Mon. Jun 27th, 2022

Bots, which are fast and accurate, automatically collect data. But in 2021, 27.7% of all global website traffic started from bad bots, while 14.6% came from good bots. With bad bots linked to issues such as scalping, account takeovers, account creation, unethical web scraping, credit card fraud, denial of service, and denial of inventory, web developers are increasingly wary of bots. As a result, they’ve included anti-scraping measures as part of their site codes. That said, there are ways you can still automate data collection. And in this article, we will describe 7 hexes.

Web scraping

Web scraping basically refers to the automated process of retrieving data from websites. Still, it can describe manual methods such as copy and paste, but in this context it is rarely used. Web data harvesting, also known as web data extraction, is done through web scraping bots / software, called web scrapers, who are trained to extract data from websites.

The benefits of web scraping

Web scraping offers access to data that enables businesses to:

  • Understand the market by identifying competitors and their products.
  • Eliminate price data and come up with competitive pricing strategies
  • Customize products and services according to customer needs
  • Retrieve users’ publicly available contact information for use in lead generation.
  • Develop search engine optimization (SEO) strategies that enable their websites to rank in the first entries on the search engine results pages (SERP).
  • Monitor the reputation of the brand by identifying it on news articles and analyzes.
  • Identify investment options.
  • Gain better insights that drive better, faster, and more confident decision-making

Simply put, web scraping offers competitive advantages. To learn more about how web scraping works, be sure to check out this page.

7 hexes for success in automated data collection

Here’s a breakdown of the key to success:

1. Use a headless browser.

A headless browser is a browser that sends without a graphical user interface (GUI). To run it, you’ll need to use a terminal or solution like Puppeteer specifically designed to control the browser. This type of browser has all the other features and functions of a normal browser, such as the ability to send user agents and headers. As such, its use prevents the web server from associating applications with boot or abnormal activity. Simply, without a head browser, it makes sense.

2. Use a proxy server.

A proxy or proxy server is an intermediary that interrupts requests initiated by the browser, assigns them a new IP address, and sends them to the target web server. That’s why they anonymize web traffic. For better chances, the proxy server should be used with Rotator, and this is our third hack.

3. Rotate IP addresses.

The rotating proxy or proxy rotator periodically changes the assigned IP address. As such, it limits the number of requests sent through the same IP address. In addition, rotation prevents IP from blocking. Sometimes, blacklisting covers the entire subnet, effectively making multiple IP addresses unusable.

4. Imitate human browsing behavior.

Web servers distinguish humans from bots using a variety of methods, one of which is to estimate the number of requests. In fact, a person can make a limited number of requests in just one minute. If this number exceeds the limit, it is likely that the boot is responsible. For this reason, it is important for Scraper to mimic human browsing behavior by limiting the number of requests per second, minute, or hour.

5. Go through the robots.txt file.

The robots.txt file outlines web pages that bots should not have access to – it describes the robots’ expulsion protocol. Thus, Scraper should be programmed on how to extract data from websites as well as how to extract data only from authorized web pages.

6. Use captcha solution.

Although proxy servers and routers solve hereditary problems, that’s all they can do. Therefore, it requires the use of captcha resolving services, which solve the puzzles that websites display when detecting unusual activity. These solutions improve your chances of success.

7. Find Honeypot Traps.

Some websites often include links that are not visible to humans but can be followed by bots. When access to this link is requested, the web server automatically knows that there is a boot behind the request. So, naturally, this will block the IP address associated with the boot. To avoid honeypot traps, use a scraper designed by a reputable service provider. Scraper has a number of features, including built-in proxies and headless browsers that help achieve this function.

Result

Automated web scraping can significantly benefit a business. But success is guaranteed only if you use certain points. In this article, we describe 7 hexes for success in automated data collection. These include the use of proxies, proxy rotators, headless browsers, and captcha-resolving tools, as well as beware of honeypot traps and mimicking human browsing behavior.

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