The content of your website is your intellectual property. By using bots, attackers can copy individual texts or your entire website and use it for themselves. Even the prices of your products are extracted automatically—in order to intentionally undercut them. With Myra Bot Management, you can protect your website from content and price scraping.
What Does Web Scraping Mean?
Web scraping involves the reading out of third-party web contents in order to use them for one’s own purposes. Computer programs, called crawlers, use search engines such as Google or online price comparisons to index websites and provide exact search results. Such search engine indexing is usually desired so that Internet users can find the website.
How Do Attackers Proceed?
However, the same technology can also be used abusively, such as to copy third-party articles or product descriptions and publish them on other websites. This way, perpetrators can use your contents to set up their own web shop with very little effort. In extreme cases, your website is copied in its entirety—usually in order to prepare illegal activities. With phishing sites that are deceptively genuine in appearance, criminals seek to entice users to enter sensitive data such as passwords or bank information. They then set up wire transfers to their own accounts.
What Methods Do Attackers Use?
Some attackers steal contents in order to profit from the good search engine ranking of the original website and channel more users to their own website. However, search engines honor unique contents and penalize sites with copied contents. This can cause your Google ranking to drop—through no fault of your own.
One special form of web scraping is called price grabbing. Here, suppliers use bots to extract a competitor’s product prices in order to intentionally undercut them and attract customers. Thanks to the great transparency of prices on the Internet, customers quickly end up going to the next-cheapest supplier, which results in increased price pressure.
Increased Loading Times
Web scraping eats up valuable server capacities: Large numbers of bots constantly update product pages while searching for new pricing information. This results in slower loading times for human users—especially during peak periods. If it takes too long to load the desired web contents, customers quickly turn to the competition.
What Are the Consequences of Web Scraping?
An attack always harms affected companies and institutions, regardless of which method is chosen. Victim organizations still suffer from the consequences even years later. It is therefore extremely important to have effective protection.
If competitors know your prices, they can intentionally underbid you. Customers quickly switch to the cheapest provider. The loss of revenues is followed by increasing price pressure.
When criminals use a deceptively genuine-looking copy of your website for illegal phishing activities, this also tarnishes the reputation of your company.
Bot-generated requests use up valuable system resources and slow down the speed for valid users.
Which Industries Are Affected?
Web scraping affects companies of every industry and size. E-commerce businesses are not the only common victims. Websites with lots of content are plagued by web scraping as well.
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