Although people have had difficulty rewriting content in the past centuries, manual work has overcome its boundaries with the help of rapid technological improvement. Extracting data from a web page – or web scraping, for short – has become one of the most frequent practices in the past couple of years.
Because web scraping brought a refreshment in terms of gathering data so quickly, it serves as a tool to save a lot of time along the way. Furthermore, the connection between geo-restricted content and web scraping can get in your way of work.
Here’s a guide to everything you need to know about web scraping and combining it with geo-restricted content through, for example, Indonesia proxy to get the perfect results for your needs.
What is web scraping?
Web scraping represents gathering data from the desired web page and exporting it to a usable format. You can do web scraping manually or opt for automated tools that can help you gather data more quickly.
Although web scraping seems easy, it relies on the complexity of web design and depends on the form of the site itself. However, after your web scraper loads the entire HTML code, and once you select the data you need, it does all the work and delivers the data in the format you want.
There are different types of web scrapers you could use depending on your needs. You can also decide whether you want your web scraper to come in the form of a browser extension or computer software.
Geo-restricted content and how it works
You’ve probably experienced the impossibility of accessing a particular web page or watching a music video that is “not available in your country.” Many countries worldwide have implemented the concept of geo-blocking or geo-restricted content to protect various types of licensing deals.
Whenever you’re browsing the internet, every site’s mechanism reads your exact location through your IP address. That way, the website becomes aware of its audience and uses that information to give access or restrict the content to viewers.
Geo-restricted content has become a significant problem worldwide as many countries without copyright and intellectual property regulations don’t have access to web pages that foresee the location of their users.
How does geo-blocking affect web scraping?
Many internet users experience various problems due to the concept of geo-blocking. Therefore, web scraping has become more challenging due to the inability to access a website, let alone scrape its data.
Because your experience depends on your IP address, your web scraping plans can fail as you may not even get access to any data. Geo-blocking can negatively impact companies that use web scraping for market research, monitoring competition, and developing innovative price intelligence strategies.
Therefore, companies that use web scraping have started looking for solutions to ease their process. Although it may seem impossible, there are ways to scrape a website regardless of your physical location.
Proxy servers and geo-restricted content
Internet users have found ways to access geo-restricted content by using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) or a proxy server. Although VPNs can help you mask your IP address, we recommend you use a proxy server as it’s way more secure.
Proxies act like computers that can more effectively solve problems associated with IP addresses and accessing geo-restricted content. A proxy server can reroute the traffic and intercept communication between web servers and their users by assigning one or many IP addresses.
For example, if you want to access a geo-restricted website in Indonesia from the US, you will most likely experience trouble viewing particular web pages. However, you can use an Indonesia proxy server from Oxylabs to access the website from an IP address from Internet Service Providers.
Benefits of using proxy servers
Although they can help you access websites you couldn’t normally access, proxy servers can also help you in various other ways. Many companies and individuals have experienced many benefits of using a proxy server.
Other than assigning an IP address to a user to help them virtually appear in a different geographical location, it also:
- Improves internet security;
- Balances internet traffic;
- Provides privacy;
- Reduces load time;
- Filters out malicious websites.
As problematic as geo-restricted content seems, we can witness innovations throughout IP masking and traffic rerouting. Because geo restrictions change the course of content accessibility depending on your location, proxy servers can most likely ease your experience.
Moreover, proxy servers are must-have tools if you use web scraping for your business, as they can save you the trouble of masking your IP by yourself. That way, you can complete your tasks without worrying about data access restrictions.
Finally, you can always do your research and determine which solution might work best for you. We wish you the best of luck on your journey and happy web scraping!