How to get high success rates with proxies: 3 steps to scale up
In this article, we give you some insight on how you can scale up your web data extraction project.
You will learn what are the basic elements of scaling up and what are the steps that you should take when looking for the best rotating proxy solution.
Generally, there are 3 steps needed to find the best proxy management method for your web scraping project and to make sure you can get data not just today but also in the future, long-term.
3 steps to scale up web scraping
1. Traffic profile
You need to define the traffic profile first to determine the concrete needs of your project. What is a traffic profile?
It includes, first of all, the websites that you're trying to get data from. And also if there are any technical challenges needed to be solved, like JS rendering.
The traffic profile also includes the volume, meaning how many requests do you want to or need to make per hour or per day. Also, do you have any specific time window for the requests, like, for example, you want to make all your requests only during work hours, for some reason. Or is it okay to get the data at night, when there's significantly less traffic hitting the site.
Then the last thing in the traffic profile is geo-locations. Because sometimes the website displays different content depending on where you are. So you need to use proxies that are in that specific region you need.
So these three elements together make the traffic profile: websites, volume, and geo-locations. Now, with these, you can determine the exact proxy situation that you need a solution for.
2. Proxy pool
The next step to scale up is to get a proxy pool. Based on the traffic profile, now you can estimate
- How many proxies you will need
- Where those proxies should be located
- The type of the proxies (data center or residential)
You can get access to proxies directly from proxy providers, or through a proxy management solution as well. The drawback of getting proxies directly from providers -and not through a management solution - is that you need to do the managing yourself. There are a lot of things you need to look out for if you go with a provider that doesn’t provide management of proxies.
3. Proxy management
The final step is proxy management. Because it's not enough to have just a proxy pool. You also need to use proxies efficiently. For example, some features that our smart proxy rotating network has to manage proxies and maximize their value:
- intelligent proxy rotation
- automatic header management
- geolocation based on your needs
- maintaining sessions
But either you're using Zyte Proxy Manager (formerly Crawlera), or you create your own proxy management solution there are some key points to focus on if you want long-term scalability.
First of all, make proxy management a priority. Because if you're extracting data at scale, most probably, you will not have issues with parsing HTML and writing the spider. But you WILL have issues with proxies. That's why it needs to be a priority.
Then, if you are managing your own proxies, it's important to keep the proxy pool clean and healthy. If you use a proper management service, it's not a problem, as that handles it for you.
Finally, my last point is to be nice and respectful to websites. Ultimately, it is a huge factor when scaling a web scraping project. You don't want to hit websites too hard and you need to make sure you follow the website's rules.
But again, if you're using a management tool, you will have a much easier time with proxies because everything is taken care of under the hood, you just need to send requests and extract the data.