Web data collection comes with a set of unique challenges that affect the entire process. When it comes to data collection, the most important thing to consider is the quality of the extracted data. Companies and individuals use a few different methods to collect and analyze data, and today we’ll talk about using proxies and specially designed APIs. While proxies are often used together with existing web scraping tools, some businesses develop their own in-house scrapers to ensure that the quality of the data is at the highest level possible. Stay with us, and we’ll explain all differences between proxies and scraping API.
The concept of web proxies
Proxies are becoming very popular in the past few years because they provide a few important benefits. Their main purpose is to act as the middleman between you and the internet. Every time you want to open a website or access a server, the proxy changes your original IP address with another one located far away from your real location. That way, you can access websites, use web crawlers to find the data you want, and simply disappear without anyone knowing about it. Web proxies are very important tools in data collection because they allow crawlers to access blocked websites. Individuals, as well as businesses, use them because they allow users to access unreachable information. Proxies are especially helpful for new businesses looking to snatch a part of the existing markets from much bigger companies and competitors.
How they’re used in business
While proxies are used by individuals as well, they found their main use in business. Local companies, small businesses, and even huge corporations use proxies to collect all kinds of useful data. For example, businesses use it to monitor their competitors and see what they are doing to be successful. Naturally, other businesses use all kinds of countermeasures to prevent web scraping and data leaks. That’s where proxies jump in. They basically unlock all information that is otherwise inaccessible. Apart from competition monitoring, businesses use proxies to see what their customers think about their brand or product. Proxies are very efficient for all kinds of practices, including customer review collection, lead generation, and SEO purposes. Web scrapers are special tools designed to extract any type of information you want, as long as they have access to the websites you want to scan. Since most businesses will try to stop you from finding out their secrets, proxies are simply a necessity.
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In-house scraping with proxies
If you’re a business owner, there are two different ways in which you can collect the data you need to improve your operation. You can either hire a third-party data collection company or you can take care of things in-house. While hiring someone else to get the job done might be easier, it’s more expensive, but the biggest problem is in data quality. Other people simply won’t care about the data as much as you do, and they probably won’t understand all of the details you need to find useful information. An in-house web scraping project through proxies is a much better solution. That way, you will have full control of what type of data is being scraped and where from. Most available web-scraping tools are very simple and easy to use. If you want to make sure that you get the best data quality and have enough cash to invest in creating your own in-house web scraper is definitely a good choice for small businesses.
Third-party scraping APIs
Data scraping APIs are specially designed tools that allow you to extract data from specific websites. Most popular third-party scraping APIs are superior to most available scraping tools because they can be used on in-house systems, not only on the internet. These scraping tools are very useful as they will help you find the weak points in your operation. Once you identify all problems within your own system, you can make the changes needed to improve the operation and ensure steady growth in the future. Moreover, real-time scraping APIs can help you monitor your competitors constantly and get updates every time they make a change in real-time.
In-house scraping with proxies vs. scraping API
While both methods can help you extract useful data from websites and systems, there are a few differences between them. In-house scraping tools are generally more expensive. You have to invest into creating your own tool, hiring a server, covering the costs of a proxy, and paying for future maintenance. Using web scraping API, on the other hand, offers results almost instantly without any extra costs. Moreover, scraping APIs provide real-time website monitoring, allowing you to get notifications about every change the moment it happens. They can help you find and extract a ton of information very quickly without any risks involved.
Running a business successfully comes with all kinds of challenges. You will have to make sure that you’re always in tune with the latest industry trends if you want to succeed. Both web scraping with proxies and Scraping APIs can help you find the information you need, but the latter option offers faster and more accurate results. However, proxies allow you to scrape data without any restrictions, allowing you to get the best data quality possible.