LinkedIn is the digital Rolodex of our generation. If you don’t have a profile, it’s time to make one. Connect with your peers and industry influencers; explore ways LinkedIn can help grow your business by tapping into its 500 million user-base.
Unfortunately, while many normal users on LinkedIn use this site for networking or connecting with old high school acquaintances, some work in data scraping. Scrapers see their network as gold mines full of personal information just waiting to be mined.
Read on as we discuss how to scrape data from LinkedIn with the aid of proxies.
What Are The Reasons People Scrape LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is a treasure trove of information about the current workforce.
With detailed profiles, skill competencies, and company data available to anyone with an internet connection, this social networking site offers instant access to all you need for your next job hunt or career opportunity – without even leaving home!
It should be clear why you want to get all that vital data on people or companies with just one click. For example, user profiles show company workers’ skillset while also letting them give out contact info. Meanwhile, employers put up job postings so potential hires know precisely where to apply if interested.
Does LinkedIn Permit Scraping?
The question of whether or not LinkedIn allows scraping is still up for debate. They are against any kind of scrapping and have taken out a lawsuit on about 100 anonymous data scrapers who were caught in the act of scrapping data from LinkedIn.
The verdict has yet to be decided, which raises many issues with the act of scraping in general. If you plan to do this process yourself, make sure that you know how to scrape properly since LinkedIn doesn’t want anyone else parsing their site.
How To Scrape LinkedIn
There are many factors you need to consider when scraping LinkedIn. For example, what type of page should I scrape? Should it be public or private profiles?
How do the tools, parameters, and proxies affect my data collection process? The only way to find out is by experimenting with each factor one at a time until you get the desired results from your data analysis!
LinkedIn Crawling Applications
LinkedIn is a powerhouse of information, and with so many different applications available, it’s essential to know what you’re looking for before investing in one.
Some tools are meant just for LinkedIn, like Octoparse, while others offer more than Linkedin does on its own such as Scrapebox, which can be used across the web, not just LinkedIn.
Essential Parameters To Note Within The Application
Once your choice of application has been made, two key settings will be adjusted inside it.
This is a standard procedure for all scraping methods but is more critical with LinkedIn due to its sensitivity.
When scraping, the number of open connections you are using to scrape is referred to as threads. The more threads you have running at once in a scraper program like ScrapeBox will make it faster than if only one thread were used per proxy server (since most scrapers can use up to 10).
This has its downsides, though, and LinkedIn’s extreme policy against scraping means that it is recommended to stay with single-threaded proxies for slower but safer results; this costs less since each new connection uses additional bandwidth from your service provider.
However, those trade-offs are worth it when considering how often people get flagged or banned.
When you set the timeout for your proxy, don’t be afraid of a long wait.
Most scrapers enjoy setting their timeouts at 1 or 2 seconds, giving them huge numbers but not many quality results due to how often they’re requesting information from servers that are taking longer than 2-10 second intervals to respond.
Try using 30-60 second intervals instead and watch as your scraper gets only high-quality data! You might think of it as a human: if you lag for more than two seconds, would you reload your browser’s homepage every second? Probably not. But humans don’t do those thousands of times in ten minutes.
So if we set our timeouts high enough to avoid detection by LinkedIn and prevent us from overwhelming them with repeated requests, then there’s no need to be detected at all.
Using Search Engines To Scrape Public Profiles on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is the social networking website for professionals to find out more about colleagues and potential employees that often have a very detailed account of their work experience.
It also has public viewable pages without logging in, such as LinkedIn’s homepage.
These can be scraped by using Google search to show users only results from sites like LinkedIn if they know what keywords to use since these would include “LinkedIn” or finding someone with your target company name followed by “.com.”
Your scraper will allow you to access the information available on these public pages and return it. Of course, you’ll want to be careful not to set off alarm bells for either of them, so you don’t get banned from search engines or social networks, like Google or LinkedIn, respectively.
While there are plenty of ways one can go about scraping data—like by using a specific industry sector company page in LinkedIn via an engine such as Microsoft, Apple, etc.—you may prefer not to be limited with what your scraper offers when dealing with only public profiles that provide all details openly without any login required whatsoever!
