Public data is ubiquitous. It is generated by different segments of users the world over. For companies operating in any sector, such data presents a boon and is, in fact, linked with benefits such as the ability to grow by targeting a wider pool of customers drawn from disparate parts of the world. But even though public data is ubiquitous, it is sometimes hidden behind the veil of geo-restriction. This fact, coupled with the benefits that abound from accessing and utilizing public data generated by customers, who are drawn from various countries, shows why you should access geo-restricted content. And in this article, we will detail 5 reasons you should pursue such content.
What is Geo-Restriction?
Also known as geo-blocking, geo-restriction refers to the practice whereby websites limit access to their content based on geographical boundaries. This practice means that these sites provide information or content to visitors in specific countries. They achieve this by analyzing IP addresses, identifying HTTP or HTTP requests’ country of origin. They then block requests that carry IP addresses from certain locations originating from accessing specific content or the web server altogether.
Benefits of Geo-Restriction
While geo-blocking may inconvenience parties that want to access and view certain content, including businesses, it may benefit companies that practice it. The benefits of geo-restriction include:
- Geo-restriction is an avenue through which firms safeguard their content from intellectual property infringement. This is especially so if they are not licensed to operate in the given country.
- Geo-blocking ensures that companies market their services or products to the desired target audiences. As a result, geo-restriction helps these companies to avoid wasting unnecessary time and money.
Disadvantages of Geo-Blocking
While beneficial, geo-blocking is disadvantageous. In particular, it blocks the reach of companies, in effect curtailing their growth in other jurisdictions. Further, it also prevents other firms from accessing public data on pricing, contact information, products, and more that may be instrumental to their growth. This second disadvantage has given rise to the need to bypass geo-restriction. In fact, companies that access geo-restricted data may benefit in many ways, as detailed below.
5 Reasons Why You Should Access Geo-Restricted Content
Your company stands to benefit in many ways if you access geo-blocked information stored on websites. There are five reasons that highlight these benefits. These include:
- Ad verification
- Competition monitoring and analysis
- Price monitoring
- Reputation and brand monitoring
- Lead generation
Ad verification refers to the practice of confirming whether your ads are being displayed in the agreed-upon format. It also enables you to verify the websites that display your ads. For example, some sites may not align with your brand. Ad verification, therefore, becomes an avenue through which you can ensure that advertisers do not display your advertising via such websites.
Competition Monitoring and Analysis
You can acquire important information such as the different competitors in a new market. Such data may prove beneficial, especially if you intend to expand your operations into other countries.
Accessing geo-blocked pricing information lets you in on information such as how your competitors have priced their goods. This is particularly important if you intend to set up shop in that country.
Reputation and Brand Monitoring
You need to know what people write about your brand to identify negative feedback and act accordingly to prevent the experiences described therein. When websites limit access to this feedback through geo-restriction, it may adversely impact your brand. Thus, using residential proxies and other technologies to bypass geo-blocking is a surefire way to monitor and maintain your brand.
You can gather contact information that may help you bring in new customers by accessing geo-blocked data.
You can access geo-restricted content using proxy servers or Virtual Private Networks (VPNs). And although VPNs accomplish this task, they are slow because they encrypt the data before tunneling it to the exit node. In this regard, proxies are preferred, but not all types of proxies are ideal for this task.
Principally, a proxy is a computer that intercepts communication between a web client and web servers. It subsequently anonymizes traffic originating from the former by assigning one or multiple new IP addresses, depending on the proxy type. Various proxies assign different IP addresses.
For instance, residential proxies assign IP addresses that belong to Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and are associated with real users. In this regard, residential proxies are rarely blocked by web servers. They are also fast and very reliable, although this comes at a premium.
Companies use residential proxies in applications that require reliability, speed, and a reduced likelihood of getting blocked. Bypassing geo-restriction is one such use case.
Geo-blocking limits access to certain information. At the same time, however, accessing this data using technologies such as residential proxies can present numerous benefits to your business. Such advantages include reputation, price, and competition monitoring, lead generation, and ad verification.