Web scraping is a hot topic due to the rising demand for big data. Businesses today are looking for information to help them make informed decisions. Web scrapping is a lucrative business, but there are many challenges web scrappers must overcome, such as IP blocking.
What is Web Scraping?
Web scraping is the process of retrieving data from a website. Web scrapers can save you time and make it easier to extract data manually. Web scrapers have the primary advantage of automating large amounts of data to help businesses make better decisions and improve customer service.
What Does Web Scraping Do?
Two elements make up web scraping: the web crawler and scraper. Although the terms are often used interchangeably, they serve different purposes.
This software tool extracts data by using actionable information. After the process is completed, the scraper stores data in its databases.
Crawlers search the web by using keywords to find information. The crawler then indexes what it finds.
How websites prevent users from scraping their data?
Different methods are used by website owners to prevent users from scraping their data. Here are some examples:
Websites often use CAPTCHAs to verify that someone is actually visiting their site. They come in many sizes and types; they can be used to identify images or solve simple math problems. They can be difficult for bots to use because the verification process requires human thinking. Websites will display CAPTCHAs for suspicious IP addresses that you might use when you browse the internet.
You can use CAPTCHA-solving service to bypass this. You can also use a proxy service to request access the target website from a large number of IPs. No matter what method you choose, the CAPTCHA puzzle won’t stop your data being extracted.
Placing Honeypot Traps
Site owners can use honeypot traps to protect their site from scrapers. They are often implemented in the HTML code as unidentifiable hyperlinks. Web scrapers are the only ones who can see honeypot traps. The website will block requests from the IP if a scraper tries to access the link. Before extracting your data, it is important to check for hidden links.
A request header contains a string identifying the browser, its version and the user’s operating system. Every time you access information on the internet, the browser assigns a unique user agent to each request. Ant-scraping systems can identify your bot if it requests a lot of information from one user agent, and then block it. You can prevent this by having a list with user agents that you can change whenever you request. This is because no site will block legitimate users.
Multiple requests sent from the same IP indicate that you are automating HTTP(s). Site owners can block your web crawlers by reviewing their server log files. Site owners often use different rules to identify bots. A blocked IP can be triggered if you make more than 100 requests in one hour.
Use a rotating proxy to avoid this. This will hide your IP address so you can easily scrape the internet. There are many web scraping services in Canada, and other countries you can use.
Web Scraping Best practices
These are the best practices to follow when scraping the internet.
Headless browsers allow you to quickly extract data from websites since you don’t have to open the user interface manually.
Please respect the site rules
Sites use robot.txt to inform crawlers which files or pages they can access and which ones are not. It contains information about how often you can scrape. They will block you if they find out that you are asking for too many requests or breaking the rules.
For entrepreneurs who need to collect data frequently, proxy servers are a great solution. They can also help you manage complex blocks and prevent fingerprints from being left while accessing geo-restricted sites.
Proxy services can be a great way to overcome anti-scraping restrictions. To avoid being blocked from accessing your data, you should follow the rules. Your web scraping skills and expertise will determine the deployment method you choose.