Web scrapers extract data from websites and publish it for their own benefit without the consent of the owner. In today’s digital space, content is a valuable resource that companies invest massively to generate. In fact, websites have to provide regular content for their target audiences. This is a sure way for brands to remain relevant. It’s, for this reason, that a scraper bot is used to collect data from different websites for the purpose of gaining access to content.
A good example of scraping is where a person uses scraper bots to gain entry into the website of a competitor to see what they do and how they do it and, in turn, implement the same on their platform. A research article asserts that scraping is a laborious exercise and that’s why scrapers choose to use bots instead of doing it manually. Scraper bots have the capacity of scraping larger amounts of content compared to manual scraping. That’s why it’s important for companies to learn how to detect and prevent scraping. Here are ways you can use for scraper bot detection:
Check out for Content Duplication
Content duplication is a major issue in the online space. As you already know, content is a fundamental building block to the success of brands operating digitally. That being said, it’s not easy coming up with relevant and valuable content on a regular basis. That’s why web scraping has been thriving lately. Scrapers use scraper bots to copy content extracted from competitor websites and use it for their benefit without the permission of the original owner. This is where content duplication comes to the foreground.
You can detect scraper bots checking out for content duplication. Scrapers extract content from your website and publish it as their own within a short time. Simply put, scrapers are trying to gain an unfair benefit from your information. The result of content duplication is that you’ll end up having poor SEO rankings which affect your traffic flow. That’s why you should be keen to see whether your content is safe. There are online tools you can use to detect content duplication like Copyscape. If you fail to detect this, the websites stealing your content will eventually outrank your website.
Monitor Crawling Speed
Website managers assert that one of the ways through which you can detect scraper bot is by monitoring crawling speed. Essentially, bots work by having repetitive tasks within a very short time. They are able to do what humans can’t do-scraping large amounts of content within a short time. As you monitor scraper bot behavior, you’ll be able to see unusual happenings on your website. For example, check out for numerous page visits within a short time. If you see this on your site, it’s enough to tell you that scraper bot action is underway.
Normally, humans can’t perform such repetitive tasks within a short time like bots do. Monitoring crawling speed deems it necessary for you to be constantly on the lookout to check the activities happening on your site. Since this isn’t an easy operation, website owners use monitoring tools or work with experts to manage their websites. The bottom line is that if you notice spikes in crawling speed, it’s highly likely that scraper bots are on a mission to collect data from your site.
Make Use of Advanced Detection Technology
There is a level of complexity that makes it difficult to detect scraper bots. Also, the range of web scraping that’s happening today calls for the usage of advanced detection technologies. Scrapers are finding ways of bypassing blocking tools available today. As a result, companies should protect their content by using advanced technology like machine learning techniques to effectively detect web scraper bots.
These technologies are able to group scrapers based on the activities performed. For example, advanced technology is able to identify bots based on the data they are collecting as well as the patterns that arise from the methods of data collection. If you’re new to these technological tools, it’s prudent for you to work with website security experts to guide you on how to install and use them. This will go a long way to facilitate the effective detection of scraper bots.
Check out for Spamming
Bots have the tendency of spamming websites as they find their way into your site for the purpose of extracting data. If you have forms on your site, that’s what the bots will use to send unwanted messages. As the bots seek to gather data from the pages on your site, they fill the forms on the site with unwelcome messages as well as suspicious links. This activity affects your genuine users negatively and ends up frustrating them. Therefore, if you notice spamming activities on your site, this should be a red flag that scraper bots may be invading your content.
Make Use of Honey Pot Pages
Honeypot pages are a viable strategy for scraper bot detection. The intention of creating honeypots is to trap bots to gain entry into pages that don’t have your genuine content. Ideally, human visitors don’t visit honeypot pages because the pages are meant to fool bots. Obviously, if bots interact with these pages, you’ll automatically know that there are scrapers trying to collect information from your site illegally. Since they are operating within your site illegally, you’ll be able to take the necessary security measures to prevent the loss of your data.
Here is that the security of your website carries a great deal of significance, particularly in reference to your content. Scraper bot activities are a major threat to your website and the content inside. They have the capacity to do enough damage to your brand before you take the necessary action. That is why you should learn how to detect scraper bots. However, the challenge you’ll likely face when dealing with these bots is the way they keep evolving and presenting new problems. So, you have to be well informed on not only how to detect scraper bots, but also how to block them.