Home Cybersecurity How Do Websites Block Web Scrapers?

How Do Websites Block Web Scrapers?

by Marcin Wieclaw
0 comment

Web scraping is vital for public data gathering. Businesses operating in every possible sector use web scraper to collect the latest data from various online sources. This information is later used to improve marketing strategies and make data-driven decisions.

Getting banned while retrieving online data is quite common for those not familiar with the right way of crawling a website. Many websites now implement advanced bot detection techniques to prevent scraping bots from accessing their important data, which gives scrapers a really hard time.

In this post, we are going to outline some common bot detection techniques used, along with highlighting the major methods of overcoming these techniques.

Common Bot Detection Techniques

Nowadays, it is common practice for website administrators to see and monitor the incoming traffic requests for a number of details that can identify scraping activities. Below are the most common techniques that websites follow to detect scraping bots:

Behavioral Analysis

Studying user behavior and comparing bot behavior with those of legitimate human users is quite common nowadays. The technology identifies anomalies in user patterns, including network signature, client and browser versions, non-linear mouse movements, page navigation, repetitive patterns, and keystrokes that may indicate bot activities.

IP Analysis

Examining the IPs linked with user interactions is another method of identifying suspicious or known bot IP addresses. This can include banning or using IP reputation databases.

Bot Signature Detection

Website owners maintain a database of known bot signatures, which can include:

  • HTTP Fingerprints – All details on the HTTP headers (server side)
  • TLS Fingerprints – Metadata collected at the time of TLS handshake (server side)
  • Browser Fingerprints – Information collected by JavaScript about the browser, operating system, and device (client side)
  • Mobile Fingerprints – Information about the operating system and device (client side)

Machine Learning Algorithms

Bot detection and mitigation involves the use of machine learning to collect and assess large datasets about the behavior of devices roaming a website. These solutions spot any anomalies specific to the website’s unique traffic patterns.

Methods to Overcome Detection Techniques

To help you perform web scraping without any hassle, there are some methods you can follow to overcome bot detection techniques:

IP Rotation

The most common way to bypass anti-scraping mechanisms is by rotating your IP address. Sending too many requests from the same IP address makes the target website identify you as a threat and block your IP. With proxy rotation, you may appear as a number of different Internet users, which minimizes your chances of getting blocked.

Headless Browser

Another useful tool for ban-free web scraping is a headless browser. These browsers are similar to other browsers, except a headless browser lacks a graphical user interface (GUI). Plus, it allows for scraping content that is loaded by rendering JavaScript elements. Most commonly used web browsers, Chrome and Firefox, have headless modes.

Browser Header and User Agents

The majority of the servers hosting websites can analyze the headers of the HTTP request that bots make. These headers, otherwise called user agents, hold different information, ranging from the software solution and operating system to the application type and version. To avoid getting blocked, you should switch the user agent frequently and customize it to look like a real one.

Avoid Honeypot Traps

Honeypots are basically the links in the HTML code, which are invisible to organic users but not to scrapers. They are used to identify and block web crawlers. If your request is blocked and a scraper is detected, note that your target website might be using honeypot traps.

Change the Browsing Pattern

One surefire way of getting around the bot detection is to mimic human behavior on the website. Visit the home page first before making some requests to the inner pages. Randomize the timing between the requests. Add random scrolls, clicks, and mouse movements to make it seem less predictable.

Web Unblocker – The Ultimate Solution

Though endless techniques and tools are available to overcome bot techniques, advanced methods demand advanced web scraping solutions. However, these solutions can be hard to set up without technical expertise.

One such proxy solution is the Web Unblocker, which can make any web scraping infrastructure undetectable. It is an AI-driven proxy solution that enables access to public data by appearing as a real user.

Web Unblocker features ML-powered proxy management to offer proxy rotation with the lowest response time. It continually assesses the quality of scraping results and resends the requests if the scraping request fails.

Another key feature of this solution is a dynamic browser fingerprint that helps select the right combination of browser attributes, headers, cookies, and proxy servers to appear as real users and successfully bypass geo-restrictions.

Key Takeaways

Web scraping is highly useful for making better business decisions, but website administrators are making it quite tough for scrapers to collect their data. With the above-mentioned methods, you can get around these bot detection techniques and acquire data that supports your business goals.

Future Trends in Web Scraping Defense

As technology evolves, so too do the methods employed by websites to block scrapers. Here are some emerging trends in web scraping defense that businesses and developers should be aware of:

Increased Use of AI and Machine Learning

Websites are starting to employ more sophisticated AI algorithms to distinguish between human users and bots. These systems can learn from data patterns and adapt over time, making them more effective at identifying and blocking scraping activities.

Advanced Behavioral Biometrics

By analyzing the intricacies of user interactions, such as typing speed, mouse movements, and even device orientation, websites can identify bots more accurately. This type of biometric analysis provides a deeper layer of security by recognizing the subtle nuances of human behavior.

Integration of Blockchain Technology

Some platforms are exploring the use of blockchain to decentralize data storage and verification processes, making it harder for scrapers to access and manipulate data. This could lead to a new era of data privacy and security.

Legal and Ethical Considerations

With the increase in web scraping activities, there is also a growing discussion about the legal and ethical implications of scraping publicly available data.

Global Data Privacy Laws

Understanding the impact of regulations such as GDPR, CCPA, and others is crucial for both scrapers and website operators. These laws dictate what is permissible and protect personal information from unauthorized scraping.

Ethical Scraping Practices

Promoting ethical scraping practices is essential to maintain trust and compliance. This includes respecting website terms of service, avoiding the scraping of personal data without consent, and not disrupting the normal operations of the target site.

Tools and Technologies for Enhanced Scraper Management

For website administrators looking to protect their sites, here are some tools and technologies that can enhance scraper management:

Advanced Rate Limiting

Implementing more dynamic rate limiting that adapts based on traffic patterns and user behavior can prevent abuse while allowing normal user interactions.

Improved Captcha Technologies

Emerging captcha technologies that are more user-friendly and harder for bots to bypass are being developed. These include puzzle-based captchas, image recognition tasks, and even captchas that require interaction with elements within a game-like environment.

Deployment of Zero Trust Architectures

Adopting a zero trust approach to network and application security can ensure that only authenticated and authorized users can access specific data points or systems.


As the digital landscape continues to evolve, the cat-and-mouse game between web scrapers and defenders rages on. Staying informed about the latest technologies and practices in web scraping defense can help organizations protect their data more effectively while ensuring compliance with legal standards.


You may also like

Leave a Comment

Welcome to PCSite – your hub for cutting-edge insights in computer technology, gaming and more. Dive into expert analyses and the latest updates to stay ahead in the dynamic world of PCs and gaming.

Edtior's Picks

Latest Articles

© PC Site 2024. All Rights Reserved.

Update Required Flash plugin