What is Web Scraping?
is a technique that works by collecting publicly available data from websites. While manually scraping data is possible, it requires the skills to copy and paste the necessary data, track it using spreadsheets, and it takes time and effort. Therefore, to save time and financial resources, many individuals and companies opt for automated web scraping using special tools to extract the desired public information.
Web scraping tools are the first choice for those who want to collect data efficiently and at a low cost. They help users quickly and accurately scrape the desired data from the target website without manual data entry or copy-pasting etc. While there are many companies that offer web scraping tools, they are often quite complex and may have limitations when used. Users need to choose the appropriate tool according to their own needs, and make necessary configurations and adjustments.
Even finding a seemingly magical crawler does not guarantee a 100% success rate. From time to time a website may undergo updates or changes that prevent the crawler from working properly. Therefore, users need to regularly check and update the crawler to ensure that it remains in good working order.
Why is web scraping essential for business?
It is common knowledge that Google is an unmatched source of information, containing a wide range of data including market statistics, trends, customer feedback, product pricing, and more. As a result, many companies utilize data scraping techniques to extract the necessary information to gain a competitive edge in business.
The information obtained through Google crawling can be leveraged in various ways to facilitate business growth, including competitor tracking and analysis, sentiment analysis, business research, and lead generation. Nevertheless, it is crucial to delve deeper into effective strategies for preventing blockages when conducting Google crawling.
How to avoid getting blocked while scraping Google?
1. Rotate IPs.
It's crucial to change your IP address, as not doing so can make you vulnerable to being detected by anti-scraping technologies. When you send too many requests from the same IP address, the target website may see you as a potential threat or a small-scale scraper.
Furthermore, rotating your IP address makes you appear as several distinct users, significantly decreasing the likelihood of encountering captchas or getting banned. To avoid using the same IP address for multiple requests, you can utilize the Google Search API with advanced proxy rotation. This tool enables you to easily grab the majority of your desired targets while maintaining a 99.8% success rate.
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2. Real user agents.
To avoid being detected as a bot and blocked by websites, it's important to gather a set of authentic fingerprints that match those of a typical user request before scraping Google data. This is because some websites have the ability to recognize and block groups of HTTP(S) headers (also known as fingerprints) that appear suspicious and do not resemble normal user requests.
In addition, it's a good idea to switch between multiple user-agents regularly to prevent sending too many requests to the same website. Just like with an IP address, using the same user agent multiple times can easily identify your web crawler as a bot and result in being banned from accessing the website.
3. Slow down the speed.
While manual crawling is a time-consuming process, web crawlers can perform tasks at a much faster rate. However, sending requests at a super-fast speed is not a wise move, as it may cause the website to crash due to an increase in traffic and may also result in being banned due to irresponsible crawling behavior.
As a result, evenly distributing requests is another crucial aspect to avoid getting blocked. You can also add random intervals between different requests to prevent creating a crawling pattern that can be easily detected by websites and lead to unnecessary blocking.
Another valuable technique when conducting scraping Google activities is to implement a plan for data collection. For instance, you can set up a crawl schedule in advance and submit requests at a stable rate. This way, the process will be well-organized and you'll be less likely to submit requests too quickly or unevenly distribute them.
4. Detect and monitor website changes.
Data parsing, which involves examining raw data, filtering out necessary information, and transforming it into various data formats, is a crucial process that should not be overlooked after scraping Google, which is just the first step of data collection. Similar to web scraping, data parsing also faces issues such as varying webpage structures.
Website layouts frequently change to introduce new features, enhance user experience, or establish a new brand image. Although these modifications may enhance the site's user-friendliness, they can also cause parser crashes. This is primarily because parsers are generally constructed based on a specific webpage design, and without proper adjustments, they will fail to extract the expected data if the website structure changes.
As a result, it is critical to detect and monitor website changes. A common technique is to monitor the parser's output: if it fails to parse certain fields, it is likely that the website structure has altered.
5. Scrape Google data from Google cache.
One way to prevent getting blocked while scraping Google data is to leverage Google Cache for fetching the data. This approach permits you to access the necessary data by submitting a request to a copy in Google's cache, rather than directly accessing the website.
Although this method appears straightforward and effortless, it is crucial to be aware that it is only feasible for targets that do not contain sensitive data, and the data is frequently changing. Consequently, it is significant to bear in mind these limitations when employing this method to guarantee that your data collection efforts are successful.
For a large pool of businesses, employing Google for scraping is critical for acquiring openly accessible data to enhance their strategy and make informed decisions. Nonetheless, it should be kept in mind that to consistently scrape Google over an extended period of time, a considerable amount of effort and time is required.
To excel in the most effective Google scraping methods, utilizing a dependable web scraping tool can ensure the smooth functioning of your data collection and you should adhere to the mentioned regulations in future Google scraping activities. Meanwhile, it is advisable to personally inspect the results to guarantee the precision and comprehensiveness of the data obtained.