Blog > Knowledge > Post

Cragslist CAPTCHA Bypass

Friday, January 22, 2021

Table of Contents

About Craigslist

Why Craigslist Blocks

How to solve Craigslist Captcha



About Craigslist 

You must have heard of Craigslist which is known as a well-rounded classified advertisements website with sections of various post categories. Sometimes, we may want to scrape data for various reasons of research analysis, commercial prediction, personal uses and some other intentions. However, scraping or crawling data from Craigslist is truly a bit challenging when considering how they set up everything for its website. Craigslist hasn't provided any public APIs for users to scrape data and have data formatted compared with most other websites and database, like Facebook, Twitter, Amazon and etc.


Why Craigslist Blocks

As we mentioned before, Crigslist should be categorized as a special site for its different structural architecture. They do have an API, while it only allows you to post but not to pull out read-only data, which is essentially different from other sites. This scheme and implementation may embrass some people, however, it does benefit Craigslist by denying amout of crawlers and scrapers'access to their dataset from the view of Craigslist themselves. It implies that you may only visit Craigslist via a web browser or email client, post to Craigslist or their bulk posting API, nevertheless, any intention to scrape or crawl their dataset concerned with personal or contact information will be banned.

cragslist blocks


Here, the concept of scraping legality should be mentioned, since Craigslist even has taken legal measures to deal with those with detrimental scraping or crawling based on the data scraping scale , how and where the data is used. Besides, it uses the CAPTCHA service from Google to help verify that a real person is posting an ad. Therefore, it implies that it would be hard for people to collect data and bypass CAPTCHA intellectually.


How to solve Craigslist Captcha

    1. Proxies for browsing Craigslist

      Since we know Craigslist is aggressive about scrapers with its particular CAPTCHA and API scheme, proxies should be considered as an option. Why? It is their only way to identify a scraper that is to sense the same IP address keeping sending requests to the webpage per second too frequently. Actually, it is not able to tell what users are doing, it just browses, like the crawler or spider. Talking about the proxies, they lessen the traffic by utilizing a list of rotating web servers, tunneling the origin from the website. Then, we may select certain scraper tools to process the IP rotation.


    1. Tools that can bypass Craigslist captcha

      Actually, there are some easy-to-use automatic scraper tools we can choose so that we can deal with these configurations in a much effective and easy way, like Octoparse, Import.io, Unipath and etc. These tool all provide more succinct methods for us to configure the rotating proxies, even they have provided a more reliable Cloud-based Service. Anyway, even though we could deal with the dilemma caused by Craigslist particular API scheme, there still exists a problem given by Craigslist CAPTCHA. Till now, few scraper tools could wrestle with such complex task concerned with CAPTCHA. Thus, a more practical and prevalent approach taken now is to utilize CAPTCHA Human Bypass, which implies it requires some labor work. Anyway, bypassing the CAPTCHA may not be that far away, as people have achieved this "bypass" action by looping through the images from CAPTCHA until OCR readable ones are retrieved. Then, the final result is that thousands of CAPTCHA images are retrieved.  All in all, for the CAPTCHA Bypass while scraping, we still have a long way to go.




Author: The Octoparse Team

Download Octoparse Today

For more information about Octoparse, please click hereSign up today!

Author's Picks

Be the Best Junior Management Consultant: Skills You Need to Succeed

Web Scraping|Scrape Booking Reviews

Web Scraping|Scrape Data from Online Accommodation Booking Sites

5 Steps to Collect Big Data

The Best Answers to Your Most Crucial Deep Learning Questions

A Must-Have Web Scraper for Data Comparison Software - Octoparse

10 Best Free Tools for Startups - Octoparse

30 Free Web Scraping Software


We use cookies to enhance your browsing experience. Read about how we use cookies and how you can control them by clicking cookie settings. If you continue to use this site, you consent to our use of cookies.
Accept decline