With the increasing demand for big data, web scraping has become a prominent issue among individuals.
Web scraping is being used by an increasing number of people to scrape data from multiple websites.
Because this information can help them grow their business.
The process of scraping data from online sites, on the other hand, is not always easy.
Platform owners utilise such tactics to prevent online scraping, which might make it difficult to obtain data.
Let’s take a closer look at these obstacles and how web scraping tools can help to overcome them.
GENERAL CHALLENGE NUMBER 1
When your scraper isn’t working properly, the first thing to check is whether your target website permits for scraping.
Check the Terms of Service (ToS) to see if the website is available for scraping or not via its robots.txt file.
Some platforms may require authorization for web scraping.
In this case, you can request access from the webmaster and describe your scraping needs and goals.
If the owner does not accept your application, it is recommended to find another site with identical material to prevent any legal complications.
GENERAL CHALLENGE NUMBER 2
IP blocking is a popular strategy for preventing web scrapers from accessing a website’s data.
This usually occurs when a website detects a huge volume of requests from the same IP address.
To slow down the scraping operation, the website would either completely block the IP or restrict its access.
Many IP proxy services enable consumers to access an ethically expanding home proxy pool to meet any business’s demands, regardless of magnitude.
Residential proxies assist businesses in optimising resources by producing substantially fewer CAPTCHAs, IP blockages, and other impediments.
IP proxy services are often provided by two companies:
Luminati and Oxylabs.
Oxylabs, for example, provides 100M+ Residential Proxies from all over the world.
Each residential proxy it provides is selected from a reliable source to ensure businesses don’t encounter any issues while gathering public data.
The company also offers location-based targeting at the country, city, and state levels and is best known for brand protection, market research, business intelligence, and ad verification.
Oxylabs provides a data centre proxy, mobile and SOCKS5 proxies, as well as a proxy management and rotator. You can try their service for 7 days for free or pay as you go starting at around $15/GB as at the moment of research.
When it comes to web scraping tools, Octoparse offers several cloud servers for Cloud Extraction to deal with IP blocking.
When your task runs with Cloud Extraction, you can take advantage of multiple Octoparse IPs, avoiding using only one IP to request too many times while maintaining high speed.
GENERAL CHALLENGE NUMBER 3
COMPLICATED AND FAST CHANGING WEBSITE STRUCTURES.
HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) files form the foundation of the majority of web pages.
However, because designers and developers may have different standards for creating pages, web page topologies can vary greatly.
As a result, if you need to scrape various websites or even different pages on the same platform, you may need to create a scraper for each one.
That is not all.
Websites update their content or add new features on a regular basis to improve the user experience and loading speed, which frequently results in structural changes to the web pages.
A prior scraper may not work for an updated page since web scrapers are configured based on the page’s design.
Even minor changes to the target website can affect the accuracy of the scraped data and need adjusting the scraper.
Web scraping technologies make it easier to extract data than creating programmes.
To deal with diverse sites, Octoparse, for example, uses customised workflows to emulate human behaviours.
You may adapt the scraper to new pages with a few clicks rather than rechecking HTML files and rewriting code.
GENERAL CHALLENGE NUMBER 4
CAPTCHA, which stands for Completely Automated Public Turing Test to Tell Computers and Humans Apart, is frequently used to distinguish humans from scraping tools by displaying images or logical problems that humans find simple to solve but scrapers do not.
Many CAPTCHA solutions can now be integrated into bots to ensure continuous scraping.
To increase web scraping speed, Octoparse can presently handle three types of CAPTCHA automatically: hCaptcha, ReCaptcha V2, and ImageCaptcha.
However, while solutions for overcoming CAPTCHA can aid in the acquisition of continuous data feeds, they may still slow down the scraping process.
GENERAL CHALLENGE NUMBER 5
A honeypot is a trap placed on a website by its owner to catch web scrapers.
Traps can be invisible to humans but visible to scrapers elements or connections.
If a scraper accesses such components and falls into the trap, the website can use the IP address it obtains to prevent that scraper.
Octoparse use XPath to pinpoint things for clicking or scraping.
The scraper can identify the desired data fields from honeypot traps
using XPath, lowering the chances of being caught by the traps.
GENERAL CHALLENGE NUMBER 6
SLOW AND ON STABLE LOADING SPEED
When too many access requests are received, websites may reply slowly or even fail to load.
When humans surf the site, this is not a problem since they just reload the page and wait for it to recover. When it comes to online scraping, though, things alter.
Because the scraper is unsure how to handle such an emergency, the scraping operation may be disrupted.
As a result, users may need to explicitly instruct the scraper to retry.
You can also add an extra action while creating a scraper.
To remedy the issue, Octoparse now allows customers to set up an auto-retry or retry loading when specified circumstances are satisfied.
You can even run customised procedures under predefined scenarios.
GENERAL CHALLENGE NUMBER 7
Lazy loading of graphics, limitless scrolling, and displaying additional information by pressing a button are all examples of AJAX calls.
It allows users to read more information without having to refresh the website and lose all of the prior stuff on the page.
However, it can be difficult for web scrapers.
A web scraper that does not recognise AJAX may fail to collect data or obtain duplicate stuff.
Octoparse handles AJAX by allowing users to configure an AJAX timeout for the “Click item” or “Click to Paginate” buttons, instructing Octoparse to proceed to the next action when the timeout is reached.
Following that, you may quickly obtain a scraper that can scrape pages.
GENERAL CHALLENGES NUMBER 8
Some sensitive information may need you to log in before you can view a website.
Once you provide your login information, your browser will automatically attach the cookie value to any subsequent requests you make to most websites, letting them know you’re the same person who logged in earlier.
Similarly, when using a web scraper to extract data from a website, you may be required to log in with your account in order to access the desired data.
Ensure that cookies have been sent with the requests in this period.
Octoparse can easily assist users in scraping page data behind a login and saving cookies in the same way that a browser does.
GENERAL CHALLENGE NUMBER 9
REAL TIME DATA SCRAPING
Scraping data in real-time is essential for price comparisons, competitor monitoring, inventory tracking, etc.
The data can change in the blink of an eye and may lead to huge capital gains for a business.
The scraper needs to monitor the websites all the time and extract the latest data.
However, it is hard to avoid some delays as the request and data delivery will take time, not to mention acquiring a large amount of data in real-time is a time-consuming and heavy workload task for most web scrapers.
Octoparse has cloud servers that allow users to schedule their web scraping tasks at a minimum interval of 5 minutes to achieve nearly real-time scraping.
After setting a scheduled extraction, Octoparse will launch the task automatically to collect the most up-to-date information rather than requiring users to click the Start button repeatedly, which will undoubtedly improve working efficiency.
Aside from the difficulties highlighted in this piece, there are undoubtedly further difficulties and restrictions in web scraping.
However, there is a common approach for scraping: treat the websites with respect and avoid overloading them.
If you want a more efficient and seamless web scraping experience, you can always choose a web scraping tool or service like SCRAPINGBOT, PARSEHUB, IMPORT.IO, WEBSCRAPER.IO, SCRAPER, OUTWIT HUB to assist you with the scraping operation.
Try Octoparse right now to take your web scraping to the next level!