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Using Proxies For Your External Data Gathering

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Continuous gathering of market intelligence should be an integral part of every business. When you know what’s really happening in your industry at any given time, i.e. trends, competitors and customers, you can take action with confidence. To gather external data efficiently, you need to use proxies, so in this article, we consider what’s available, but before we do, let’s summarize what’s involved in gathering market intelligence.

What does market intelligence involve?

A competent person or team using online and offline sources to capture raw data from the industry. The data is then organized and presented to the business, so it’s useful for setting and achieving the company’s goals.

The external data will come from various sources including
1) Consumer reviews of multiple products
2) Upcoming trends in the industry
3) Availability of both brand and competitor’s products in e-commerce websites

From this data, businesses can use analytics tools to interpret and understand it. Business owners can then use the insights derived from making significant decisions such as product creation and pricing.

Raw data is available in websites, social media, review pages, and other relevant sources. Through the process of web scraping, businesses can gather data from these sources.

However, web scraping requires the use of proxies.

A proxy is an intermediary between the computer making a web request and the requested page’s server. It hides the IP address of the network, making it difficult for website owners to detect any data extraction work.

Proxies also make it possible to access geo-blocked websites. By using an IP address that indicates a different country, business owners can gain unrestricted access to these sites.

There are different kinds of proxies in the market, each providing a different set of strengths and weaknesses. But residential proxies are the ideal solution for web scraping from websites without being banned.

Before addressing “what is a residential proxy.” Let’s have a look at the different kinds of proxies in the market.

Data Center Proxies

As is evidenced by their name, data centre proxies are artificially generated by servers in a data center. They do not rely on a user’s Internet Service Provider. And it makes them very fast. However, they are very similar in appearance, making them easy to detect.

Shared Proxies

These are proxies that are shared among several users. Their main advantage is that they are cost-effective. However, they are slow during peak hours and will slow down your web scraping process. They are also more prone to blockage because other users can misuse the proxy. And it could frustrate your web scraping efforts midway.

Dedicated Proxies

Unlike shared proxies, dedicated proxies involve the use of one proxy by one user. They are relatively fast, and the behavior of other users has no effect on your proxy. Dedicated proxies come at a higher cost than shared proxies.

Residential Proxies

What is Residential Proxy?

Proxies that make use of real IP addresses of existing devices. The owners of these devices are internet service providers who register the residential IP addresses in public databases, and they allow you to choose the location you would want to appear in the new IP address. You get to surf the internet without restriction.

Residential proxies are the best to use for web scraping for several reasons.

Low Block Rate

Your IP address appears to the website server as that of a regular user. And because it is a real and authentic IP, it does not raise suspicion. The website owner views it as organic traffic.

Adequately Hide Your Real Physical Identity

If you are going to be scraping data from your competitor’s website, the last thing you would want is your identity leaking. A residential proxy provides a high level of anonymity.

Most Suitable for Use in Geoblocked websites

The ability to choose the country for your IP address provides the opportunity to bypass blocked sites at a higher success rate than other types of proxies.

Handle Large Scale Web Scraping

Datacenter proxies are a great choice when extracting data from the internet due to their high connectivity speed. However, they are easily detectable, especially when scraping large amounts of data. Whereas residential proxies, make it possible to scrape large amounts of data by rotating the IP address.

Here are a few other reasons you should consider investing in a residential proxy for your business

Twitter scraping

Twitter is one of the main social media websites and also an excellent source of data. However, a twitter scraper can only retrieve tweets of up to 7 days ago, and it can only scrape 18,000 tweets in a 15-minute window. Web scraping, using a residential proxy, can allow you to collect twitter data beyond this limit.

Pricing Intelligence

As a retailer, tracking the prices of different products in the market enables you to have a better pricing strategy. Residential proxies will make it possible to visit numerous eCommerce websites without raising a flag. You can also collect price data from hotels and airlines for travel fare aggregation.

Conclusion

Proxies make it possible to browse websites without revealing your identity and IP address. You can carry out web scraping for market intelligence and collect data that can aid in making profitable business decisions.

Please note, not all proxies will work smoothly. Residential proxies have a higher level of anonymity and are less detectable. Plus they have a lower block rate and a higher success rate in mass data scraping. However, they are more expensive than the data center proxies, in saying that residential proxies are suitable for carrying out web scraping that requires high anonymity such as pricing intelligence and twitter scraping but avoid free versions as they are less efficient.

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