The internet in 2023 has too much information for the average human. As a matter of fact, even if we only take into account the data sources indexed by the Google search engine, the pace of web growth is too fast. Even with the collective effort of humans and available software, it would take thousands of years to get any valuable conclusions.
Evaluating the sheer size of the internet, even if we would eliminate the obvious information duplicates and clutter, the scale remains too overwhelming. As we keep narrowing down and only focusing on specific niche topics or markets, even then, utilizing the available public data is too slow and inefficient without technology assistance.
To chip away at the mountain of digital knowledge, we must use the information technology that helped to create it. Today, the most effective way to speed up data collection and analysis is the automated process of web scraping.
In this article, we will go over the basics of web scraping and how it can help both the individual browsing experience and complex scraping tasks. Once we get familiar with the process of automated data extraction, we will focus on the difficulties that plague this process and how, for example, an India proxy may help you maintain the fluidity of scraping tasks. Having a proxy will also help you change your IP address and access geo-restricted websites. Keep reading to learn about cases where an India proxy might come in handy and how these tools help with data scraping.
How To Start Web Scraping
Web scraping is a relatively simple process that extracts HTML codes from targeted websites. Seems simple, right? A complete beginner with no prior programming knowledge could write a web scraping script or adapt an existing example to perform this simple deed.
But what use does an HTML code already rendered in a browser have for data analysis? Do we just open it again? The answer lies in the additional functionality of proper web scrapers. After the data download, all documents go through the stage of data parsing. Here, with different tools and parsing libraries, information gets restructured into an understandable data set, where only the most valuable information remains. The filtering can be adjusted to include more or fewer data depending on your preferences.
To beginners that want to start web scraping, we recommend Python – the world’s most popular coding language with a simple syntax that is easy to understand. You can begin with the basic tutorials and work your way up to writing complex scripts or jump straight into examples of functional open–source scrapers. There are no wrong answers here, and a hands-on approach is the best way to learn about the process and better utilize complex data scrapers in the future.
The best targets for beginners are large information hubs like Wikipedia that can handle large loads of traffic and would not flare up due to a small web scraping task. Practice on URLs you want to extract and play around with filtering options before moving to bigger targets.
Web Scraping For Individual Use
Web scraping can be a great tool for personal browsing sessions if you are searching for cheap bookings and plane tickets. Also, having a proxy server by your side will help you access different geolocations, where you will be able to scrape the same flight lists and compare if the region change shows different prices.
Web Scraping For Businesses
An essential element of the modern workplace environment, many businesses in 2023 will use web scraping to collect data for competitor analysis and search engine optimization (SEO). With multiple data scraping bots, you can extract specific info about each company in the same market and compare pricing, discounts, and other metrics that could help make an educated decision to outperform the competitor.
For SEO research, web scraping information from search engines is essential for understanding your rankings and positions of competitors for the most relevant keywords. With an overview of these positions, companies can track the slightest changes and make adjustments to improve positioning.
Web Scraping Problems? Solve Them With Proxy Servers
Web scrapers face a lot of pushback from retailers, social media platforms, and search engine websites that heavily oppose web scraping. Thankfully, we have residential proxy servers to save the day. With the help of a good proxy provider, you can get access to thousands of residential IPs that blend in with the regular internet traffic, letting you change your geo-location and enjoy localized internet with fast.
Proxy servers are essential when targeted websites use strict connection rate limiting and ban connections that send too many HTTP requests. With a good residential proxy provider, you never need to expose your main address again. Even if you run multiple web scrapers at the same time, with a large fleet of servers, you can give each bot a unique identity and even cycle between them after a specific amount of completed requests or an elapsed time interval.
Web scraping automates the process of data extraction, but these bots need residential proxy protection to reach their potential and collect knowledge without interruptions.