It goes without saying that one of the best, quickest, and most cost-efficient ways to gain competitive intelligence for any type of business is through web-scraping, or commonly known as web data extraction.
With automated web scraping tools, businesses can gain insights on various types of competitive intelligence metrics, including market research, price intelligence, lead generation, and news/price monitoring.
If you are into web scraping or are planning to start a web scraping project, we’ve got some of the most interesting insights to share with you in this post. Check out these 9 actionable insights below:
1. Scraping multiple accounts isn’t highly technical
There is no denying the fact that screaming a single account falls under the basic category and can be done easily without facing any type of advanced technical challenges and issues. However, things get a little different when it comes to scraping multiple accounts or multiple logins.
One of the best ways to script multiple accounts without running the risk of overrides and other types of errors is to use multiple cookie jars for every account session. This is done using the start_requests function in the spider.
2. Avoiding geo-restrictions using proxies
Web scraping isn’t always an easy process, this is especially true when it comes to geographical restrictions. Not all web data are easily accessible as they are protected with geo-restrictions.
However, geo-restrictions don’t necessarily have to put a halt to your web scraping project. By simply using a dedicated or shared proxy, you can manipulate the geo-restriction firewall and trick the data source into accepting your input the way you have intended it to be. This way, you can access all types of data sources that have the most complex geo-restriction firewalls.
3. Isolating the bandwidth with a dedicated proxy
Bandwidth choking due to high bandwidth load is one of the most common issues that can affect the entire web scraping project. Although one of the most common ways to overcome this issue is to increase the bandwidth, not everybody has the capability of technical feasibility to go for this option.
A great way to avoid bandwidth load is by simply using a dedicated proxy. When using a dedicated proxy, The bandwidth that you are using does not get shared with others. This way, the isolation of the bandwidth helps you achieve more efficiency in your web scraping project.
4. Scraping multiple accounts with dedicated proxies
When it comes to scraping data and other valuables from social media platforms, accessing more than one account isn’t technically easy. This is because many social media platforms have firewalls that do not allow a single IP address to have access to more than one account.
This is where dedicated proxies come into the picture. By using a dedicated proxy, you can bypass the firewall and have access to more than one account using the same IP address. This way, scraping data and other valuables from multiple accounts becomes efficient and quick.
5. Scraping craigslists for better results and efficiency
For scraping data in bulk and with accuracy, one of the best steps to take is to scrape craigslist and classified ad posting. One of the biggest benefits of scraping Craiglist is data can be achieved in bulk, in large volumes.
Apart from extracting data in high volumes, scraping craigslists also helps you extract data that contain first-hand information that have the potential to transform into actionable insights or even high-quality leads.
6. Craiglist scraping is beneficial for competitive analysis
One of the best ways to achieve accurate results when it comes to scraping web data for competitive analysis is to scrape craigslists. This mainly has got to do with the fact that many businesses perform business listing on craigslist via classified ad postings.
By scraping data from craigslist, you can extract data that contain first-hand information about businesses which, in turn, helps you make the most out of your web scraping competitive analysis project. What’s more interesting to know is that by scraping the right data, you can get insights on your competitors’ real-time strategies which, in turn, helps to bolster your strategies accordingly.
7. Dedicated proxies are always better than shared proxies
When it comes to comparing two types of proxies for web scraping, including dedicated and shared proxies, dedicated proxies offer better advantages. Compared to shared proxies, dedicated proxies are significantly faster as the bandwidth isn’t shared with other users.
Another important advantage of dedicated proxies is they allow better access to geo-restricted content than shared proxies. However, if you want to prioritize cost savings over high performance, you cannot go wrong with a shared proxy.
8. Dedicated proxies improve cybersecurity
One of the most important reasons to choose a dedicated proxy over a shared proxy is to maintain a high level of cybersecurity. By using a dedicated proxy, you significantly lower the risk of malicious attacks that can compromise the security of your website and retrieve valuable information, such as financial information, customer data, and performance reports.
When conducting web scraping operations, using a private proxy will help you isolate your traffic from malicious intruders, which, otherwise, can jeopardize your web scraping project and even put your website at risk.
9. One of the best tools to script data from Craigslist
There is no denying the fact that there are various choices when it comes to choosing data scraping tools. However, the one tool that stands out from other options is Octoparse. Scraping intricate data from Craiglist isn’t easy as there are a lot of technical challenges. However, Octoparse makes it easy with its easy-to-target design.
One of the most important and beneficial features of this tool is it allows you to edit the data fields which, in turn, helps you achieve the right results with great precision. Once you have found a sweet spot, you can also save the settings using the tool’s ‘save settings’ function to save your settings as presets.