Web scraping is the process of extracting data from websites. It has become an essential tool for businesses and individuals to collect data for various purposes such as market research, price comparison, content creation, and much more. However, many websites implement measures to prevent scraping, which can lead to blocks, IP bans, and other consequences. In this article, we will discuss how to avoid getting blocked while scraping websites, and we will introduce two tools that can help you do so: headless browsers and rotating proxy servers.
General Web Scraping
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Headless Browsers A headless browser is a web browser without a graphical user interface. It allows you to access and interact with web pages programmatically, just like a regular web browser, but without the overhead of a GUI. This makes it an excellent tool for web scraping as it enables you to automate the scraping process and access the data you need.
One popular headless browser is Puppeteer. Puppeteer is a Node.js library that provides a high-level API for controlling headless Chrome or Chromium browsers. With Puppeteer, you can navigate pages, fill out forms, click buttons, and scrape data from websites. It also provides tools for handling cookies, sessions, and other browser-related tasks.
To use Puppeteer for scraping, you will need to install Node.js and the Puppeteer library. Once you have installed the library, you can use the following code to launch a headless browser and navigate to a web page:
Code launches a headless Chrome browser
This code launches a headless Chrome browser, creates a new page, navigates to example.com, and closes the browser. You can then use Puppeteer’s API to interact with the page and extract the data you need.
Rotating Proxy Servers A proxy server is an intermediary server that sits between your computer and the internet. It allows you to access websites anonymously and can help you bypass geo-restrictions and other blocks. A rotating proxy server is a proxy server that changes IP addresses periodically, which can help you avoid getting blocked while scraping websites.
Popular rotating proxy service
One popular rotating proxy service is ProxyCrawl. ProxyCrawl provides a simple API that allows you to scrape websites without worrying about IP blocks or captchas. It supports various languages such as Python, Ruby, PHP, and more.
To use ProxyCrawl for scraping, you will need to sign up for an account and obtain an API key. Once you have your API key, you can use the following code to scrape a website:
This code sends a request to example.com through the ProxyCrawl proxy server using your API key. ProxyCrawl handles rotating the proxy server’s IP address and handles other challenges like captchas and blocks.
Web scraping is a powerful tool for businesses and individuals, but it can be challenging to scrape websites without getting blocked. Headless browsers and rotating proxy servers are two tools that can help you avoid blocks and IP bans while scraping. Puppeteer is a popular headless browser that provides a high-level API for controlling headless Chrome or Chromium browsers.