What is web data mining?
Web mining is a practice that is used to observe patterns from the World Wide Web. As the name suggests, web data mining is all about gathering information by scraping all the web content available. Automated tools are used in web data mining to disclose and disengage data from the servers. Thus organizations get access to structured and unstructured information from browser actions, websites, page content, and different sources.
What is a Proxy?
A proxy is a third-party server that allows you to channel your request for information using its IP address instead of your IP address. When you use a proxy, the website that you have accessed doesn’t see your IP address, but it sees the IP address of the proxy you used. A proxy will help you scrape the web content (web data mining) safely behind closed doors. The cost of proxy servers is very dynamic since it is based on place and purpose.
How to use proxy servers for Scraping Web Data?
While surfing the browser, a numerical address or numerical identity is allocated to the computer network device. This label or identity of the device is known as the device’s IP address, and it looks like 153.9.621.14. An IP address coordinates with a network interface or host identification to locate the addresses of devices. In other words, an IP address is used to find out the location of the device.
Need for Proxy for Web data mining?
There are two primary purposes of using a proxy for web data mining.
- Overlap your IP address with a proxy server IP address
The primary purpose of using a proxy server is to overlap your source device’s IP address with a proxy IP address. As we discussed earlier, websites can see your IP addresses, but when you use a proxy, the site sees the proxy server’s IP address and not the IP address of the actual scraping device that is being used. As the IP address looks similar, the site gets confused about what your actual IP address is.
Besides scraping, a proxy server also excludes or eliminates the geographic internet limitations, popularly called geo-IP-based restrictions. For suppose, if you want to watch an American TV program from Germany but then the content has geo-IP limitations, you can use a proxy server located in America. This is when the website will request an American IP address provided by the proxy server.
- Get Past the Rate of requests (rate limits)
Many prominent websites are mainly focused on website security. Websites have plugins or software in action to detect strange or suspicious requests from an IP address. Several requests in a short time generally indicate a pre-programmed process like web scraping. Websites use a rate-limit program to avoid the rush. When a strange or suspicious number of requests come from any IP address in a short time, the site blocks further requests from the IP address temporarily.
To beat the restrictions or limitations, you need to extend your requests across various proxy servers. The site which is targeted, therefore, receives very few requests from several servers. Thus all the server requests do not exceed the rate limit. This way, You’ll be able to scape all the data you want without alerting the website.
Using Proxies for Web data mining
Proxy servers allow you to perform web data mining privately. Data mining is entirely lawful, but it causes a load on the target websites. Websites use data mining detection mechanisms to avoid excess requests. With the help of a proxy server IP address, you can sidestep these detection tools.
On the other hand, make sure that the proxies are used in the right manner. Avoid errors like sending too many requests to the target website. If the target site detects that you’re mining the data, give a pause or stop immediately.
In the modern digital world, data acts as a fuel for businesses, the prominence of web data mining is gradually rising. But the increased use of data mining has also forced websites to use data mining detection tools, thus increased the demand for proxy servers.