Businesses differ according to sizes, location, product and services offered, and even their current market size.
But a straightforward entity links all companies together, and that is data. Data is the currency that all brands across the world share in common.
Regardless of its size or number of years in the market, a brand needs data in enormous amounts to succeed and grow. And because of how competitive the market has become, brands that fail to collect data regularly often end up being left behind. Some even collapse or fade out of existence.
There are several ways to collect this data, with some methods being more complicated than others. Web scraping is one of the best and most effective ways of gathering data. It involves using automated tools to interact with multiple websites and harvest the data they contain.
But this needs to be done cautiously and carefully to avoid getting blocked. Hence, in this article, we will quickly look at some of the best methods for web scraping without getting banned.
What is Web Scraping?
Web scraping is defined as using high-end technologies to simultaneously extract a large amount of data from different data sources.
The method includes software and computer programs such as proxy servers and web scraper APIs. The proxies are necessary to provide anonymity and protection during the exercise. They also help to clear any obstacles and challenges, such as geo-restrictions.
The scraping bots like a web scraper API is essential for interacting with the data sources and extracting their content. This happens automatically to prevent the repetitiveness and strain commonly associated with manual data extraction.
How Does Web Scraping Benefit Businesses?
Web scraping, as a process, can have a tremendous impact on a digital brand’s growth and overall success. Some of the benefits it offers businesses today include but are not limited to the following:
- Brand Protection
Securing your brand’s assets and reputation on the internet is becoming more critical. This is because it has become very easy for anyone from any part of the globe to steal your intellectual assets and infringe upon your copyrights.
Protecting these items involves regularly collecting data that mention your business or its assets.
Another way you can protect your brand is to monitor customers’ reviews and comments by gathering relevant data from multiple sources. You can then attend to pressing or negative feedback before they escalate into some significant stain on your brand reputation.
- Competitor Monitoring
One of the secrets to brand success is knowing what the competitors are doing at every turn. Knowing this can help you understand the best prices for certain products and services.
It can also help you decide the best way to reach new customers or break into a new market. To do this, you will need the many web crawling tools which you can use to access multiple competitors’ websites at once.
- Market and Sentiment Analysis
Web scraping can also study the market to create business intelligence and build the most efficient marketing strategies.
Data extraction can also collect reviews on products, product prices, supply and demand, and trends. These can be analyzed to understand the market and its factors better.
Understanding these can also allow the brand to know the sentiments of their consumers and work towards delivering better satisfaction.
- Lead Generation
Businesses must generate leads regularly to make sales. It is the leads and prospects generated that turn into paying subscribers.
Generating leads can be done in several ways, including gathering enormous data from competitors’ websites, search engines, and social media platforms.
Tips on How to Scrape Websites without Getting Blocked
Because websites and servers don’t like to share their content, they often set up measures that discourage scraping. These measures range from IP bans and CAPTCHA tests to location-based denials and geo-restrictions.
Fortunately, a few good tips can help you get past any blocking. Below are 10 of the most common:
- Always use proxies as they can easily conceal your IP and prevent blocking.
- As much as possible, use rotating IP addresses.
- Headless browsers also play a major role in preventing bans; use them as frequently as you can.
- Use unique web scraping tools such as web scraper API. Check Oxylabs’ website for more information.
- Always use a User-Agent from a major browser or use a real User-Agent if you are using a proxy.
- Allow intervals between each scraping exercise. Frequently crawling a website without breaks can earn you a permanent block.
- Use cache mechanisms when you can. They store information that you might not need to interact with a website for.
- Avoid honeypot traps, as they can block your web crawler if it follows the link.
- Change your scraping patterns more often and randomly.
- Try to scrape only during off-peak hours. The competition for server space is lesser at these times, and you are less likely to get blocked.
There are challenges when web scraping is involved, and it is easy for the target website to mount up a defense and block you from scraping.
But with the tips described above, you should scale past these defenses and scrape the data needed to grow your company.