Web scraping is an essential tool for firms to gain insights about their environment, changing marketing trends and pricing strategies, etc. Web scraping tools do all the necessary tasks for marketing data analysts. So, the application of web scraping tools helps firms to save tons of time and reduce the cost of hiring all those marketing experts and analysts to extract and analyze data manually.
However, even though web scraping tools are able to access many web pages and pull necessary data out of them, there are some limitations on web scraping tools. For instance, many countries block content within their web network. You may not have access to certain websites if you are in France. So for someone who wants to use web scraping tools in France would not have the access to those geo-blocked websites. So, it is a huge waste of information. So, web scraping users co-operate with Proxy services to avoid geo-block to expand their sources of information. So in this article, we will talk about what is a Proxy server, what is it used for, what is a web scraping and what are the benefits of the tools, and why Proxy server and web scraping tools are cute couples, and how to select the best Proxy server for your specific purpose.
What Is A Proxy Service- And How Do They Work?
A Proxy server is a thing that stands between users, you, me, anyone else online, and the web. Suppose you are a student, studying at a well-known university. So, you want to make the best out of it. You want to ask a question to your professor about the latest Management Science class. So, as your professor is always busy, you need to find an intermediary, a means to convey your message to the professor. So, you choose e-mail as the middleman of this conversation.
Actually, what a Proxy server does is basically the same thing as e-mail does. A proxy server is the e-mail service of the Internet between users and the web itself. A Proxy server acts as an intermediary so that you can send requests to the URLs of these websites, so as to get information and data of the web page in return via a Proxy service.
People often wonder, why instead of doing it regularly, do we use a Proxy service? Because Proxy servers come with more benefits than you are probably thinking. Besides playing an intermediary role between you and the web so that you can access all the data of the websites.
How To Choose A Proxy Service?
Proxies can be hard to choose from as they differ from each other in purposes and technical differences. The followings are tips for you to choose the best Proxy service for your preferences and objectives:
- There are many types of different Proxy servers and each designed to establish for some specific purposes. You need to acknowledge your objective and start to look for a Proxy service that is suitable for your specific need. Yet, you should be aware of the fact each Proxy type comes with advantages and drawbacks. You need to determine your purpose carefully so as to prevent the errors that might cause the wrong Proxy type selection.
- If you google the “Proxy service” term, endless variations of services would roll into your face on the screen. Yes, there are tons of Proxy services offered by tech businesses. But if you want to survive from the jungle of the web, you need to avoid predators. Some of these Proxy services are produced by non-legitimate firms and they might be producing malicious software to leak into your personal computer. And some might offer proxies with low quality, so they do not help your solutions at all. You better be interacting with reliable, well-known Proxy service providers.
- To find an eligible Proxy service provider, reading the other user’s experiences and reviews might be so logical. But, note that some firms might also use marketing budget and hire these review sites to promote themselves with good feedback and reviews.
- Price of the Proxy service is also another important factor when selecting a service. Almost always, free Proxy services do not work as efficiently as their paid substitutes. You need to find a good balance of price and performance. Maximizing the performance per dollar, within the borders of your specific needs, you might retain budget and use it for other expenses of the Project.
What Is Web Scraping- And What Is Web Scraping Used For?
The web scraping tools are very functional things and they are used for many areas of digital businesses that rely on extracting information so as to conduct data analysis. These are the general use cases of web scraping tools:
- Search engine’s crawling software, bots do crawl web pages and analyze the extracted data organize and categorize them, and eventually rank them.
- Firms in the competitive environment do use web crawling bots in order to have a good valuation insight related to its similar products. Besides that, well-known price comparison websites, such as Google Shopping, Yahoo Shopping, Pronto, BizRate, NexTag, PriceGabber, etc. also deploy advanced bots to automatically extract various product and their price, descriptions of the product, seller, and seller’s ranking.
- On the other hand, businesses doing market research jobs often use web scraping tools to obtain data. These market research businesses first segment their customer base and then target the most profitable and suitable ones. Smart firms use web scraping tools on the web pages where their potential targeted customer base could visit daily. As a result, these firms have a better understanding of their customer’s wishes and wants. With these deep insights, firms produce exactly what their customers want, and they don’t even have to spend effort for marketing, or promotion action.
- Also, the applications of web scraping could be also used for immoral purposes and these applications mostly are illegal. And these immoral and illegal include price undercutting and the using copyrighted content without the creator’s consent. Entities, using web scraping tools illegally, could face suitcases and financial losses due to it.
See Also: Web Scraping for Market Research Data