Web scraping is a very well-known way of gathering data from various sources. You probably won’t encounter any difficulties if you scrape minor websites.
However, when you attempt web scraping on some major websites, such as Google, you might discover that your requests are ignored, or your IP may even be blocked.
We will go through some methods to scrape data from the web without getting yourself blocked in this article.
What Is Web Scraping?
Web scraping is the method of using bots to scrape data and information from a website.
Web scraping is the automatic collection of structured web data. Alternatively, it is known as “web data extraction.” For example, you can use web scraping for pricing, news, lead creation, and market research.
For the most part, individuals and companies use data scraping to make better decisions based on the massive amounts of publicly accessible web data.
You have already done the same thing as a web scraper, even if you have merely copied and pasted information from a web page once.
Scraping data from the internet’s limitless expanse does not need tedious, mind-numbing human labor but relies on sophisticated technology.
What Is API?
An API or application programming interface is a collection of protocols and processes to gain data access in an application, operating system, or other services.
Web Scraping API
You can extract data from any website using web scraping tools. However, APIs allow you to access the information you need directly.
Web scraping API retrieves data from an application, website, or operating system. Because of this, APIs are dependent on the dataset’s owner.
You can access the data for free, but sometimes you might have to pay for it. The owner can also restrict how much data a user can access or how many queries they can make at a time.
How to Scrape Without Getting Blocked
Here are a few methods to scrape the web without getting blacklisted or blocked by a website.
1.Avoid Image Scraping
Images are large, data-intensive files that are often copyrighted. As a result, there is a greater chance of violating someone else’s rights and using more storage space.
You will need an advanced scraping method to extract photos from the JS components.
2. Use Captcha Solving Service
Web crawlers have a significant problem when trying to decipher CAPTCHAs. To verify that users are, in fact, human, several websites require them to solve a variety of riddles. It is becoming more difficult for computers to decipher the graphics used in CAPTCHAs.
Is there a way around CAPTCHAs in scraping? The best way to get through them is to use dedicated CAPTCHA solving services.
3.Crawl During Off-peak Hours
Rather than reading the text on a website, most crawlers scan the page in rapid sequence.
Unrestrained web-crawling tools will thus have a more significant impact on server traffic than the average Internet user. As a result, crawling during peak periods may lead to a poor user experience owing to service lags.
There is no one-size-fits-all strategy for crawling a website, but selecting off-peak hours is a solid starting point.
4.Identify Website Changes
Scrapers often malfunction due to the frequent layout changes that occur on many popular websites.
The design of different websites will also vary from one to the next. Even major corporations with a low level of technological sophistication may fall victim to this.
When you are developing your scraper, you need to be able to identify these changes and keep an eye on your crawler to ensure it is still running.
As an alternative, you may provide monitoring for a single URL by writing a unit test. A few queries every 24 hours or so will help you keep tabs on breaking changes to the site without going through a complete crawl.
5. Use Different Patterns
People use random clicks and views when they explore the web. However, web scraping generally maintains the same crawl pattern since programmed bots do it.
Anti-scraping techniques can quickly identify scraping activity on a page to detect a crawler.
Adding random clicks, mouse motions, or waiting time may help make web scraping seem more like human activity.
6.Use Headless Browsers
To scrape the web without being blocked, you may use a headless browser as an extra tool. Other than the fact that it does not have a graphical user interface (GUI), it is like any other browser.
7.Avoid Honeypot Traps
HTML “honeypots” are nothing more than hidden links. Organic users cannot see these links, but site scrapers can. So honeypots are deployed to detect and stop scrapers.
People rarely use honeypots since they need time and effort to set up. But if you see the message “request denied” or “crawlers are discovered,” be aware that your target may be using honeypot traps.
8.Apply Proxy Rotation
Using a proxy pool necessitates regularly changing your IP address. The target website will block your IP address if you submit too many requests from that IP address. To avoid being banned, use a proxy rotation service.
A proxy rotation service will rotate/change your IP address at frequent intervals.
9.Implement Proxy Servers
When a site detects several requests from a single IP address, it will quickly block the IP address. To avoid sending all of your requests through the same IP address, you can use proxy servers.
A proxy server is a server that acts as an intermediary for requests from clients seeking resources from other servers.
It allows you to send requests to websites using the IP you set up, masking your actual IP address.
Of course, if you use a single IP set up in the proxy server, it is still easy to get blocked. So instead, you need to create a pool of IP addresses and use them randomly to route your requests through different IP addresses.
10.Put Random Intervals
Web scrapers make precisely one request every second. An evident pattern like this is immediately noticeable since no actual person would ever use a website like that.
To prevent being banned, develop a web scraper that uses randomized delays. If you notice that your queries are becoming more delayed, you should take precautions while sending them.
Sending too many requests too quickly might cause the website to crash for everyone. To avoid overloading the server, cut down the rate of your requests.
11. Beware of Robots Exclusion Protocol
Ensure your target website accepts data collection from their page before crawling or scraping it. Check the robots.txt file and follow the rules of the website.
Even if a web page explicitly permits crawling, do it with care and without causing damage. For example, crawl at off-peak hours and use a delay between requests from the same IP address.
12.Scrape the Google Cache
You can also scrape data from Google’s cached copy of any website. It is helpful for non-time-sensitive materials that are difficult to scrape from a difficult-to-access source.
Although scraping from Google’s cache is more dependable than scraping a site that actively blocks your scrapers, note that this is not a foolproof method.
13.Do Not Overload
Most web scraping services aim to collect data as quickly as possible. However, when a human visits a site, the browsing will be much slower than what happens with web scraping.
Therefore, it is easy for a site to catch you by tracking your access speed as a scraper. It will automatically block you if it detects that the scraper moves through the web pages too fast.
So do not overload the site. It is possible to limit concurrent page access to only one or two pages at a time by delaying subsequent requests by a random amount of time.
Web servers can identify browsers and OS systems based on an HTTP header request’s user agent (UA).
A user-agent is included in every request performed by a web browser. Therefore, you will be blocked if you make an unusually high number of requests using a user agent.
Rather than relying on a single user-agent frequency, try switching to a different one.
Do not worry about being banned when scraping public info. Instead, be aware of honeypot traps and ensure that your browser settings are correct.
Use reliable proxies and handle websites with care while scraping them for the most part. The data scraping process will then go smoothly. As a result, you will be able to utilize the most up-to-date information to grow your company. Best of luck!
Marziano is a seasoned tech expert with over 15 years of experience in the industry. Holding a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and multiple certifications, including CompTIA A+, Network+, and Cisco’s CCNA, he has a well-rounded and robust understanding of various aspects of technology.