To get the amount of data you need to foster the growth of your business, you will always need access to a large pool of relevant user data. And most times, the places where this data can be found are not as excited to share the data with you.
To prevent you from coming near their content, they sometimes set up sophisticated anti-scraping techniques that not only make web scraping extra painful but almost impossible.
There are issues such as CAPTCHA tests and geo-restrictions that can easily inhibit web scraping tools and prevent getting the data you need. These setups work very well and have made it more difficult for companies to scrape some servers for data.
To mitigate these issues, automated web scraping technologies have been developed, with most of them being able to sufficiently rid you of encumbrances and allow you to collect data without getting blocked.
Importance of Automated Data Collection for the Today’s Business
Web scraping is essentially the automated process through which businesses gather and collect relevant user data from multiple sources in real time.
The place of automation has eliminated the drudgery commonly associated with manually harvesting data and redefined the way brands collect newly updated data. It does this not only by easily adapting to websites and their structural changes and interacting with them automatically but also by repeating the process regularly and with minimal human interference to collect newly updated data.
There are several use cases for this type of technology in the modern market:
One of the most important applications of automated data scraping is to monitor a brand on the internet. Businesses use this technology to regularly check reviews and discussions that customers make regarding their brand across multiple platforms. Then they collect the necessary data and respond appropriately and in time to avoid any reputational damage.
It has also become common for brands to collect relevant data and monitor market trends using automated data collection tools. These tools collect data automatically and frequently and can easily deduce what is happening in the market.
These tools can also be used to monitor different prices and competitors from different parts of the globe. A brand, after collecting this data, may then adjust in such a way as to maximize profitability.
The backbone of every business is its customer base. The more customers a brand has, the more sales and profit it rakes, and the fewer customers they have, the fewer sales they make.
This is especially why businesses take acquiring new customers very seriously. Automated web scraping is usually used to gather and generate new leads regularly, and these leads are later turned into paying customers.
Challenges of Large-Scaled Web Scraping
Scraping the internet for a large dose of useful data is not always straightforward and can be subject to several new and old challenges. Companies face challenges while performing large-scale web scraping all the time, including the following:
If there is one thing that dissuades web scraping the most, then it has to be geo-restrictions. Companies cannot access certain servers and websites because of technologies that read their internet protocol address, figure out their exact physical location, and then block them based on where they stay.
This can prove to be very challenging as it makes it impossible for affected brands to gain access to where the data is located.
Web scraping is a highly demanding exercise – it requires a lot of effort, time, and energy even to scrape a single web page. This can get even more demanding when dealing with multiple web pages or entire websites, as it is often done when there is a need for a large amount of data.
This task can be excruciating, painstakingly difficult, and tedious to implement continuously.
The tools used for large-scale data extraction are usually not cheap and may cost so much that it would become practically impossible for smaller businesses to take part in it.
How to Web Scrape without Getting Blocked
A solution will always exist for any given problem, and in this case, there is even more than one solution to the challenge of getting blocked when scraping the web.
Proxies are tools that act as intermediaries, taking requests to target sites and returning results using their details.
Their selling point is that they usually have multiple IPs, locations, and a large proxy pool. They can easily switch any of this information upon request, and that way, scraping with proxies can go on repeatedly without the websites blocking you.
AI Web Scraping
Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) for web scraping can also eliminate the chance of getting blocked. This is because AI tools are built to learn patterns much more quickly and mimic human behavior. This means they can easily pass CAPTCHA tests and other mechanisms put in place to initiate blocking. AI web scraping is also highly effective as it is fast and can run with almost zero human intervention. Visit Oxylabs to learn more about AI-empowered scraping tools that will ease the data-gathering process.
Web scraping is a basic and essential requirement for any modern business looking to make the best decisions and break boundaries. However, certain issues such as the CAPTCHA test, IP targeting, and geo-blocking can pose significant threats that can altogether disrupt the process.
It is recommended that you use proper proxies or AI-powered web scraping to get past these challenges and achieve the best results.