Proxies are the wonderful intermediaries of the internet. The modern digital landscape operates through proxies, and both businesses and individuals alike use them for web crawling, enhanced security, or top-of-the-line anonymity.
These intermediaries make the internet go round – and they’re well known for their potential in marketing. Marketing specialists use proxies for many reasons, most notable of which are data harvesting, web crawling, and market research.
In this article, we’ll define proxies themselves, explore how proxies for market research work, and go in-depth on how through the use of proxies, marketing executives can augment their operations.
What are Proxies?
Proxies are servers that act as intermediaries between a client requesting from a website and the website themselves. There are many types of proxies based on their code, capability, origin, and IP address.
Most common types of proxies
SOCKS5 is one of the most popular proxies, and it’s renowned for its speed, stability, and, most importantly, security. The most widespread proxy on the internet is HTTPS, the evolution of HTTP, the previous standard most websites use to manage, secure, and optimize their websites.
Proxies serve an integral role in a myriad of business and personal operations, and based on their IP address – they can either be dedicated or shared. Depending on the action that the proxy is designated for, it can even be rotating, which means that it switches seamlessly between IP addresses selected from a pool to ensure a stable, anonymous, and efficient connection.
It’s also worth mentioning the most common proxy types that are classified by their origin:
- Data center proxies – these proxies are not affiliated with Internet Service Providers (ISP) because they come from secondary corporations. These proxies are fast, have high uptime.
- Residential proxies – these proxies have genuine IP addresses. Marketers choose them for market research because of their ability to imitate the human-like traffic.
Proxies Enable Web Scraping
One of the most important things that proxies can do is enable web scraping. Since they’re virtually an intermediary computer between you and the server you’re requesting information from, they provide all of the anonymity, security, and stability that the process of web scraping requires.
The most popular type of proxy that’s used for web scraping is a rotating proxy. A rotating proxy has a sticky IP, meaning that it can switch when a switch is required. Since web scraping bots get blacklisted from websites all of the time, shifting the IP address masks the requester’s ID and geographical location, allowing the web scraper to go on with their scraping with minimal delay.
What is Web Scraping?
Web scraping is the process of surveying the web for data harvesting, which can be used for other things such as data accumulation, market research, or market analysis. This process is automated by using spider bots, web crawlers, or data harvesters – which are most often included in one whole program.
Scraping the web is extremely beneficial, and through the use of proxies, the process is made far more efficient. Websites don’t like to be scraped, and they tend to blacklist, block, or ban web scrapers once they’re detected. If a web crawler gets banned, it can use proxies to approach the website with another IP, masking itself as a completely different user.
How are Proxies and Web Scraping Used for Marketing?
Modern businesses use web scraping to improve their business operation in a multitude of ways. Web crawlers and thus proxies are integral tools for any modern business, as they allow for essential things such as market research, lead generation, SEO, and
1. Market Research
Market research is at the core of marketing. Through web scraping, companies can garner essential data on the market – its current performance, target demographic, competition, and many other things. Web crawlers are the ideal tool for automating browsing huge amounts of data. You can find more information about proxies for market research on the Oxylabs website.
2. Lead Generation
Generating high-quality leads is one of the most complex processes that go on in a marketing effort. To generate high-quality leads, you’ll need refined information. Data crawlers accumulate huge amounts of data that isn’t necessarily raw. By searching through quality sources, web scrapers can accumulate quality data, which needs little to no refinement for lead generation.
The powerful data accumulation and indexing capabilities of web scraping software make it an ideal option for SEO. Data crawlers can search through the best websites and find out what makes them rank so high on the ladders of a search engine – and present that data to you so you can do the same to your website.
There are many benefits of using proxies for market research. They enable businesses to do essential research, protect their data, and use web crawlers.
Any modern business needs a proxy, as a proxy is one of the most important tools a business can have to improve its internal operations, marketing strategy efficiency, and cost-effectiveness.