Search engines like Google have long used so-called crawlers , which search the Internet for user-defined terms. Crawlers are special types of bots that visit website by website to create associations with search terms and to categorize them.
Incidentally, the first crawler was already in 1993 when the first search engine – Jumpstation – was introduced.
One technique of crawling is web scraping or web harvesting. We explain how it works, what it is used for and how you can block it if necessary.
To block scraping, website operators can take various measures. For example, the robots.txt file is used to block search engine bots. As a result, they also prevent automatic scraping by software bots. Bots’ IP addresses can also be blocked. Contact data and personal information can be specifically hidden.
Sensitive data such as telephone numbers can also be stored in image form or as CSS , which makes it difficult to scrape the data. There are also numerous paid providers of anti-bot services that can set up a firewall.
In addition, Google also scraps the web to enrich entries on Google Maps that have not yet been used by companies. For the enrichment of rich snippets , Google also retrieves relevant data from websites that have equipped their content with scraping google.
Webmasters have several options to make scraping more difficult. You can block robots using the robot.txt file, install security queries and optimize the server’s firewall.