Crawl a Website Without Being Blocked

Obtaining structured data from publically available websites and pages should not be a problem because these websites are accessible to anybody with an internet connection. You should also be able to structure it. Though, it is not that simple to crawl a website without being blocked.

In this post, you will learn about the various ways a website might identify you as a bot rather than a human. We also offer our expertise in overcoming these obstacles and gaining access to publically available data.

What Are Anti-Bot Systems?

An anti-bot system prevents bots from accessing websites. These systems use a variety of methods to distinguish bots from people. The use of anti-bot measures can mitigate DDOS attacks, credential stuffing, and credit card theft.

However, in the case of ethical online scraping, you are not performing any of these. You just want to gain access to publically available data in the most pleasant manner possible. Scraping is the only option you have when a website does not provide an API.

Headless Browser

A headless browser is a web browser that does not have a graphical user interface. Software test engineers primarily use it since browsers without a graphical user interface run faster since they do not have to render visual information. Their ability to run on servers without GUI support is one of the most significant advantages of headless browsers. You can run it via the command line or through the network connection.

A headless browser is one of the supplementary tools for block-free web scraping. It enables the scraping of material loaded by rendering JavaScript components. Chrome and Firefox, the most popular web browsers, also feature headless modes.

Stay Away of JavaScript

Data buried within JavaScript elements is difficult to retrieve. JavaScript capabilities enable websites to customize content for users according to their activities. Search boxes display product pictures only after the user fills out some information.

Besides memory leaks, JavaScript can also create application instability and, in rare cases, complete crashes. Dynamic features may frequently become a hindrance. Unless required, avoid using JavaScript.

Don’t Scrape Images

Images are data-intensive items that are frequently copyright protected. Not only will this require more bandwidth and storage space, but it also poses a greater risk of infringing on another’s rights.

Furthermore, because pictures are data-heavy, they are frequently concealed in JavaScript components, increasing the complexity of the data gathering process and slowing down the web scraper itself. You would have to create a more complex scraping method to use it to extract pictures from JS components.

Use Tools to Solve CAPTCHAs

There would be few people who have never had to prove their humanity to a machine. Solving strange riddles using fire hydrants may appear to be an unusual approach to demonstrate consciousness. 

How can I get around CAPTCHAs when scraping? Use specialized CAPTCHA solution services or ready-to-use crawling tools to work around CAPTCHAs. Oxylabs’ data crawling technology, for example, solves CAPTCHAs for you and returns ready-to-use findings.

Avoid Honeypots

Honeypots are decoy systems that appear to be compromised to attract hackers. It is used to attract attackers while diverting their attention away from their intended targets. Often security teams use honeypots to find vulnerabilities by analyzing harmful behaviors.

A honeypot HTML link is invisible to regular users, but web scrapers can find it. Honeypots identify and prevent web crawlers because only robots would visit them. Setting up honeypots is not a common approach due to the effort involved. If your request is blocked and your crawler is discovered, your target may be utilizing honeypot traps.

Set the Right Fingerprint

A browser fingerprint is information that one can acquire about a computing device for identification. As such, any browser will provide highly precise data points to the linked website’s servers. For example, the operating system, language, plugins, typefaces, and hardware, to mention a few.

Anti-scraping techniques are becoming increasingly complex, and some websites identify bots using TCP or IP fingerprinting. TCP leaves several parameters while scraping the web. The operating system or device of the end-user determines these settings. If you want to crawl a website without being blocked, make sure your settings are constant.

Pay Attention to the User Agent

The user agent serves as a link between the user and the internet. Consider how inconvenient it would be if you had to provide information about your browser, operating system, software, and device type every time you visited a website. Surfing the internet would be extremely difficult and time-consuming. Browsers have user agents for this reason.

Servers are capable of detecting suspicious user agents. Users’ real-time user agents store the configurations of HTTP requests that they commonly make. Make sure your user agent appears organic to avoid bans. Every request made by a web browser includes a user agent, so you should change it frequently.

Use Rotating Proxies

It is critical to rotate your IP addresses while utilizing a proxy pool. If you submit too many requests from the same IP address, the target website will quickly recognize you as a threat and ban your IP address. Proxy rotation disguises you as a variety of different internet users, lowering your chances of receiving a ban.

When you rotate your IPs appropriately, you are simulating a genuine user’s online behavior. You can also get beyond most limitations and anti-scraping techniques implemented by public web servers. Using rotating proxies narrows down any IP blocks on your behalf substantially.

Conclusion

Hopefully, you have picked up a few valuable tips for scraping websites and avoiding bans. Even though basic things should suffice most of the time, you may need to use more complex approaches to acquire the data you need.

Using proxies and proxy management are, as previously said, the pillars of a robust web scraping project. Do you need a solution to make web scraping easier? Do you want to crawl a website without being blocked? Try Oxylabs’ Proxy Manager and Proxy Rotator.

About Helen Bold

Writer since I learned to write. Freelancer since I was born. Thinker since my past life. My Blog: ReducTot Medium profile: Helen Bold on Medium

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