Jun 15, 2020 06:32 PM EDT
Location-Based Web Scraping 101
The internet is swarming with loads and loads of information that no human can go through in a lifetime. And it's not the access to all this data that matters - it's finding a scalable way to gather, organize, and analyze it.
The best way to do that is web scraping, or in this case - location-based web scraping. It helps any internet user and business automatically extract all relevant data to the specific location in the preferred format. Web scraping can be used in a wide range of situations, but we'll stick with geolocation web scraping.
Location-based website variations
Any internet-connected device has its own longitudinal and latitudinal location, also known as geolocation. Each electronic medium that attempts to establish a connection with the internet is bound to a particular location.
Location-based websites use geolocation data to find out all they need about their visitors, including their location. If you want to find out the location of a specific website, you can do the same.
Depending on the country they operate in, the majority of companies use location-based website variations. These variations are the clones of their original, main website that operate in different locations under local regulations.
The reasons why these variations exist are many. In terms of business, geolocation helps companies in many different ways. It helps improve online experiences for visitors.
For example, if a delivery food chain plans on expanding to a new location, they can use geolocation to find out how many people know about them in that location. Companies can significantly improve their marketing and website experience with the use of geolocation.
They need these variations to attract local target audiences. In this case, geolocated web scraping helps these businesses extract the useful data they need to make the expansion to a new location successful.
Examples of popular websites with geolocation variations
Geolocation isn't limited to the location of the site visitor but to a locality, city, or region. If you use IP geolocation, you won't need the user's consent because it won't give you the exact location of the user.
However, IP geolocation can help a business improve the consumer experience. Here are three examples of popular websites with geolocation variations.
AliExpress is the ultimate website for worldwide sales. So, if you try to access this website from Canada, you'll be automatically redirected to a Canadian version of the website. The system will automatically show you the cost of the goods and delivery in a local currency, by using IP geolocation.
There is no bigger or better search engine than Google. Just like with AliExpress, a Canadian user will see their Google version targeted for Canadian audience. The moment they type in Google, IP geolocation does its thing and shows the Canadian version of the popular search engine. The same goes for all search queries.
If you need a price comparison service in your region, geolocation can help by showing the most convenient price comparison service in your region. Yandex market uses geolocation to find out where the user sending request is located, and it shows the local version of the website.
The user simply types in the product of interest in the bar. The service will automatically show the wanted item in their region.
How scrappers help you get access to all variations
By using geolocation web scraping techniques, you can get access to all website variations available on the internet. Let's say that you're interested in an American website that operates in Canada.
To scrape their Canadian version of a website, you'll need a geolocated web scraper that is located in Canada. If there is more than one variation of a website per one location, you can use a rotating Canadian proxy to scrape all website versions by their separate locations.
Why businesses use geolocation scrapping
Businesses leverage geolocation scraping to gather valuable data that help deliver the ultimate site experience to each visitor. It's much easier to appeal to any target audience if you know where it comes from.
You can use that data to tailor the website experience to fit your visitors better. If you plan on appealing to a new audience outside of your country, geolocation scrapping helps you:
Translate your site into the local language
Offer hyper-relevant experience by targeting your ads
Auto-populate form fields to streamline tasks
Aside from all the aforementioned, geolocation also helps deliver useful data to visitors. It helps show stores, ads, and events near their location, and more.
Location-based web scraping helps any small business improve lead generation, find new ways to beat the competition, increase profit, and provide exceptional customer experience to consumers in their own region. It also helps companies find out everything relevant to their line of work and industry in the targeted area.
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