Web scraping is an important element in the modern digital era. With web scraping, you have a tool that allows you to collect big data and parse it accordingly. This helps you get accurate as well as current pieces of data. However, you need to get things right. Among other things, you should familiarize yourself with the dos and don’ts of web scrapping. The following guide contains everything web scrapping and some helpful tips. Keep reading.
Respect Other Site Users
Respect is important when it comes to web scraping. Thus, when scrapping data, respect others. This includes the target site and other users. In particular, carefully read the robot.txt file. It will help you determined the pages that can be scrapped and those that cannot. Among other things, you will also understand the frequency at which you are required to scrape those pages.
It’s also important to respect other site users. Remember, intensive site scrapping can burden then bandwidth. This can make it difficult for other uses to use that website and lead to poor user experience. Remember, if you don’t abide by the rules, your IP address can be blocked.
Consider Simulating the Human Behavior
Web scrapping collects data faster than when done manually. However, it’s important to conduct the process slowly to avoid hurting others. Remember, a site administrator will monitor the scrapping speed. If your speed is high, you might be blocked. So, don’t do things like a machine. Instead, consider simulating human behavior when it comes to scrapping data.
Know When You Have Been Blocked
While other sites don’t have problems when it comes to web scraping, most of them don’t like being scrapped. In fact, most of these have put in place anti-scraping mechanisms. Thus, if they suspect that you are scraping data from their sites, they will automatically block you. In most cases, you should know when you are blocked. Receiving the 403 error code means that you have been blocked. Also, receiving fake data is a sign that you have been blocked. Some sites will voluntarily send you fake data. So, record logs. Monitor how the site responds. Short response time is unusual. It means that you have been blocked.
Don’t Get Blocked Again
Sites have their ways when it comes to spotting regular site visitors. They have special tools for reading users’ agents. Thus, they will monitor your activates and other details—including versions, device type, page of origin, etc. And if you don’t have an agent, you will be labeled as a bot. That’s why you should rotate between agents to avoid being monitored. Don’t use old and obsolete versions. It will create suspicions. Try this web scraping API for premium results.
Leverage the Power of IP Rotation
If you are using a web scraper, you need to know how these scrapers get caught. The top way that websites detect web scrapers is by examining IP addresses. Therefore, if you want to use your web scraper without getting blocked, you need to use a different IP address every time. If you want to avoid sending all of your requests through the same IP address, then take advantage of an IP rotation service. This will route your requests through a series of different IP addresses instead of using the same one every time, allowing you to use the majority of websites without any problems.
Take Advantage of Residential or Mobile Proxies
There are even some websites out there that use proxy blacklists. This might make it hard to use IP rotation. In this situation, you can use residential or mobile proxies. These proxies will provide you with access to even more IP addresses. Given that there are only so many IP addresses in the world and most people only get one, having access to as many as 1 million IP addresses can make it easier to get your web scraper through these blockers.
Set Other Request Headers
Real web browsers have countless headers that are used to block your web scraper. You need to take steps to make your scraper look like a real browser. This is where you can set your own headers to make it appear as though your requests are coming from a real browser. That way, you won’t get your web scraper blocked. Some of the popular headers that you might want to use include “Accept”, “Accept-Language”, “Accept-Encoding”, and even “Upgrade-Insecure-Requests”. Combining these headers with other tools listed above can help you avoid detection.
Additional tips include:
- Use a headless browser
- Consider using correct proxies as well as tools
- Consider building a web crawler
Web scraping is the process of collecting and parsing accurate pieces of data. Even more, web scraping offers a myriad of benefits. However, to get the most out of web scrapping, you need the above tips and tricks. From respecting other website users to avoiding being banned, these are the tips that’ll help you do web scraping like a pro.