Web Scraping – What It is and What You Need It
Goods catalog, sports statistics, offers costs… You’ve probably heard about it, right? These and other data are collected by using special software or manually in docs. In such docs information is structured; there's no need to puzzle out what and where.
If you’re interested in such a method of collecting and processing data, you should consider web-scraping.
What is Web Scraping and How Does It Work?
Web Scraping is data collection using special software. It means that you do it automatically. You should only launch a program and add on it URLs of web pages you need to scrape. Also, you need to add to the soft numbers, dates, and some information blocks you need to collect. Such a program will open mentioned websites and copy in a file all data that it finds. It can be a CSV file or an Excel table.
When a program finishes its work, you receive a file with structured information.
Why Do You Need it?
With web scraping help, you can collect proper data. For example, you have a news agency and want to analyze your competitors’ text on a certain topic. What lexis do they use? How do they provide information? Of course, you can find such articles manually, but it’s easier to manage software and delegate it to this task.
Or another example. You’re a fan of Bulgarian literature and want to find some information about Bulgarian poets in Bulgarian. There is a lack of information about such poets on the Bulgarian Internet at all; therefore, you spend a lot of time searching for proper websites. In this case, it’s better to use a web scraper. You should add keywords and phrases by which software will find the materials about poets. Then, wait for a while when a program finishes its work.
As a result, web scraping is available for every person if he or she needs it. Basically, this service is used by people who want to analyze their rivals’ websites.
Why Do You Need Proxy When Scraping?
You can get without proxies in web data scraping. There are two reasons to use them.
- Avoid restricts on requests to the website
If you update a webpage a certain number of times, the anti-fraud system detects you and starts to consider your actions as a DDoS attack. Result? The access to the web page is blocked, you can’t open it.
Web scrapers do a large number of requests on websites. Therefore, their work can be stopped by an anti-fraud system. To collect data successfully, use multiple IP addresses. It all depends on what amount of requests you need to do.
- Go around protection from web scraping security on some sources
Some websites try to protect against scraping as best as they can and use proxies because they help to avoid such protection. For example, you’re collecting data from the website in another language. The source sends you data, but they will be in your mother tongue, not in the websites’ language.
To avoid such anti-fraud systems, people use proxies of the same server where the website is located. For example, you should scrape data from Chinese sources only on Chinese servers.
What Types of Proxies Should You Use?
Buy paid IP addresses. Thanks to them, you’ll avoid websites’ anti-fraud systems. Using free IPs, you won’t achieve your goal because many sources have blacklisted almost all addresses. And if you do lots of requests from one IP, your process will finish in two ways:
- the webpage blocks access because of “failed connection” or
- it asks you for entering a Captcha.
In the second case, you can keep scraping, but you should enter a Captcha when doing every new request.
Sometimes, only one request it’s enough to lose access to the website or getting a Captcha. Hence, you have to use only paid proxies.
On our website, you can buy a cheap proxy for scraping. If you face some difficulties with setting it up or have other questions – write to us. Support is 24/7 online and answers within five minutes.
How Much IPs You Should Have?
It isn't the exact number of proxies or every case. Each website has its requirements and each scraper has its own number of requests depending on its task.
300-600 requests per IP per hour is an approximate websites' limit. It’s good if you find sources’ restrictions by testing, But if you have no opportunity to do it, use an average number – 450 requests per IP per hour.
What Software Should You Use?
There are a lot of tools for web scraping. They are written in different programming languages such as Ruby, PHP, Python. Also, there are open source programs where you can change something if it needs.
We’re glad to demonstrate to you the most popular web scraping tools:
Find software that appeals to you most. It’s better if you test all such programs and choose the best option for you.
Is Web Scraping Legal?
If you’re chickening out to collect data from websites, don’t worry because web scraping is legal! You can collect all publicly available information.
For example, you can scrape users’ emails and phone numbers. It’s personal information but if a user publishes such data, it can’t be any claims.
Thanks to web scraping, users collect product catalogs, costs on such products, sports statistics, and even entire texts. Web scraping without blocking? Yes, it’s possible! You should just buy enough proxies and change them on time.