Web scraping is an extremely beneficial practice that uses automated bots to extract information from targeted websites. With the accessibility of knowledge at an all-time high, businesses and individuals need algorithmic automation to filter out necessary public data. Web scraping helps us aggregate more information in a matter of seconds than it could be collected by a real person in hours or even days.
Great data transmission capabilities are necessary for the acceleration of progress. Because the greatest products and inventions come from the exchange of ideas and cooperation, we can observe far greater civilizational leaps in a few decades today than they were possible ever before. Information technologies play a massive role in connecting people all around the world. By giving fair access to necessary education, as well as the means of communication, the internet plays a detrimental role in revolutionizing business environments and even systems of government.
While creating godlike technology has overwhelming advantages, progress never eliminates the human desire to outperform the competition. If the internet has more information than any person could ever use, we create extraction tools to siphon public data and derive conclusions through analysis.
Web scraping takes care of automating information collection at far greater efficiency. Most modern businesses use scraping bots to collect information about their market, its competitors, their prices, and products. There are plenty of unique ways to utilize web scraping. Any curious web surfer can find an open-source scraping framework and slowly become a self-taught data scientist!
The exchange and extraction of information is a delicate process between two parties. There always comes a time where an unsuspecting party gets their IP address blocked, and the access to a website of interest is broken. Some web owners implement these protections to detect bot visitors and avoid an extra load on the website, while others are simply displeased with the process. The question arises: how do we ensure that web scraping procedures continue without interruptions? In this article, we will talk about the necessary safeguards that will help you ensure the security and anonymity of web scraping bots operating at your command. Big tech companies often forbid automated data extraction on their websites, but use the same tools to feast on tons of data on the web. To protect ourselves, we use proxy servers. For example, a Facebook proxy will hide your network identity while extracting data from the platform. You can use different Facebook proxies from a pool of IPs if your original choice gets banned. You can learn more about proxies for Facebook if it is your target of interest or find a deal that will better suit your personal needs. Let’s discuss the necessary protections that will help you protect your web scraping bots.
Understanding the legality of web scraping
Most tech giants state that they do not condone web scraping on their websites. However, just because Google threatens you with an IP ban does not mean that web scraping is illegal. Ironically, the Google search engine gets its search results by extracting requested information from the web but blacklists other users that scrape their website.
Companies and individuals that use web scraping daily never get in trouble because they only aggregate public data which is available to everyone. The biggest punishment you can get for ethical, legitimate scraping is an IP ban that will prohibit you from connecting to the website again.
Why proxy servers are crucial for web scraping
Because most scraping bots get recognized from robotic navigation of websites and inhuman rate of connection requests, finding a sweet spot that offers a perfect amount of stability and efficiency can be a difficult task. Every website can have a different threshold that will stop the web scraper in its tracks. Targeting an important website leads to a dilemma – we do not want the data extraction to be sluggish, but an IP ban can cut off access to the website.
Thankfully, most web scrapers use proxy servers that throw all of the rules out the window. Proxy providers supply clients with IP addresses that can be assigned to represent the scraping bot traffic.
Companies that use web scraping daily seek out business-oriented proxy server providers with flexible deals to suit data extraction needs. To ensure the highest level of anonymity and continue scraping without interruptions, businesses choose residential proxies that come from real devices supplied by internet service providers. Most secure scraping systems assign rotating residential proxies to scraping bots to periodically change their IP address and minimize the possibility of detection.
Datacenter proxies are cheaper but faster servers that deliver data packets through a data center IP. While these proxies can guarantee the same level of privacy and anonymity, their recognizability makes them easier to spot, and some websites might have their addresses already banned.
Because data extraction is an integral part of a digital business environment, most modern companies employ data analytics teams to ensure the efficient and protected operation of web scrapers. Safeguarding scraping bots with proxy servers is not a luxury but a necessity that gives a safety net for calibration mistakes and ensures a continuous stream of extracted information. Constant data collection can help a company track and analyze changes in competitor prices and their sensitivity. When collected information carries potentially valuable knowledge that may help outperform other businesses, ensuring its stable flow and potential scalability is only achievable with proxy servers.