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Five tips for web scraping

tips for web scraping

Web scraping can be challenging, given popular sites’ techniques and strategies to prevent developers from scraping their website. The most common of them is IP address detection. Many big sites have IP address detection tools that block suspicious IP addresses from scraping their websites. Some other techniques to stop bots from stealing their sites’ data are CAPTCHAs, HTTP request header checking, javascript checks, and much more.

Nonetheless, there are also tricks and tips to bypass such checks. In this article, we will discuss some of these scaping hacks that can help you scrape a website without getting blocked. But before that, let us know what web scraping is.

Let’s begin!

What is Web scraping?

Do you know how large amounts of data is extracted?

Web scraping is a process, usually automated, used to extract large amounts of data from websites. People use web scraping to either gather all the information/data from particular sites or specific data as per their requirements. Web scraping is usually done by companies and brands for data analysis, brand monitoring, and market research, in short, for their brands’ faster growth and development.

However, web scraping isn’t that easy to perform. Many times, there are issues of IP blocking and geo-restrictions. The reason behind these blocks is high security, which is in-built on many websites. Nonetheless, there are some handy scraping tips for web scraping. The most common of these tips is using residential IP proxy for higher security, besides many others.

Now let us look at the five most successful scraping tips for web scraping.

5 Tips for Web Scraping

Below is the list of 5 awesome scraping tips for web scraping.

  • Using Proxies: You can use different proxies to perform web scraping without getting your IP address blocked. There are chances of IP blocking when your IP address can be easily detected. Moreover, using one IP address to scrape websites makes it easier for websites to track your IP address and eventually block it. To solve this issue, you can use proxies that offer higher security. Proxies mask or hide your real IP address so that its detection becomes difficult. Also, proxies provide you with multiple IPs that you can use for web scraping. These IPs are from diverse locations, which in turn solves the problem of geo-blocking or geo-restrictions.

There are many different kinds of proxies. However, residential IP proxies are the best for web scraping as they are difficult to flag as proxies. Why? Residential proxies use IPs of residential users that can be traced back to actual physical locations. Hence, it becomes difficult for sites to identify them or ban them.

  • IP Rotation: What if you send all the requests for scraping from the same IP address? The answer is simple. Your IP address will easily get banned, as most websites have IP detection provisions. However, what if you use several different IPs for sending web scraping requests? In that case, it gets difficult for websites to trace so many different IPs at the same time. As a result, they are prevented from being banned.

IP rotation is used to switch between different IP addresses. There are rotational proxies for this purpose. Rotational proxies are automated proxies that switch your IP address every 10 minutes. As a result, you are able to perform web scraping without facing any restrictions of IP blocking.

  • Random Intervals between Data Requests: Setting random intervals between data requests is an extremely effective trick for performing web scraping. It is easier for websites to detect your IP address if you send data requests at fixed or regular intervals. However, your IP detection becomes difficult if you use web scrapers that can send randomized data requests.
  • Use Captcha Solving Service: You have to confirm your identity as a “human” before you can access it on many websites. For this purpose, sites use Captchas as the most common technique. Hence, it becomes vital to use Captcha solving services for scraping data from such sites. There are different services available for Captcha solving, such as narrow Captcha, Scraper API, and many more. You can choose a service that fits your budget.
  • Beware of Honeypots: Many websites use honeypots to prevent unauthorized use of their sites’ information. Honeypots are invisible links that are used to stop hackers and web scrapers from extracting data from websites. Hence, performing honeypot checks becomes crucial. Otherwise, you will be easily blocked.

Conclusion

It is extremely difficult to perform web scraping because of websites’ high security to prevent their sites’ data from extraction. However, with proper hacks and tricks, you can extract data from different websites without facing the issues of IP blocking and geo-restrictions. Using residential IP proxy is one of the most widely used strategies to prevent IP blocking. Besides using residential proxies, you can use Captcha solving services, perform honeypot checks, randomize your data requests, and try using IP rotation. Do try these tips for performing smart web scraping.

Author Bio:

Efrat Vulfsons is the Co-Founder of PR Soprano and a data-driven marketing enthusiast, parallel to her soprano opera singing career. Efrat holds a B.F.A from the Jerusalem Music Academy in Opera Performance.

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1 Comment

  1. Hi Efrat, I wasn’t aware of the meaning of web scraping but thanks to your article I now know the meaning. You have also provided some effective tips for web scraping in this article. Thank you for sharing such an informative article with us. It was a pleasure reading it. I will definitely share this article with my peers for their reference.

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