What is the lowest price on a flight to London? Or, where should you stay on your weekend break at Las Vegas? Surely, to uncover these answers most likely you will visit travel aggregator sites such as Expedia, Trivago, Skyscanner, to name a few.
Nowadays, it’s easier than ever to plan your trips while avoiding leaving a big dent in your wallet. However, how does a travel aggregator manage to pull so much information under a one-stop-shop website for your convenience?
Well, travel aggregators scrape flight prices, hotel listings, car rentals offers, and much more on a minute basis from the whole web. The entire data-gathering operation relies on three components, i.e., public data sources, automated web scraping, and proxy servers networks.
All three are crucial factors that can either make or break the travel fare aggregator website. However, some argue that getting the latter component right distinguishes whether travel aggregators sites will be successful or never pass the start-up phase.
Travel aggregators rely on proxies
Travel aggregators shouldn’t worry too much about public data sources to gather the needed data. All the required information is publicly available to anyone via the internet. The same applies to the web scraping process if they invest wisely in their human capital. However, if they choose to fuel their web scraping process with poor proxies, it is a given their whole operation will be sabotaged. Why so?
First of all, the ultimate aim for travel fare aggregators is to deliver an all-in-one website that effectively displays all the relevant real-time data that is appealing to travelers. Only by getting this right, it will be possible to accumulate loyal customer numbers, and consequently, claiming a piece of market share. However, collecting this data, that is scattered across the whole internet, is no easy task.
You see, the most popular web travel sources implement strict safety checks that prevent automated data collection from their back garden. Usually, web servers monitor incoming requests, and if the set limit is reached per one IP address, they will block IP address altogether.
Here is where proxies come in to play to aid travel fare aggregators attempts to collect the needed data. By harnessing vast amounts of proxies that are connected to their web scraping automated script, requests to the target servers are distributed via numerous IP addresses that the proxies provide.
This means that the required intelligence is collected without reaching the set requests limit that is implemented by web servers. In essence, travel fare aggregators employ significant quantities of proxies to extract the information from the desired websites successfully.
It might sound like it is a straightforward process. However, this is where the type and quality of a proxy determine whether the data will be successfully fetched back to travel aggregators’ sites. As mentioned before, if lousy proxies are in use, it will result in the data-gathering operation being unsuccessful. In some cases, corrupted proxies can even gather false data.
Thus, it is paramount to get it right when it comes to proxies and their providers. After all, travel fare aggregators customers’ needs are to promptly and conveniently access accurate real-time data. If the travel aggregation website can deliver this, they stand a high chance of acquiring a loyal customer base.
Proxy solution for travel aggregators
Travel fare aggregators need to combine two following factors when it comes to gathering intelligence for their own website. Firstly, they need to ensure that the information is actually collected. Hence success rates are crucial. Secondly, they need to rapidly gather this data for their customers’ convenience, which means that response times are vital as well.
On the subject of residential and static proxies, more prominent travel websites that hold the necessary data are pickier towards the traffic they receive to their sites. This means that even if the set limit of request is not reached, they can still identify that traffic isn’t organic.
Hence, employing such type proxies allows portraying as the traffic is coming from genuine internet users with residential IPs. Such traffic is highly unlikely to be classified under bot activity (unless the proxy is heavily abused), and consequently, ensures high success rates to retrieve the required data.
Whereas, data center IPs offer unmatched response times. They also tend to be more stable and are cheaper in comparison to residential proxies. They are a great choice to collect intelligence from less challenging data targets that don’t implement various anti-scraping measures.
To add, due to geographically based pricing strategies, using a wide range of proxy locations is essential as well.
Hence, travel aggregators should choose to partner up with proxy providers that offer an extensive list of locations, have stable and high-performance proxies, and also are on hand to assist in their daily data gathering endeavors.
It’s a wrap
Hopefully, by now, you have a decent understanding of how the travel fare aggregators’ websites work. One thing is for sure that proxies play a vital role in the whole process and are a factor that distinguishes the best travel fare aggregators from the worst.
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