Smart Techniques to Avoid Getting Blocked When Web Scraping

Feb 20, 2024 ยท 2 min read

Web scraping can be a useful technique for collecting public data from websites. However, many sites try to detect and block scrapers to prevent excessive loads on their servers. Here are some tips to scrape responsibly and avoid blocks.

Use Rotation Proxies and Random User Agents

One of the easiest ways sites detect scrapers is by looking for repeat visits from the same IP address or user agent string. To prevent this:

  • Use proxy rotation services to route each request through different proxy IP addresses. Both free and paid services are available.
  • Randomize the user agent string in your requests so you appear to be different users each time. There are Python libraries like fake-useragent that can help with this.
  • Here is some sample code to rotate user agents:

    import requests
    from fake_useragent import UserAgent 
    ua = UserAgent()
    headers = {'User-Agent': ua.random} 
    r = requests.get(url, headers=headers)

    Add Realistic Delays Between Requests

    Don't slam sites with a huge number of rapid requests. Instead:

  • Throttle your scraper to make requests slowly, at a realistic human pace. For example, add a 3-5 second delay between requests.
  • Use exponential backoff to gradually increase delays if you get blocked. This gives sites time to recover.
  • Follow Robots.txt Rules

    Respect the robots.txt file, which gives guidance on scraping etiquette. Avoid repeatedly hitting pages or endpoints disallowed by robots.txt.

    By following these tips, you can scrape responsibly without overburdening sites. Always check a website's terms of service too. With care, scrapers and site owners can coexist peacefully!

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