Use Rotating Backconnect Proxy To Scrape Anonymously
A Rotating Backconnect Proxy is a type of proxy.
A rotating proxy will take the place of your original IP address when requesting pages from websites, but it will only visit one page before returning to you and asking for your new request.
This makes them great proxies if you merely want to access public files on LinkedIn or Google without being tracked by their servers.
Private Profiles Scraping On LinkedIn
LinkedIn does not want you to scrape private accounts. When a person signs up with LinkedIn, they are told that their information will be kept private and used for internal use only.
The scraping of these pages is against the rules, but since it’s public, there isn’t much that can be done from a legal standpoint regarding this type of violation or crime, as some may say. If you’ve been using social media profiles to your advantage, scrapping information on LinkedIn is a great way to make it more efficient.
Whether for personal use or research purposes, this technique can be used responsibly and ethically if done right. Scraping private profiles takes away the tedious task of manually scrolling through listings with an eye out for specific keywords like “Geo-location: Boston; Job Titles: Programmer” so that they could look up relevant data from their computer screens in real-time instead.
The first step is crafting queries that will help them find what they need quickly enough without spending hours going through endless lists just looking at specific keywords alone.
Creating a LinkedIn account is the first step in scraping private pages.
You can create an account and log into it to search for whatever you want, but this should be done with caution as your data may not be secure! Many programs allow you to access LinkedIn without having any personal information attached.
One of these programs is Octoparse; their software will enable users to scrape specific searches through drag-and-drop functionality while also displaying what page they’re on at all times, so there isn’t confusion about which site or profile has been accessed. Of course, there are other apps you could use to do it, but we recommend Octoparse.
Search and Harvest
The information you can find on LinkedIn is astonishing. The site has hundreds of millions of members, and the fact that they’re all public adds up to a treasure trove for anyone who wants access. After creating your account, figure out what you want to search; some people might be interested in finding Microsoft employees or any other company employee if it’s not too restrictive.
You could also harvest data without making connections with them by using their email address as an example that would allow one-time viewing only instead of giving full authorization like when connecting through the service itself.
Use A Dedicated Proxy for Each Account
There’s a lot of risk for getting caught here, so make sure to follow the threads and timeout rules above. Also, make sure you’re using one proxy IP address to create your account before scraping on that account.
This is all about appearing like a human – most humans don’t access LinkedIn from different IP addresses every few hours; they usually access it through their home address if possible (IP). If you create an account with a proxy, use this same proxy when scraping the site until your profiles are built out enough not to be detected by any security software automatically.
Number and Types of Proxies
To scrape profiles of Linkedin accounts, you’ll need to use dedicated proxies for each account! Each proxy will cost money, and the more expensive ones allow you access past IP filters.
For example, if a company is using an IP address filter at their office that blocks your request when it’s sent from one device, but not another, then with multiple machines running through different proxies while changing them on the fly can beat those restrictions by sending requests in intervals, so there are always some working proxies being used.
It would help if you had elite private proxies to scrape LinkedIn. These proxy servers have more anonymity and security than any other web server, which is ideal for scraping the site with a bot or spider program.
You’ll also want to test your LinkedIn proxies before you start using them on LinkedIn; if they’re part of an IP blocklist used by the website, then it won’t work at all! Contact your provider as soon as possible if this happens so that you can get in touch with their team about updates or changes to these lists–or do some research yourself!
Number of Proxies
When scraping a website for information, you will need to have multiple proxies. For minor scrapes, 50 accounts and 100-200 proxies are recommended because these numbers are enough to get the job done quickly without being detected while still maintaining privacy.
If scraping a difficult website, the general rule of thumb is to have more than one proxy per account. Of course, the number will depend on how much data and what kind of difficulty level you’re looking for in your scrape – but as with everything else, the more proxies are better!
LinkedIn scraping is a difficult task that can result in some severe consequences if not done carefully. To avoid getting IP addresses blocklisted or sued, take precautions and understand why you’re doing it before attempting the actual scrape.
We hope this article has given you some clue on the right way to scrape data from LinkedIn, how and why you need to be stealthy in data scraping. Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.