One option available on your computer’s network settings is the configuration of a “proxy server for a connection.” The option is filed away under Internet Options, then the Connections tab. Most people have never seen this option.
Computer configurations have become easier over time, and people hardly ever dig into complicated settings. Why worry if your computer’s notification area shows that your connection to the internet is in excellent condition?
It is therefore not a surprise that cybercrime has thrived so much that today a hack attack takes place every 39 seconds. Aren’t antivirus applications and firewalls built to prevent hackers from accessing your computer? Surprisingly over 80% of all hackers say that these two methods are obsolete and irrelevant.
They say that people using computers are the doorway for most security breaches. Ignorance on the best practices when online has made cybercrime so profitable that its returns now shadow those of the multibillion-dollar illegal drug trade. A proxy server is one feature that can significantly reduce your exposure to cybercriminals. And there are many uses for proxies, SEO monitoring among them. But first, let’s take a look at some fundamentals.
What is a proxy?
A proxy is a tool that acts as a barrier between the internet and your computer. Unlike an antivirus or firewall, the proxy hides your IP address, ensuring that your identity, location, and data stays protected from malicious online users. The proxy can also filter web content and restrict access to certain websites that may expose your computer network to hackers.
The proxy server accesses all web requests made from your browser, then channels it to the queried websites. The websites will only access the servers IP address. The proxy server will also receive any data sent by these websites then channel it back to your computer. This action will significantly keep your online activity anonymous, a vital ingredient in the fight against phishing scams and identity theft. The anonymity that proxies provide also enables web scraping.
Types of proxies
1. Residential proxy
Residential proxies are sold by internet service providers to offer internet security, anonymity, access to geo-blocked data, and for use in web scraping activities. They are the best proxies for SEO because they are valid IP addresses, meaning that they are not easily detected during web scraping. These proxies are, nonetheless, expensive, especially if required as a pool for rotation purposes during data scraping.
2. Datacenter proxy
These proxies are sold by cloud-hosted third party providers. They are used to access geo-blocked data as well as provide anonymity when online. They are not very efficient for web scraping because they are not valid IP addresses. Web administrators can detect them with ease and ban them. They are very affordable, especially if required in bulk.
3. Private proxies
A single user uses private proxies at a time. They are, at times, referred to as dedicated proxies. The advantage of the private-public proxy is that they offer better data security than public proxies. They are also not as easily banned from websites, as are public proxies.
4. Shared proxies
These proxies are utilized by several users at a go. They are cheap but can be slow, depending on the underlying load balancers.
5. Public proxies
You can access public proxies from online proxy lists. They are often very unsafe and unreliable. Most malicious activity online is accomplished via the use of these proxies. However, they are free.
Proxy for SEO use and in business web scraping
Data scraping is an essential data insights generation tool for businesses. Web scrapers are code-based tools that access massive amounts of web data, aggregate it, then save it in a usable format such as CSV. The process can serve a multitude of business functions for established companies and startups alike.
Web scraping tools require proxy servers to veil their activity when online. Many websites are designed to block web scraping and other suspicious activity that might adversely affect server speeds and safety. Some businesses also use blockers to keep their competitors from accessing their data. Due to this, proxies for SEO should have protections that help it remain unnoticed by anti-scraping mechanisms.
Proxy servers can veil the IP address of a web-scraping computer to ensure that the website does not flag it. To prevent the website from recognizing the repetitive process of web scraping, scraper tools use a rotating pool of proxies, which mimic genuine user interaction with a website.
You can also use proxies for SEO to scrape organic keyword usage and Adwords. Keyword research is a vital component of competitor research. Scraped data can reveal your competitor’s metadata, the keywords that they are ranking for, or the ads in use in their campaigns.
You can use a web scraper tool to access such data or access this information from tools such as SEMrush or Ahrefs. These platforms use web scraping, but they cannot access as many websites as custom web scraper tools can. Unlike web scraper tools, a platform like SEMRush cannot scrape sites that it does not have access to.
There are other uses of web scraping. They include;
- Web scraping as a business sector that provides tools or data for businesses’ success. Businesses are innovating and building products such as price comparison sites or web scraping tools, which provide revenue for their owners.
- The process can give you quick access to useful databases such as the governments or old company data. Such information can enrich the business’s profile with very useful information on business practices, history, laws, or employee data.
- In sales, data mined from web scraping can be used to strengthen your business’s lead generation strategy. You can also use the process to extract useful information from your competitors to improve your targeting and marketing strategy.
- Brand monitoring has become an essential part of brand protection in the digital age. You can web scrape to access customer sentiments on reviews or ratings. The data mined can help you to understand your customer, their needs, and expectations. Web scraping can also be used to identify piracy and copyright infringement on your brand.
Proxy servers and web scraping are essential tools for business data access. It would be best if you only used high quality residential or private proxies to ensure online data protection and safety. You can also use proxies for SEO to improve your competitor research, which can significantly improve your business’s bottom line.