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Web Scraping Challenges

Web data provides a lot of information to companies that are looking for exceptional insights into the market trends, customer preferences, and competitor activities. Looking for web scraped data in a structured format has become an essential tactic for industries to adapt, in order to thrive in this vast and competitive market. This is one of the most sought-after ways to grow the business by thoroughly understanding the domain trends. However, many companies lack awareness and fail to understand the benefits of ever-growing web data.

By adhering to web scraping rules we can legally derive data from the websites that allow scraping. Few websites have fierce blocking mechanisms against machine learning bots, so these websites use dynamic coding practices to disallow bots to enter their website. Let’s understand the web scraping challenges and rules in detail.

Enabling bot access

Be it any project, the first step by default is to check if the desired website provides access for the bots to crawl. All the websites have the option to decide whether they want to provide this access or not. The majority of the websites opt for automated web crawling. However, if you still wish to crawl the website anyway, it is considered illegal. It is often better to find an alternate website that offers similar information.

Handling Captcha

Captcha serves a great purpose, it gently keeps spam away. Having this option enabled creates a lot of accessibility challenges for good web crawling bots. Captcha acts as a barrier to all the crawlers alike. However, by using Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, we can overcome this barrier. Overcoming this hurdle will allow you to keep acquiring continuous data feeds. This raises another challenge though, this process slows down the scraping process a bit and provides unstructured data, making it hard to understand and put to use.

Web Scraping Challenges

Structural changes in websites

Websites often undergo changes for regular maintenance to improve the user experience or to add new features, these changes are called structural changes. Since web crawlers are set up in a way that it crawls the code elements present on the webpage, any structural change will bring crawling to a halt. This is one of the reasons why companies often outsource their web data extraction requirements to web scraping companies. A dedicated service provider will take care of complete monitoring and maintenance of these crawlers and deliver structured data to draw insights.

IP Blocking

IP blocking as an issue is rarely a problem to the good web crawling bots. IP blocking takes place when a server detects an unnaturally high number of requests from the same IP address or if the crawler makes multiple parallel requests. Some IP blocking mechanisms are a bit too aggressive and can block the crawler even if it follows the best practices of web scraping. By integrating a few tools that can identify and block automated web crawlers, we can crawl the data for several purposes. But keep in mind that a few Bot blocking services could tamper with your website’s overall performance in terms of search ranking.

Real-time Latency

Extracting real-time web data is important and there are a number of use-cases for the same. Such as knowing about constantly changing eCommerce product price trends, since this data point changes in the blink of an eye. Having pricing intelligence with real-time latency becomes a valuable asset. This data can be achieved by setting up tech-heavy infrastructure or going with a data service provider who can handle ultra-fast live crawls. Other use-cases include sports score detection, news feed aggregation, real-time inventory tracking, etc.

Dynamic Websites

Websites are becoming interactive and user-friendly, which means these websites have dynamic coding to deliver a customized user experience. This, however, has a reverse effect on web crawlers. The websites having lazy loading images, infinite scrolling, and product variants working with Ajax calls are not crawler friendly. Even Google bots find these websites hard to crawl. PromptCloud offers the technical stack and expertise to handle these websites that heavily rely upon JavaScript and other dynamic web elements.

User-generated Content

Crawling the user-generated content on the data websites like classified, business directories, and small niche web spaces, often become a debatable topic. Since, user-generated content is the prime USP of these public platforms, scraping options becomes fewer as sources to crawl such sites tend to disallow crawling.

Get hassle-free data

Since we know that the nature of the web is dynamic and there are even more challenges when it comes to extracting large volumes of data from multiple websites for business use cases. Going with a data service provider is often the best and most cost-effective choice you have. Websites like fully manage web scraping requirements to evade all these roadblocks and deliver the required data, in the desired format.

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