competitors. Whether you want to find out your competitors’ pricing or conduct market research – web scraping is the tool for you. But how does web scraping work? And what role do residential proxies have?
In this article, we’ll be looking at what web scraping is and what residential proxies are. We’ll also be discussing why it’s important to use residential proxies such as a France proxy provided by Smartproxy or the proxy pool ZenRows offers with IPs from any country, if you want to collect data in another country. Keep reading to discover how to use proxies for web harvesting and why you should be doing it.
Defining Web Scraping?
Web scraping, also known as web harvesting, is a process of collecting a large amount of data across many different websites. You can use web harvesting tools to automate this process and make it more reliable. A web scraping tool will be able to scour many websites quickly and only collect the information relevant to your search. All of the collected data is then compiled into a single format, such as a spreadsheet, so that you can compare the results and analyze the data.
One popular use of web scraping is to collect the prices of products from competitors’ websites. Once you have the data, you can see what your competitors are charging and how you can adjust your prices to be more competitive.
Another way that web harvesting can be used is to collect product descriptions for competitors’ best-selling items. Once you have this information, you’ll be able to analyze it and see why it’s performing so well. Are they marketing it in a specific way? Is this product in demand?
Web scraping can have benefits in many different areas, including market analysis and research, competitor analysis, identifying opportunities, financial planning and budgeting, monitoring customer sentiment, and more.
What Is a Residential Proxy?
A proxy acts as an intermediary server between the user and the internet. This means that the internet (search engines, websites, etc.) will be communicating with the proxy and seeing the proxies’ details, such as the IP address, instead of the actual users’. A residential proxy goes one step further by being linked to real devices with IP addresses and ISPs. Their counterparts, datacenter proxies, and VPNs, on the other hand, have made up IP addresses that are not linked to ISP. This makes residential proxies much more safe and reliable to use as they won’t get banned by the sites you’re scraping. Businesses that used residential proxies also reported profits from web scraping operations increased by 300% due to higher quality data and faster data acquisition.
These networks are also at least 2,000% larger than datacenter proxy networks, making them have a global reach for penetrating the truly global data market valued at upwards of $36 billion. By using location-specific proxies, such as a France proxy, you can make it appear that you’re accessing the internet from within France even if you’re nowhere near. This global reach also makes it possible to quickly scale your business to a worldwide audience. A France proxy also isn’t the only location-specific proxy available. Depending on your needs, you can find ones for India, Germany, China, and many other countries.
Using Residential Proxies With Your Web Scraper?
Using a web scraping tool is also very easy. All you do is connect your web scraper with your proxy to add more security. Then you input the data you want, such as the prices of a specific item. Next, you run the scraper and wait for it to return with the results.
Depending on the web scraper and proxy you’re using, you should have your results within a few minutes. By using a residential proxy, you’ll also be able to scale your web scraping efforts and increase the speed at which your web scraper collects data. If your business relies on a lot of data, this is just another reason why you should use a residential proxy for your web harvesting efforts.
We already know how beneficial data is, and web harvesting gives us an opportunity to collect a lot of public data quickly. This data will enable businesses to make better decisions. However, in order to make the best possible decision for your business, you need to use a residential proxy with your web scraping tool.