Four reasons you are getting blocked while web scraping

Technology

Technology

The internet has become a labyrinth of data that includes a vast and intricate network of information. Because of its complex nature, it has become harder to find what you are looking for. However, we have also developed various methods to help with the search. The most common way people collect data from the internet is called Data Mining or Data Scraping. 

You can extract any data from websites using scraping software that helps you to access the web directly using the HTTP in your web browser. People usually perform data scraping with the help of automation software or a web crawler when there are a high number of webpages to be scrapped. These tools or bots will gather the data you require and save it on your computer in the form of a spreadsheet. 

There are different free scraping tools available in the market that you can use without worrying about getting blocked. But to ensure that you don’t get blocked while scraping, you must avoid certain practices that can usually get you blocked. Some of these reasons are:

Not rotating the IPs often

Using the same IP is one of the easiest ways for you to get caught by anti-scraping mechanisms. If you continue using the same IP for every request you make, you will get blocked by the website. 

To avoid this, you should try to use new IP every time you put in a request. To do this accurately, you must create a pool of at least ten different IPs or proxies for web scraping

There are several proxy rotating services that you can use to rotate IPs, or you can create an IP manually with the help of python coding. Some websites have advanced bot detection tools that will detect a change in IP. 

In such cases, you have to use mobile or residential proxies for web scraping. You can also use different proxy tools, giving you access to millions of proxies that you can use to scrape the internet successfully. 

Using the wrong types of proxies for web scraping

The main reason to use proxies for web scraping is to hide your scraper’s IP address to avoid getting blacklisted. There are numerous advantages of using proxies, such as :

  • It can help mask your scraper’s IP address.
  • You can avoid websites from blocking your IP.
  • You can bypass the target site’s limits.

However, it is vital to choose the right type of proxy for your scraper, as using the wrong proxy might not get you the data you are looking for. There are three types of proxies that you can use, public, dedicated, or shared. Dedicated proxies are best for web scraping as only you have access to servers, bandwidth, and servers of that proxy. 

Shared proxies are cheaper, but other users also have access to them. If other users are also scrapping the internet using the same proxy, the chance of websites blocking you increases. 

Public proxies are the worst kind of proxy you can use because anyone on the internet has access to that proxy, which can cause a leak in data. Also, as several users are using this proxy simultaneously, it can become slow and unreliable. 

Not setting any browser fingerprint

Websites can identify scrapers using three identifiers, IP address, Fingerprint, and Cookies. A scrapper can bypass all three identifiers. However, if you are trying to scrape the internet manually, you must set up a secure fingerprint for your browser. 

Anti-scraper tools smartly link your browser’s fingerprint with its IP address and connect it with a cookie. This allows the tools to detect IP address changes and quickly block your browser. 

This browser fingerprint stores much information about your computer. It can tell the anti-scraper tool about your browser name, version, and even the windows you are running it on. 

These tools save all this information, and even if you delete cache and cookies in your browser, they can identify your browser and block it again. 

Scraping the data too fast

Humans and bots scrape the internet at different speeds. Bots can quickly scrape over the internet for data, whereas humans take time to do the same. Making quick and unnecessary requests on a website can mark your IP address with a red flag. 

If the website has an anti-scraper mechanism, your IP address and browser can get blocked if you put in too many requests in less time. 

To avoid this, add sleep timers on the bot between scraping processes to appear more human. 

Conclusion

Many businesses have now included web scraping into their business strategies to analyze information, check on their competition, or monitor online conversations on specific topics. 

However, you must be careful while performing data scraping. There are specific steps that can get you blocked from different websites you are trying to scrape. Most websites do not have any anti-scraping security on their websites, but some do, which can get your IP blacklisted.

To avoid getting your browser and IP addresses blocked, avoid following these practices. Use multiple and correct proxies for web scraping, manage your browser fingerprint, and program your bot to take breaks to avoid scraping too fast. 

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