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15 Challenges Faced by Web Scraping Tools You Need to Know

Web scraping has become a well-known topic among individuals who have a high demand for big data. An increasing number of folks tend to extract data from various sites for prospering their business. Unfortunately, people find it difficult to obtain data due to several challenges that creep up while performing web scraping. Here, we have mentioned some of those challenges in detail.

1. Changes in the structure of websites

Structural changes are made to several websites at times for providing a superior UX. This can be a challenging task for the scrapers who might have been set up for some specific designs initially. Consequently, they won’t be capable of functioning properly once some modifications are made. Even when there is a trivial alteration, it is essential to set up web scrapers and the changes made to the web pages. It will be possible to fix these types of problems by monitoring them constantly and adjusting on time.

2. Bot access

Before starting any target website, it will be a good idea to verify whether it allows for scraping. You might request the web owner to provide you with permission to scrape if you find that it doesn’t allow for scraping through its robots.txt, and while doing so, you ought to explain your scraping purposes and requirements. Try to come across an alternative site having similar info in case the owner does not agree.

3. IP blocking

It will be possible to prevent web scrapers from gaining access to a site’s information by the process of IP blocking. On most occasions, it occurs when many requests are detected by a site from an identical IP address. The website must limit its access to break down the process of scraping or ban the IP. You will come across many IP proxy services that you can include with automatic scrapers, thus avoiding this type of blocking.

4. Different HTML coding

While dealing with extremely large websites consisting of many pages, such as e-Commerce, be prepared to encounter the challenge of various pages featuring different HTML coding. This sort of threat is quite common if the development process lasted for quite some time and the coding team had been altered forcibly. In this case, it will be imperative to set the parsers accordingly for each page and modified if needed. The fix for this will be to scan the whole website to figure out any difference in the coding and take any action as needed.

5. Challenge of resolving captchas

Perhaps you have come across captcha requests on lots of web pages used to separate human beings from crawling tools by using logical tasks or requesting the user to enter the characters displayed. At present, special open-source tools have made it simple to solve captchas, and you will also come across several crawling services developed for passing this check. For instance, one might find it quite tough to pass these captchas on certain Chinese websites, and you will come across specialist web scraping services that will be able to get the job done manually.

6. Data management and data warehousing

Lots of information will be generated by web scraping at a scale. Furthermore, this data will be used by many individuals if you happen to be a part of a large team. Therefore, it will be a good idea if you can manage the data efficiently. Unfortunately, this aspect is overlooked by the majority of the companies attempting the extraction of large-scale data. Searching, querying, and filtering, plus exporting this information, will become time-consuming and quite hectic in case the data warehousing infrastructure is not built properly. As a result, it is imperative for the data warehousing infrastructure to be scalable, fault-tolerant, as well as secure for massive extraction of data. The quality of this data warehousing system happens to be a deal-breaker in certain business-critical cases where it is essential to have real-time processing. As a result, lots of options are available at present ranging from BigQuery to Snowflake.

7. Anti-scraping technology

Several websites actively use powerful anti-scraping technologies that will prevent all types of web scraping endeavors. One remarkable example of this happens to be LinkedIn. These websites use dynamic coding algorithms for preventing bot access and implementing IP blocking techniques even though one sticks to the legitimate practices of the data extraction services. Plenty of money and time will be required for developing a technical solution for working around these types of anti-scraping technologies. Companies functioning in web scraping are going to imitate the behavior of humans for getting around anti-scraping technologies.

8. Legal challenges

An extremely delicate challenge in web scraping comes from legal issues. Even though it is legitimate, there is a restriction on the commercial use of extracted data. It will depend on the type and situation of data you are extracting and how you will use it. In case you want to know more about the pain points associated with web scraping legality, you can take the help of the Internet.

9. Professional safeguard utilizing Akamai and Imperva

These two are responsible for providing professional protection services. They are known to offer bot detection services as well as solutions for the auto- replacement of content. One can distinguish between web crawlers and human visitors by using bot detection, which helps to safeguard the web pages from any parsing info. However, professional web scrapers can simulate the behavior of humans flawlessly. Outwitting anti-scraping traps is also feasible by making use of genuine and registered accounts or mobile gadgets. The information scraped might be displayed in a mirror image when it comes to an auto substitution of the content. Otherwise, the text might be created in hieroglyphics font. It will be feasible to remove this issue with the help of timely checking and special tools.

10. Honeypot traps

This is a kind of trap put on the page by the website owner for catching scrapers. These can be links that are visible to scrapers despite being invisible to human beings. Once any scraper is trapped, the information (for example, IP address) can be used by the website for blocking that particular scraper.

11. Unstable or slow load speed

If a website receives an excessive number of requests, it might respond slowly or fail to load. This problem will not be encountered when humans browse the site since they simply need to load the page again and wait for the site to recover. However, scraping might be broken up since the scraper does not know how to deal with these types of emergencies.

12. Login requirement

You might be required to log in first by some information that is protected. Once your credentials have been submitted, your browser will automatically be appending the cookie value to multiple requests made by you. The website understands that you happen to be the identical person who had logged in previously. Therefore, make certain that cookies have been dispatched with the requests when a login is required by scraping websites.

13. Dynamic content

Many websites apply AJAX for updating dynamic web content. Examples happen to be infinite scrolling, lazy loading images, and showing more information by clicking a button using AJAX calls. Users will view more information on these types of websites, although it will not be possible for scrapers.

14. Data quality challenge

It is a fact that data accuracy is of high importance when it comes to web parsing. For instance, it may not be possible for the texting fields to be filled in properly or extracted information to match a predefined template. To ensure data quality, it will be imperative to run a test and verify each phrase and field before saving. While some tests will be performed automatically, there are certain cases when the assessment has to be performed manually.

15. Balancing time for scraping

The performance of the site can be affected by big data web scraping. Therefore, it is essential to balance the stripping time to prevent any possibility of overloading. The only solution to make accurate estimations for figuring out the time limits will be testing what is required to do by verifying the endurance of the site before beginning data extraction.


There is hardly any doubt that you will come across more challenges in the future when it comes to web scraping; however, make sure to treat the sites properly. Never make an attempt to overload the sites. Moreover, it will always be possible for you to find a competent web scraping service tool for helping you in handling the scraping job flawlessly and successfully.

Author Bio:

Rahul Panchal is the Founder and Managing Director of Rlogical Techsoft Pvt. Ltd. – a top-rated Web & Mobile App Development Company offering customized software solutions as well as an app development specialization.

Alice Jacqueline is a creative writer. Alice is the best article author, social media, and content marketing expert. Alice is a writer by day and ready by night. Find her on Twitter and on Facebook!

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