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how web scraping works

How it works

Tired of watching thieves at work and feeling powerless to stop them? Web scraping bots steal whatever content they’ve been programmed to fetch – articles, prices, promotions, and API data that should only be available to legitimate customers or authorized partners.

Imperva’s Advanced Bot Protection puts an immediate stop to content theft, competitive data mining, data extraction, negative SEO attacks, as well as application denial of service due to aggressive web scraping.

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Block Price Scraping, Screen Scraping, and Competitive Data Mining

Nefarious competitors use bots to snoop your pricing, SEO strategy, and unpublished information. Online retailers are particularly susceptible to the effects of price scraping, product matching, variation tracking and availability targeting. When bots scrape pricing and product information, aggregated data is fed to an analytics engine, allowing competitors to instantly match prices and products.

Imperva’s Advanced Bot Protection protects your customer data, pricing information, incentive packages, keyword placements, and unique editorial content.

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Protect Your Intellectual Property and SEO Rankings

Scraped duplicate content hurts your SEO, siphons off website traffic, and damages your brand. When bots steal your content and post it elsewhere, they often introduce errors or leverage the content in ways which reflect poorly on your business.

Imperva’s Advanced Bot Protection provides visibility into what bots are doing on your site, which organizations are behind those bots, and how much they’re costing you.

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Control Data Aggregators

Startups often take a shortcut to market by web scraping (for which, read stealing) their data. Two guys in a basement can create a new competing online directory by aggregating scraped data found on your site in a slightly new way, essentially jump-starting their business on the back of your hard work.

Unchecked web scraper aggregators can lead to unexpected costs. Imperva’s Advanced Bot Protection blocks data aggregators trying to earn a profit off your content.

reduce infrastructure strain

Reduce Infrastructure Strain and Downtime

Aggressive web scraping puts a huge strain on web pages and infrastructure. Random spikes in bot traffic increase page load times, cause downtime, and inflict further damage on your SEO rankings.

Use Imperva’s Advanced Bot Protection to remove bot traffic from your website, enjoy clean web analytics, and see pure user load that’s well-shaped and predictable.

is web scraping legal

Is Web Scraping Legal?

Web scraping content from a competitor’s website might be considered fair game since the data is in the public domain. However, there have been legal challenges and web scraping is currently a legal grey area.

In Europe, legal actions have been successful using invasions of privacy arguments, but in the United States web scraping still appears to be considered an acceptable risk in the hypercompetitive world of online business. Ultimately, it is better to prevent web scraping in the first place than to mount expensive rearguard legal actions.

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Key Resources

Bad Bots Report 2020

Bad Bots Report 2020


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