Presently, in the e-commerce world, the unspoken rule is “no data, no business.” However, getting data is not as straightforward.
A brand needs to regularly perform web scraping to get enough data, which would be impossible without using tools such as proxies.
Proxies themselves are not easy to pick as they don’t all serve the same purpose. Hence, it is always wise to consider your business needs before selecting a proxy.
Below, we have described the main types of proxies to help you see which one best suits your business needs.
What Are Proxies?
Proxies are software or devices such as mobile phones, servers, or other computers that act as intermediaries between an internet user and the web. A proxy is a tool that people use as a middleman between themselves and the internet.
So that instead of directly connecting to a target website, users can route their requests through a proxy server. A proxy server receives this request and forwards it using its internet protocol (IP) address.
An IP address is a unique set of numbers that can serve as a digital address. It is the same element that allows any device to connect to the internet. And without it, a connection cannot be established, and it would be impossible to identify the different users online or know where to send what results.
The IP address may help grant us access to the internet, but it can also make it easy for anyone to track us or target malicious content.
Therefore, users can stay safe and anonymous on the web by using a proxy and IP to send out requests.
What Could A Commercial Proxy User Use A Proxy For?
Proxies generally have several use cases, and individuals and businesses alike can use commercial proxies for any of the following:
1. Brand Reputation Management
“A good name is better than riches.” Or in this case, a good name is equal to riches. The reputation and image can determine how much sales it makes and how often it makes those sales.
This is because buyers research other buyers’ comments and reviews and trust those reviews as if they were personal recommendations from a friend.
A bad review could mean no business, while a good review could mean more business for the online company.
Brands use proxies to search the length and width of the internet to monitor reviews and respond accordingly to protect their reputation.
2. Web Scraping
Web scraping involves the different methods and techniques used in gathering a large amount of useful data from multiple sources at once. The data can then be analyzed and used to make very critical business decisions.
But sometimes, some sources don’t take kindly to people copying their content even though those are available to the general public.
To curb data copying, these platforms use several anti-scraping mechanisms, including the CAPTCHA test and geo-blocking.
To mitigate these challenges, e-commerce brands deploy proxies to clear these obstacles so that data collection can go unchecked.
3. SEO Analysis
Search engine optimization (SEO) analysis involves optimizing a brand’s website and content to boost traffic and increase conversion.
Generally, the steps involved include keyword research, monitoring the competition, what ads they are running, and what content types they are using.
Doing all these requires advanced data sourcing and gathering, which proxies help make both possible and easy.
What Are The Specific Usage Scenarios of The Two Types of Proxies?
Essentially, there are two types of proxies: static and those that rotate their IP addresses.
These are datacenter proxies that assign a user one IP address at a time. The IP is assigned by a third-party provider and remains the same for as long as the user wants.
The IP can also be called a sticky IP address since it remains the only IP you can use every time you go online unless you change it.
However, because your original IP is still masked, this proxy offers some level of anonymity along with the high-speed connection and good bandwidth it provides.
Static proxies are generally used by smaller brands that need data quickly but not in huge quantities. Because while it can perform web scraping quickly, using it repeatedly on the same website can raise suspicion and prompt the website to block the IP.
These are residential proxies that come with a large pool of IPs and locations. Users can switch from one IP to a new one at random or after every few minutes. This makes it almost impossible to block the user.
What’s more, the IPs are allocated by an internet service provider (ISP), making them legit, resembling those used by regular homeowners. A target site would never suspect it is a bot scraping its data.
They are mostly used by larger firms that require a high amount of data daily. For instance, financial institutions use these proxies to scrape data every day to make proper audits.
Static Residential Proxies
These are the group of proxies that blend the best of both static and residential proxies. They rotate IP and locations to evade restriction but are just as fast as datacenter proxies.
Static residential proxies allow you to easily access data from any corner of the internet without repeating the same IP address and location. You can also do this as fast as possible as these proxies boost high-speed connections and bandwidth. For example, Oxylabs offers some of the best solutions on the matter.
It can be hard to decide whether to use static or rotating proxies or go for the middle ground – static residential proxies.
But the best way to decide is to establish what type of data your business needs and how much of it you need to function.