Getting the most information from the internet is essential because data is the key to marketing and getting more traffic to your site. Web scraping extracts data from sites through bots or other tools. One of the benefits of web scraping is that it goes beneath the surface and lifts the HTML along with stored data. Many tools and apps can assist with web crawling as well as scraping. The advantages of scraping vs crawling is that crawling, as the name implies, scans the web for useful data and scraping actually retrieves it. The following are useful hacks and tools for extracting Google data.

Headless Browsers

Headless browsers interact with the web page similarly to a web browser, but instead use a command-line interface or network communication. In other words, they are browsers without a graphic user interface. It is easy to find headless versions of popular browsers such as Chrome and Firefox. 

Headless browsers were initially developed to test websites, but they have evolved into providing other uses, such as web scraping. The lack of overhead and IU with headless browsers means they can efficiently extract data. They can take screenshots and map the typical customer journey across websites to provide a large amount of data. 

Puppeteer

Puppeteer is a Node library that uses API to access Chrome or Chromium. Puppeteer runs like a headless browser by default, which means it runs without a graphical user interface, but Puppeteer can also work as a non-headless version so you can see what buttons you are clicking. It requires no knowledge of coding but does need installation of NodeJS. Puppeteer can be operated in the background and follows the instructions of the API. It is particularly recommended for scraping websites that contain a lot of JavaScript. 

Selenium

Like the other tools described above, Selenium was initially developed to test websites and gained popularity for its web-scraping capabilities. Selenium has an advantage over similar tools because it can scrape delayed information when loading is slow. When Selenium collects the data, an additional tool is needed for parsing, such as Node js. Selenium is also used in tandem with a web driver like Chromium. Selenium also works well alongside a proxy that can facilitate web scraping.

Proxy

One important thing to consider when web scraping is the need to keep anonymous. If you are scraping a competitor’s site, you don’t want them to discover your IP address and retaliate. Besides, a number of actions from a single IP address required for thorough scraping of data may get your IP address blocked, since multiple actions may seem suspicious. A proxy will provide you with an alternate IP address so you can hide your identity while scraping and take as many actions as you need for downloads and screen captures. 

Proxies are third-party servers that let you take actions and perform requests through their servers and not under your own IP address. Not all proxies are alike, and the one you choose depends on what kind of web scraping you need to do. For instance there are static and residential proxies as well as other options to choose from. 

Static Residential Proxies Versus Dynamic Proxies

When looking for a proxy, you may decide between a static residential proxy, dynamic, and a private proxy. A dynamic proxy changes its location at regular intervals, whereas a residential proxy does not alter its location, and the IP address is connected with a specific place. A dynamic proxy will change the IP address without taking additional action and will allow you to perform various actions on a website, such as downloading material, all from a different IP address. 

However, dynamic proxies do have some drawbacks. For one thing, their constantly changing IP addresses can make the connection unstable and can slow down the proxy. The site could also get tipped off to the changing IP address, recognize it as a proxy, and ban it from the site. The good thing about residential proxies is that, since they remain constant, they are indistinguishable from regular IP addresses. For effective scraping, it is a good idea to purchase several so you can seem to take actions for various locations to avoid detection. 

Static residential proxies are also faster than dynamic proxies because they stay connected to the same place and are not always changing. These transformations tend to interfere with speed and efficiency. Static residential proxies tend to cost more than dynamic proxies, but it is possible to find some low-priced, efficient residential proxies that will make web scraping easier. 

Locate the Most Valuable Data

With increasing competition among websites and advanced technology in the workplace, it is worth studying the most successful players and replicating their tactics. It is also essential to stay informed about the competitions’ marketing strategies, who is visiting their site, and what is working for them. Web scraping through headless browsers and other tools such as Puppeteer and Selenium will replicate a browser’s actions and extract valuable data. Proxies that conceal your IP address will also allow you to harvest data that will be useful for your site and instrumental for increasing traffic. 

Author

Sumit is a Tech and Gadget freak and loves writing about Android and iOS, his favourite past time is playing video games.

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