Web scraping is when you extract data from publicly available websites. Companies are using this technique to be able to access structured data from the web. Nowadays data, and most importantly, information is something that people desperately need to drive their decision making.
As web data and web intelligence are becoming increasingly needed for businesses to succeed, it’s crucial to find the best technical solution for web scraping and crawling related problems. But what are these problems after all?
Why do you need proxies for web scraping?
Web scraping is easy when it’s simple, but it’s very difficult when it’s complicated. The hard part is not writing a piece of code to grab the data. You can easily do it after a little bit of practice, and coding skills. Of course, using a scraping library like Scrapy, Jsoup, or a headless browser like Puppeteer helps.
The hard part is to be able to make successful requests at scale. Because after a while you will need more data and you will need it more frequently. And if you’re not using proxies or not managing them correctly, you will not be able to get data. It becomes a question of how to find working proxies and how to manage them so they keep working long term.
Proxies can provide a solution to your special web scraping needs or when the website you’re targeting is simply unreachable without proxies. Generally speaking, there are three specific problems you can solve with proxies:
- Different geo locations
- Need for more data, more frequently
- Get around anti-bot systems
You also need to manage them correctly to maximize their value. Without proper proxy management, you will just burn your proxy pool and eventually run out of proxies.
Web scraping at scale
When scraping the web at scale, you will come across a series of problems and challenges. You may need to make your requests from a specific location or country. Or you may want to work around anti-bot solutions.
Or simply want to make requests more frequently, to get data more frequently. Whichever the case, web scraping at scale is only possible if you use rotating proxies and make sure to be respectful and ethical with your scraper.
Be respectful and ethical
It’s very important to emphasize that when you are scraping you need to make your scrapers behave respectfully and ethically. Whether you’re using proxies or not, being nice to websites is critical for long term success. But let’s get specific, what you can do to be nice with your scraper:
- Limit the number of requests you make
- Adhere to the rules defined in robots.txt
- Use high-quality proxies if you need scalability
- Scrape when there’s less traffic hitting the website
If you follow these simple guidelines, you will have a higher chance of being able to extract data not just today but also in the future, while keeping data quality high. On the other hand, if you fail to be nice to the website, you can get in trouble and you will not be able to extract the data you need.
A Smart Proxy Solution
Now, if you want to scrape the web at scale and you don’t want to struggle with the headache of finding proxies and managing them, you just want to enjoy the data, there’s a solution for you: use a proxy network! One popular proxy network is Crawlera.
Crawlera is a smart proxy network, specifically designed for web scraping and crawling. Its job is to make your life easier as a web scraper. Crawlera helps you get successful requests and extract data at scale from any website using any web scraping tool.
The challenges Crawlera solves for you, in one package:
- Finding high-quality proxies
- Automatic proxy rotation
- Auto-throttling requests
- Header management
- Maintaining sessions
- And other features that make web scraping a breeze…
How Crawlera works?
Crawlera is a smart HTTP/HTTPS downloader. It has a very simple API, that you need to get your requests through. When you make a request in your scraper using Crawlera, the request will be routed through a pool of high-quality proxies.
When necessary, it automatically introduces delays between requests and removes/adds IP addresses to overcome different crawling challenges. Overall, what you will experience is that getting successful requests and being able to extract data becomes hassle-free.
Crawlera also provides a 14-day free trial, so you can just try it out without any risk. If you are in need of a proxy solution, I suggest that you should try Crawlera!.