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Gabija Fatenaite

Aug 29, 2019 6 min read

So, you’re planning a project on web scraping and don’t know where to start? Or maybe you’re looking for a solution best suited for your web scraping project? Whatever your case is, we can help you out here a little bit. 

In this article, we’ll go over how proxies come into play when project planning for web scraping. Meaning we’ll go over where to start for those who never worked with proxies and need a little kickstart, and gradually go down to how to choose the right proxies and discuss common bottlenecks in web scraping for the more seasoned businesses in the proxy market. 

Depending on whether you’re a newcomer or more experienced in the proxy world, check out the topics below to find what you’re looking for:

Planning a project on web scraping: where to start? 

Alright, so you’re planning a web scraping project. As a business, you already know what sort of data you’ll need. That can be anything: pricing data, SERP data from search engines, etc. For the sake of an example, let’s say you need the latter – SERP data for SEO monitoring. Now what?

For any web scraping operation, you will need a vast amount of proxies (in other words, IPs) to successfully connect to the desired data source through your automated web scraping script. Then proxies will gather your required data from the web server, without reaching implemented requests limit, and slip under anti-scraping measures.

You-proxy-server-and-the-internet

Before jumping to look for a proxy provider and buying proxies, first, you need to know how much data you’ll be needing. In other words – how many requests you’ll be making per day etc. Based on data points (or request volumes) and traffic you’ll be needing, it will be easier for you to choose the right proxies for the job.

But what if you are not sure how many requests you’ll be making and what traffic you’ll be generating? Well, there are a few solutions for this issue: you can contact us at [email protected] to discuss more on your business needs, and our team will gladly help you figure out all the numbers you need. Or you can choose a web scraping solution that does not require you to know the exact numbers, and allows you just to do the job you need.

Once you have the numbers or at least have a rough idea on what targets you need to scrape, you’ll find it a lot easier to choose the right proxies or tools for your web scraping project. 

Choosing the right proxies for the job

There are two main types of proxies: data center proxies and residential proxies. There is a lot of misconception going around that “residential proxies” are the best as it provides ultimate anonymity. All proxies provide anonymity online. What sort of proxies you need to buy depends solely on what scraping job you will be doing.

If you need proxies for, let’s say, market research – data center proxies will be more than enough for you. These proxies are fast, stable, and most of all – a lot cheaper than residential proxies. However, if you want to scrape more challenging targets, let’s say for sales intelligence – residential proxies will be a better choice, as most websites are aware of such data gathering projects and getting blocked on such websites is a lot easier. With residential proxies, however, it will be harder to get blocked, due to their nature of looking like real IPs.

To make things a little clearer, here’s a table of possible use-cases and best proxy solutions for each business case:

Data center proxiesResidential proxies
Market research Travel fare aggregation
Brand protectionAd verification 
Email protection

We have gone over how to use proxies for business in one of our articles already, but we left out three other use-cases, however. These include the earlier-mentioned sales intelligence, SEO monitoring, and product page intelligence. Why so? Well, even though you can use proxies for these particular use-cases, you will find yourself struggling with one of the most common bottlenecks found in web scraping. Luckily for you – we do have a solution for this.

Most common bottleneck with web scraping 

So, what is the most common bottleneck with web scraping? It’s time. No matter how many hours you put in and how much resources you have – the most common issue our clients who use proxies have is time. Or not enough of it. 

When you build your proxy infrastructure, you need to maintain it, build separate servers for it, manage it, etc. That takes an incredible amount of time, and due to this seemingly small issue, a lot of the data gathering jobs bottleneck precisely here. 

Not only it is a bottleneck, but it also takes a lot of your resources – meaning spending even more money not only on the maintenance but the workforce as well.

So what was that solution we said we have? A web scraping tool. Two actually: Real-Time Crawler and Web Scraper. What these tools do is help you gather data in an automated way, saving your resources and time. We handle all the scraping jobs on our side and provide you with already parsed or HTML data that you need.

real-time crawler

“If you’re torn between choosing Web Scraper or Real-Time Crawler – it depends on what target sites you want to scrape. If it’s a big search engine or any e-commerce site, Real-Time Crawler is your best option. If you also have a bunch of small target sites – I recommend you use both. This way you’ll have the highest chance to successfully gather data from multiple targets without having to worry about managing proxies, avoiding captchas, and scaling your whole infrastructure.”

Advises our Lead Dedicated Account Manager, Aleksandras Sulzenko.

Conclusion 

We hope this article has helped with your web scraping project planning and answered proxy related questions a bit more thoroughly. 

Planning a project on web scraping should come a little easier, however, if you still find all of this a little bit confusing, contact our team at [email protected], and they will be more than happy to answer any of proxy related questions in no time. 

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About Gabija Fatenaite

Gabija Fatenaite is a Content Manager at Oxylabs. Having grown up on video games and the internet, she grew to find the tech side of things more and more interesting over the years. So if you ever find yourself wanting to learn more about proxies (or video games), feel free to contact her - she’ll be more than happy to answer you.

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