With the rising need to collect vast amounts of accurate information, web scraping crawlers are becoming extremely common. Sites are catching on and implementing their own firewalls to block your data extraction efforts.
How does my target website know I am data mining?
This is mostly due to cookies, the browser user-agent, and your IP.
When web scraping/crawling your target website, the website saves cookies on your browser. The website recognizes a real browser by reading the request headers which include information about the user-agent. It also pays attention to the number of requests sent per IP, per minute. A crawler allows you to make many requests at a much faster rate than a human, which your target website will detect. Too many requests, a lack of cookies and/or an incorrect user-agent will trigger a website to provide an error response, print out misleading information or block you completely.
How do I avoid being detected while web scraping?
This can be avoided by programming the user-agent header (comprised of the browser type and version) to be seen as a real browser while maintaining the session cookies throughout the same session. When beginning a new session, clear the cookies and start again.
However, the most important aspect when avoiding detection is your IP address.
Your IP address is the one thing that can’t be coded as it is part of the network infrastructure.
To mimic a real-user, you need to limit the number of requests per IP. This is done by continuously rotating the IP address and is easily done using Bright Data’s Proxy Network. Not only the largest residential network in the world, but it also has the first Proxy Manager offering built-in automated proxy manipulations based on your specifications.
By properly managing your cookies, user-agent and IP you can avoid getting captchas, being blocked or fed misleading information by a target website while web scraping.