In today’s financial climate, business is tough, and staying ahead takes more than just offering some discounts and putting on special offers. Businesses need to understand digital marketing, how to pivot when necessary, and to make data-driven decisions.
One way to be able to make those sort of decisions is by collecting data from rivals. By doing so you can gain insights into their marketing tactics, and even make predictions about future trends. Without the use of proxies though, this will be difficult.
Proxies are a way to hide the real physical location of a computer user and redirect data while using a different IP address. This is similar to a VPN in that they both mask your genuine IP address, but in reality, proxies are far different.
A home user might log in to a VPN so that they have some extra security while online, and so that they can access a geo-restricted streaming site such as Netflix. A business on the other hand might use thousands of IP addresses through a proxy service to gather data from numerous websites.
Using United Kingdom residential proxies will allow you to access the net as if you were based in that nation. This means that you can see content that is restricted to the UK. Unlike the home user who wishes to see the latest shows on Netflix, you can use proxies to improve your SEO and to see how your business ranks in overseas searches.
The net has billions of web pages, and many of them contain mountains of useful data. This information can be scraped through the use of certain tools and programs.
Saving time is just one reason why data collection is so important in today’s time-constrained working environments. Data scraping can be automated, and you can choose to extract all the information from a website or target specific areas such as contact details.
Collecting information in this manner can help your company to improve its SEO, change tact with marketing campaigns, see when competitors are about to launch a new product, and generate more sales. Email marketing is one of the essential digital business tools now, and data scraping can gather swathes of contact details easily.
The problem with collecting data is that it takes a huge amount of time. You can buy data from third parties but this isn’t always advisable. For instance, buying sales leads can often result in useless information.
Any business or individual attempting to scrape data will eventually find themselves blacklisted unless they take special precautions. If you try to scrape data with your own IP it will get blocked once your activity is detected. Therefore, businesses and individuals use proxies to get new IP addresses. And if your IP address has been blocked, the easiest way to get around it is to use a proxy.
Data center proxies are the most affordable option. This type of proxy can provide a long list of IPs that aren’t owned by any specific ISP. They can be shared or dedicated, and both types will mask your real IP.
Alternatively, you can use residential proxies. This will route your data through a genuine IP address provided by an ISP, and you will look like any other residential computer user.
Providers such as ProxyEmpire.io use rotating residential proxies to make businesses undetectable, and this allows high-level data collection to occur.
Ironically, one of the downsides to data scraping is that it can happen to you too. You will likely have an interest in your competitor’s data, and they may be keen on gathering yours too.
As for legalities, these aren’t too concerning as long as you don’t steal IP or use copyrighted material. There may be a fine line between data analysis and corporate espionage.
Unless you use a good residential proxy the worst that is likely to happen to you is that your IP address gets blocked. Multiple data scraping cases have been thrown out including one involving Facebook’s claim dismissal in 2021.
Collecting data is big business, and there are strict laws surrounding privacy to protect consumers, employees, and businesses. Data breaches are a genuine concern for businesses big and small today, and they are all too common.
However, data breaches involve hackers and tend to be for criminal purposes. Whereas web scraping can help to improve SEO, and marketing, and to spot when competitors lower their prices. This can be used to stay one step ahead, and British businesses will likely be using scraping tools more rather than less.