It is no secret that a large number of businesses and people are engaged in data extraction nowadays. Data mining activities can be quite large-scale and require private dedicated servers. The value of the worldwide data scraping market exceeded $2 billion in 2019 and is predicted to more than double by 2027.
The market for data scraping software alone was worth $421 million in 2019, but by 2030, it will be close to $1.7 billion. So it’s obvious that data extraction is a growing field. Businesses could object to the idea of having their data taken, but there is a good probability that they are also gathering data from competitors.
Getting banned is one issue with data scraping, though. Even though it can just seem like a little nuisance, blacklisting will hinder or stop data extraction. How then can you efficiently scrape data without being discovered and barred?
Why do businesses use data scraping?
Businesses now use data to inform more choices than ever before. Additionally, data is now easier to access than ever before. even the information from rivals.
It is necessary to conduct data analysis and research in order to make wise business judgments in a cutthroat industry. Data management and collection are expensive and time-consuming processes. Data scraping, on the other hand, provides a quick and efficient approach to gather substantial amounts of data from other websites.
In the US alone, the ecommerce business was valued $600 billion in 2021. Just consider how much information about sales, prices, and products is available on all those related websites. You could easily gather a tonne of information if you focused on relevant websites for data scraping, which may be leveraged to offer firms an advantage over their rivals.
Typical applications for data collecting include:
- Social interaction
- SEO monitoring
- Price contrast
- Collection of content
Data extraction enables the study of the competition, the creation of a more effective business plan, and enhanced marketing. Price comparison is one of the main justifications for data scraping, according to proxy corporations, and retail businesses frequently employ this tactic. But as Proxyempire notes, without a trustworthy proxy, you risk getting blacklisted.
Why do companies blacklist and ban scrapers?
Businesses safeguard their data as if it were gold, even though it is frequently more precious. One of the most typical forms of web scraping is content extraction. Website owners invest a lot of effort and study into creating compelling content that is effective and search engine optimised.
Therefore, it might be annoying when a competing website just copies all the material to create new pages for itself. In order to publish original content on another website in the hopes of boosting traffic and boosting conversions, it is practically stolen.
Web scraping is thought to be responsible for up to 2% of online income losses, with content scraping being one of the worst examples. Therefore, suspicious traffic will be flagged if security measures like site analytics tools or an engineer notice it. IP addresses may be blacklisted and prohibited as a result of this.
What are the benefits and risks of data scraping?
The ability to gather enormous amounts of precise data quickly and at a minimal cost may be the largest advantage of web scraping. With 1,000 concurrent IPs running and requests taking only a few seconds each, it is possible to scrape a large number of web pages quickly.
The following sectors use web scraping the most because it offers useful data:
- Retail and online sales
- advertisement and marketing
- Real Estate
Web scraping is most frequently used and advantageous in these sectors, and even hedge funds are utilising it to gain a strategic advantage. More advantages include the ability to use data mining to monitor competition prices and modify your offerings accordingly.
The benefits of web scraping
This kind of data collection has the benefit of being largely lawful. You won’t be breaking any laws as long as you don’t start attempting to obtain sensitive information or starting poking around in a business’s intellectual property.
By using web scraping, you can maintain your company’s competitiveness. By observing how your competitors use keywords and title tags, you may improve your SEO. Web scraping can be used to find sales opportunities and gather contact information for potential customers.
The risks of data scraping
Data scraping’s most frequent issue is having your IP address blacklisted and blocked. Anyone who is flagged and therefore unable to access particular websites may find this inconvenient.
If a home user attempts to create too many Facebook profiles, for example, it may occur. Facebook regularly looks for bogus accounts, and in 2021, it removed almost 1.3 billion of them. Your IP may be blacklisted if your behaviour appears suspicious.
As was previously noted, online scraping is typically lawful, although several companies have attempted to argue against this. HiQ Labs was accused of collecting user data, and earlier this year LinkedIn lost another appeal.
It would seem that utilising scraping tools to obtain data that is freely available to the public is not illegal. But if you’re discovered, you’ll undoubtedly be put on a blacklist.
How can you avoid getting blacklisted when web scraping?
You must first conceal your real IP address in some way if you want to avoid detection. The secret to avoiding being blacklisted is anonymity. You have a few tools and choices at your disposal to achieve this. Web scrapers frequently choose VPNs and proxy services.
Your data can be protected if you choose the correct search engine. For instance, DuckDuckGo doesn’t log IP addresses, yet many users prefer to utilise a VPN to increase their level of security.
When surfing websites, a reliable VPN will increase your level of security, and home users utilise them frequently. A VPN is installed and used by more than 20% of online users.
VPNs offer encryption and hide the user’s IP address. They can also be used to change regions, giving the user the impression that they are somewhere else.
A proxy will likewise mask the user’s IP, but it will assign a new IP address rather than scrambling or encrypt it. The sort of proxy being used will determine how effective this IP address is.
Because data is not encrypted, proxies typically operate more quickly than VPNs, albeit they may be more difficult to spot.
A headless browser is another another device that is frequently used in conjunction with proxies or VPNs. You can use this browser, which has no graphical user interface, to transfer data from one website to another software.
What is the best choice for scraping data?
When it comes to extensive scraping projects, VPNs have limitations. They are not made for web scraping and are slower than proxies. Additionally, a VPN’s use can be detected by a lot of websites. Therefore, masking an IP address is insufficient to avoid detection.
Some proxies are more dependable than others, but they all provide a quicker and more secure means to scrape data.
The most probable type of proxies to be marked and blacklisted is datacenter proxies. You will be given an IP when you utilise a data centre proxy. Herein lies the risk because these IPs are fake and created.
In reality, this kind of proxy makes use of real IP addresses that come from mobile network providers. Your requests will appear to be coming from a mobile device on a legitimate network if they are routed through a mobile proxy. Websites don’t like blocking them because they can be difficult to identify and sometimes represent real individuals.
Residential versions use actual IP addresses, just like mobile proxies do. These are given out by ISPs, and actual hardware is utilised to route data. Similar to mobile proxies, websites are hesitant to prohibit activity from these IPs for fear of unintentionally blocking legitimate users.
The most effective proxies for web scraping are mobile and domestic ones. To avoid being blacklisted, data extraction should employ rotating proxies.
What makes rotating proxies the best choice for data scraping?
When you employ a proxy, your data will be forwarded through a middleman, or gateway if you choose. Your service provider will assign you a new IP address as a result. This IP address will be blacklisted if it is connected to scraping or other questionable activity.
This issue can be avoided by using rotating proxies. If you utilise rotating proxies, a different IP will be assigned to each request you send. Your IP address will be automatically assigned at random if you have a proxy pool.
Your web scraping project will be successful if you utilise home or mobile proxies with changing IP addresses because you are unlikely to ever be blocked. You can easily change your IP address if one is blocked.
Are rotating proxies completely undetectable?
Rotating proxies should be virtually unnoticeable for scraping operations because of how they operate. That’s not to suggest that websites aren’t looking for solutions to thwart proxy-based data mining.
To find and stop online scrapers, Facebook and Meta have a team of about 100 individuals called External Data Misuse. However, security precautions like HTTPS request limitations are never activated because IPs are constantly changed in rotating proxies.
They are undetectable since the IP addresses are legitimate and the traffic is sent through real devices and residential ISPs.
In 2022, data scraping will still be a very useful commercial tool, and the market only seems to continue expanding. There should be no legal repercussions as long as the practise is conducted morally.
Although business owners will take precautions to identify online scrapers and will try to blacklist IPs linked to the activity. The simplest technique to avoid being banned during data scraping is to rotate proxies.