A substantial number of people have a need to scrape the web in order to gather together certain key pieces of information that they can then put to good use for their own products or services. Now, as a number of people openly do this it does mean that you too can join them, but if you are new to the concept of scraping then there is something you should know first. Most websites are going to be against this kind of activity and, of course, this is then going to throw up all kinds of potential problems that you will then have to deal with.
Now, if you do a quick search online for web scraping proxies then you are going to discover that there are a number of potential suppliers out there for you and this is going to pose you yet another problem that you have to contend with. What is the problem? Quite simply who are you going to buy them from and how do you know that they can provide you with reliable proxies that will be capable of doing what you need them to do?
The Reasons for Using Web Scraping Proxies.
Before we go into how to purchase these proxies we should look at why you would be using them in the first place. What kind of information could you be searching for or scraping from different websites and what use would that information be to you?
Well, in all honesty there are a number of reasons as to why you would be scraping websites for data and it is all going to be connected to marketing and trying to gain the upper hand as best as you possibly can.
For example, you may be trying to scrape certain websites such as Yelp in order to get contact information. Alternatively, you could be trying to scrape Facebook for the same reasons, or Amazon to uncover information linked to certain products. You could also be scraping the web for information related to SEO in order to find out more about your competitors.
Basically, people scrape the web to get as much information and data as possible that is related to either how they run their business or what their market is doing. This can then allow you to better position your business and, as a result, hopefully get a bigger share of the market.
The Types of Web Searching Proxies.
Now, there are different types of proxies out there to choose from and it is important that you select the correct proxies before you go ahead and spend any cash. The two main types are shared proxies and private proxies and there are several key differences between the two that you need to keep in mind.
First, shared proxies are often free and they are also out there in the public domain. This does of course mean that anybody can go ahead and use them and this is going to pose a problem because too many requests at the one time is going to generally mean that the proxy will be blacklisted and will then be made redundant. That is why the companies that supply these shared proxies will have to continually update their list and it is also another reason why those people that use them will often include proxy scrapers that generate substantial lists that can then be used.
The other type of proxy that you could use for web scraping is a private dedicated proxy and that is something that you should really be focusing on if you are serious about scraping the web and trying to go undetected for as long as possible. The main difference with these proxies is that it is only going to be you that uses them so you already know that there has not been an influx of requests from that IP address already so it does mean that there is a better chance of you not being uncovered at least for a substantial period of time.
So, we have to conclude that when it comes to purchasing web scraping proxies that you should only ever really consider private proxies if you are serious about trying to get as much information as possible before the red flags are being waved in front of you. They are not that expensive so it should never be an issue of cost even if you are looking at buying them in bulk which is something else that we strongly recommend due to the potential of them being blacklisted and banned.
Buying Proxies for Web Scraping.
Next, we have to look at the ways in which you should buy the proxies in order to scrape the web for different information because going online and just choosing the first supplier that you come across should not be the way to do it.
Now, there are different places where you can find suppliers and we mean forums, message boards for marketing, and also just through the different websites for the suppliers. When you venture onto the message boards you are going to often find that people post their reviews of the service that are available and that is a fantastic place to see the kind of reputation that they have.
Looking at their reputation is one way of really determining if they can be trusted and it is not just in the way that they deliver the proxies but also how long they last. You certainly do not want them to effectively crash and burn immediately as that will just make life harder for you.
Also, when you discover a supplier that appears to have the kind of track record that you are looking for then it is also advisable to only purchase a small number of proxies in order to test them first. This will allow you to check if they are indeed suitable, as you will never know until you are using them for scraping purposes, as they must be up to speed and capable of handling the number of requests for information that you are putting through them. If they are, then you can always try to get a better bulk price because remember that private proxies will serve you better when it comes to web scraping.
Key Points to Remember About Web Scraping Proxies.
So, if we jump forward in time a bit and presume that you have managed to find a supplier of web scraping proxies that can deliver on what you need so how do you then use them and how can you reduce the chances of you having them banned in next to no time?
Now, the key is to go ahead and change your apparent IP address so you can then avoid having your main IP number banned and blacklisted from the different websites that you are scraping. That is where the proxy comes into play as it will completely change your location according to the websites that you are dealing with so they will have no way of knowing that it is actually you that is putting in the various requests.
This is important because all of the main websites that people tend to scrape for information have tools and software set into place that will look out for too many requests in a short period of time. This is because they see all of those requests as being an attack on their servers so of course they are then going to take action and ban the IP that the requests are coming from. After all, they will believe that it is some kind of bot attack and they will take action in an instant.
So, this is a real threat to your IP and that is why we recommend purchasing a number of private proxies so you can then simply move from one to another in a short period of time if you find that they are being banned.
However, there is a little bit more to it than just swapping IP numbers with different proxies.
First, you need to look at where the proxies are pointing to and this is the kind of information that your supplier should be able to tell you. In an ideal world you should be looking for things such as the United States, Canada, or the United Kingdom although it should be quite location specific if you are looking for certain information from key areas. However, the one thing that you must avoid doing is having proxies that appear to have you coming from the likes of India or Nigeria due to the potential risk of fraud or unscrupulous activities. Those kinds of locations will end up being banned faster than anything else, so you will then find it harder to make any progress as a result.
Next, you have to think about the way in which you use the proxies and scraper tools since hitting websites hard from the very beginning is only going to increase the chances of you being banned and having to slowly work your way through the batch of proxies that you have purchased. This goes back to the point regarding things having to come across as being natural and normal human activity because anything else is certainly going to be against the terms and conditions.
When using the proxies for web scraping you need to change various aspects and that can also determine the type of proxy that you end up buying. For example, you should have proxies that provide you with different locations so you can come across as a completely different person even though you are searching for the same information. This can be enough to help you stay under the radar for a bit longer than normal although we do admit that it is not a fool proof method.
Furthermore, you should also alter the requests including the number as well as the referral link that you are heading to when you are trying to gather the information. This variety is also essential for those that wish to avoid being detected but it is best to accept that the websites you are scraping will generally work out that a certain IP is being used for certain types of information gathering and will ban it anyway.
Now, that does make it sound as if it is going to be impossible to avoid detection, but then when you are generally looking at around $2 per proxy when you are buying in bulk then there is not much to lose at least from a monetary sense. Indeed, the information and the value of that information is going to far outweigh the cost to you especially when you consider the tools that are out there that will do the scraping for you. It is simply a case of you spending the time making sure that you know what you are looking for and putting the tools to good use and for the reasons that were mentioned earlier.
So, if you are looking at scraping the web and various websites in order to uncover various types of information and data then we have just shown you how to make sure that you are purchasing proxies that are reliable and capable of handling the different requests that you will be making. Remember, there are a number of suppliers out there that can offer quality proxies at quality prices so there is no need whatsoever for you to feel pressured into buying from a single source.
Instead, the most important thing is reliability and that you can verify the apparent location, speed, and capabilities of the proxies before you go ahead and start to use them. With potentially tens of thousands of proxies available at any given time for your needs it is simply a case of putting in the work to check them out first before you start scraping websites for data or it could all come crashing down sooner rather than later.