Everything you need is on the Internet.
The Internet holds billions of data, and this data dramatically fuel business growth. Web data uncover insights that help businesses achieve their goals and objectives. However, manually collecting this data is a challenge. That’s when web scraping came in.
What is Web Scraping?
Web scraping uses automated scripts, bots, or crawlers to extract data from websites. Knowingly, content scraping is an issue in e-commerce businesses. It collects your strategies, nonpublic data, and high-quality content. In short, it burdens your website’s performance.
The issue is more common to websites with a higher ranking on search results. It’s frustrating to see your high-quality content and strategies stolen.
How can you deal with these scrapers?
Finding and catching web scrapers is quite a challenge. It will take up most of your time. However, there are a few helpful ways to deal with content scraping.
Ways to Deal with Content Scraping
It takes blood, sweat, and tears to produce high-quality content. Sleepless nights to create strategies for your e-commerce websites. Suddenly, someone will collect your data without permission? You need to protect your data and content from web scraping.
- “Don’t Do Anything” Approach
Among the ways of dealing with scrapers, not doing anything is the simplest approach. It is time-consuming to fight with content scrapers. Instead of warding them off, spend the time and effort to create more quality content.
Even so, this is not the best approach. It has a disadvantage whether your website is high-authority or not. You might have some copyright problems if content scrapers will republish your content. Meanwhile, if your website isn’t well ranked, Google may end up flagging your website. Sometimes Google will acknowledge the scraper’s website as the original one.
It may not be the best approach but if you do not want to continue with the other methods, do nothing.
- Add Several Internal Links
Adding several internal links to your content helps you in two ways:
- you give readers access to relevant articles, and
- save your content from scrapers.
When a scraper copies your content, internal links may still be intact. It will help you have some free links from their website. At the same time, you may gain the scraper’s audience too.
- “Kill Them All” Approach
The several internal links may have served well. You can play it cool and take advantage of the free backlinks. However, some scrapers know this and remove the links after scraping. It will only put you into the losing team.
If this happens, use the “kill them all” approach. You need to check your access logs and check their IP address. Block their address through your root access file. It strips their opportunity to steal your content.
What’s more brilliant is to block their approach by redirecting them to a dummy feed. The dummy feed may contain gibberish text. You can even send them back to their website and result in their website crashing.
- Use CAPTCHAs
Websites use CAPTCHAs to separate humans from bots. Whenever you encounter CAPTCHAs, they ask you simple problems. For humans, these problems are easy to answer. However, crawlers find them hard to solve.
The disadvantage of using CAPTCHAs is that humans find them annoying. It will result in losing some valuable traffic. That’s why you have to be careful when you use CAPTCHAs. Instead of placing them everywhere, only send a CAPTCHA when a specific client has sent multiple requests in a short gap.
- Create “Honey Pot” Pages
Honey pot pages are traps. Humans will never visit these pages. However, robots visit all the links on your website. Thus, they will accidentally visit the honey pot page. You can hide the honey pot link from humans to ensure they can’t visit it.
Once the crawlers reach your honey pot page, you will find their information. You can block all the requests that come from them.
- Insert .htaccess File
This method might need you to be creative and knowledgeable in coding. You have to tweak your access log. If you are not confident with this step, you can use the other methods. If you want to use it, you can hire a freelancer. Freelancers will help you modify your code.
Non-familiar IP addresses allow content scrapers to steal your content. You have to block them with .htaccess files. It will stop the scrapers from stealing your content from the IP address.
If this method of dealing with content scraping is difficult for you. Don’t worry. There are other ways of dealing with them.
- Use External Tools
Not everyone is willing to spend their time creating .htaccess or codes. But, keep in mind that you have this option. These tools will save you from scrapers!
- Copyscape: If you have been into content creation for years, you know Copyscape. You can check the URL of your website to determine whether there’s a duplicate copy of your content. If there is, you can file a DMCA complaint.
- Google Alert: It has the same function as Copyscape. You can set up an alert system which notifies you if there’s a duplicate of your content.
- Anti-Feed Scraper Message: A WordPress plugin that generates an automatic message to Google. It will send the original publication date, author, website name, and post location. If a duplicate appears on other websites, the scraper will copy and paste the message with the post.
Content scraping may be hard to deal with. You may shrug the fact that they may scrape your content or decide to fight them off.
It takes a lot of time and effort to deal with content scrapers. However, it’s a huge advantage to shield your content from scrapers.
If you cannot deal with them properly, it will take away your valuable web traffic. You cannot afford to lose a huge amount of your revenue. Thus, you may kill them all or try the other mentioned approach in dealing with content scrapers.
What methods will you use to deal with content scraping?