Right now, data gathering is king in the marketing and scaling of online businesses. It differentiates an effectively run business that will scale from one that will struggle. At the heart of all these is the Python programming language. Python was made easy because of the number of tools and libraries available to python developers to scrape data without worrying about low-level details.
While Puppeteer is powerful and can get some work done, combining it with multiple proxies turns it into a wrecking ball. One that you can redirect to whichever part of the internet you want to gather business information from without a risk of getting banned. The rest of this article will explore what proxies are and how they add a cape to the already established superpowers of Puppeteer.
What Are Proxies?
Imagine yourself in need of some competitor price-data analysis. It is impractical to visit every product listing page on Amazon to compare the data and record them. Also, if you automate this task with high-level software like Puppeteer, the server will note the unorthodox requests from the same IP address and ban that address.
This is the puzzle proxies solve for you; they are computer hardware and software that serves as the conduit for your requests. The waiters, if you wish, collect your orders and take them to the chefs in the kitchen (target server.) When your order is ready, they collect it from the server and hand it back to you. They do all these without compromising your original location or internet protocol (IP) address.
Main Features Of A Proxy
- Protects your privacy on the internet
- Improves the security of your local network
- It could be considered to deliver geo-targeted adverts.
- Has its own IP address
- Helps filter encrypted data
Why You Might Want To Use Puppeteer
You could automate anything you can manually do inside a browser on Puppeteer! This makes it faster and more efficient while eliminating most human errors. The commonest easy-to-use examples include:
- Crawl websites with pre-rendered (server-side-rendered) content to gather business data.
- Automate form submission, User Interface testing, and keyboard inputs.
- Convert thousands of your favorite blog posts into screenshots and PDFs.
- Capture a screenshot of the current state of your website to diagnose future performance and user interface changes.
Some Possible Use Cases Of Puppeteer proxy
Okay, playing around with some functionalities and creating beautiful hacks like PDFs of your favorite blog posts is fun. While this could make a great read for a long flight, it still hasn’t fulfilled the promise we made earlier about creating a disruption in the business world.
- Price Monitoring: Let us get started with the problem we introduced earlier, fluctuation in product prices. These prices change multiple times in a day. Some research has even put this as high as thousands of times daily during the festive period. You need a price-tracking and monitoring solution to give you an edge over your competitors.
- Market research: While Puppeteer can get you automated access to web pages, regarding market research, you will need lots of data to sieve through. Servers are configured to ban an IP address when they notice irregular and eccentric data requests from them. This is why you may run into CAPTCHAs, geo-restrictions, and IP blocks when you use puppeteer without a proxy.
- Monitor website changes: We mentioned how you could use Puppeteer to create a snapshot of your webpage’s HTML codes which you can compare with recently scrapped data for performance analysis. You can extend this functionality to your competitors’ websites. With this move, you can keep a watchful eye on the changes your competitor makes. This allows you to adjust your listing to stay an inch ahead of the crowd.
- Review Monitoring: Responding to your customers can improve your search engine ranking and your brand’s online reputation while getting you closer to your marketing goals. However, it is a boring and time-consuming task, which you can automate using a Puppeteer proxy.
To Wrap Up
Developers gravitate towards their sweet spots; it is the duty of business owners and business analysts to keep them on their toes. So, if your team wants to build your company’s stack on the Puppeteer library, ensure you add proxies to the mix. The combination allows you to get more done without risking the geo-location bans, CAPTCHAs, and IP block that comes with plain data scraping.