Web scraping infuses the information transmission on the internet with simple and incredibly effective automation. It is a collection of software applications that extract data from an HTML code rendered or browsers. While anyone can use them to go through pages and manually collect information, web scraping bots extract and parse data, turning it into a usable format much faster.
Automated retrieval eliminates unnecessary visual distractions and only aggregates valuable data for analysis.
The technological growth experienced throughout the last two centuries would not exist without revolutionary inventions for efficient communication. Right now, we have reached a unique milestone, where no human could ever process even a fraction of information on the internet. With web scraping, automated robots help us increase the amount of extracted data and use it for analysis.
Scrapers are not illegal, because the extracted code is already rendered in a browser, making public information. Web scraping bots do not breach the security of a targeted page and only collect and parse pages anyone can visit. However, companies and business-minded individuals need much more information since extracted data has many use cases that help develop new products and make better decisions. Multiple web scrapers can target many web servers at the same time or maintain continuous collection from the most important pages and become much more knowledgeable about the market and other digital surroundings.
In this article, our goal is to explore the most common use cases for web scraping to give readers a better understanding of how simple data collection affects the internet and digital business interactions. While lawful, scraping bots can be pretty invasive tools and overload the recipient server with data requests.
Different pages have unique protection tools, and most of them ban IP addresses of aggressive scrapers. To avoid falling into the trap and protect your identity on the web, make sure you use web scrapers with proxies – intermediary servers that mask your connection request with a different IP address. While they may seem like a simple tool, the web is full of competent providers with deals for different appliances. With so many suppliers, a beginner scraper has to conduct Proxy Market Research.
When scraping for business tasks, companies cannot afford the exposure of their IP to recipient servers. As we discuss the use cases of proxies, you will see how different tasks require unique proxy server strengths. Proxy Market Research will help you understand which provider is the best for your business tasks. For those already looking for a good supplier, we recommend analyzing key findings in annual research from Proxyway – Proxy Market Research 2022.
Also known as competitive price monitoring, price intelligence helps us understand the fluctuations of goods and services in an analyzed market. Smart companies and retailers keep their prices sensitive and make proactive adjustments based on the continuous stream of data extracted from competitors.
For price intelligence, web scrapers repeatedly target the most important targets. If a recipient server notices these scheduled, unnatural data request patterns your IP address will quickly get banned. In this case, we recommend proxy providers that offer rotating residential proxies. From them, you will get a big portion of addresses assigned to real devices and cycle between them during your scraping sessions.
Lead generation and digital marketing opportunities
Digital marketing has revolutionized the world of advertisement. When it focuses on creating a personal connection with internet users, the likelihood of turning them into a customer, increases. The outreach of digital ads easily outperforms traditional media marketing.
Web scraping is often used to collect information for lead generation and discover web owners, influencers, and other public figures for marketing opportunities. Data collection bots can be tailored to extract information that finds these potential partners.
Data analysis and machine learning
While an automated task in itself, web scraping helps us extract big data for machine learning. Information fuels the slow and heavy steps towards algorithmic automation and artificial intelligence (AI). Teaching machines to perform specific tasks and predictions with inhuman precision and speed requires tons of data. Web scrapers help us extract information that is later used for analysis and machine learning.
Collection of prices for products and services
For personal benefits and practice with proxy servers, we can use proxies to collect prices for products and services. Most of the time, the combination of both tools speeds up the search for travel tickets and real estate prices. Because the pricing is sensitive with respect to time and location, we use web scrapers to target the same page multiple times, at different intervals, while changing the region with proxy servers.
The beauty of web scraping lies in simplicity. What makes the process so simple and easy to execute also turns it into a necessary tool for businesses and individuals interested in basic data science and management. Learn to write scraping bots or use pre-built software in parallel with proxy servers, and opportunities for useful applicability will keep arising.