What user-agent should I use for scraping Trustpilot?

When scraping websites like Trustpilot, it's important to respect the site's terms of service and its robots.txt file, which often outlines the limitations and permissions granted to web crawlers. If scraping is allowed, choosing the right user-agent can help ensure that your web scraping activities are not immediately identified as bot behavior, which could lead to your IP being blocked.

A user-agent is a string that a web browser or web scraping tool sends to a web server to identify itself. Servers often use this string to deliver content compatible with the user's browser. While scraping, it's common to use a user-agent that mimics a popular web browser to avoid detection.

Here are some general tips for choosing a user-agent for web scraping, followed by an example:

  1. Use a Common Browser's User-Agent: Choose a user-agent string that resembles a browser commonly used by humans, such as those from Chrome, Firefox, or Safari.

  2. Rotate User-Agents: To minimize the risk of being blocked, rotate between different user-agent strings. However, this should be done judiciously to avoid causing undue load on the server.

  3. Keep It Updated: Browser user-agent strings can change over time. Ensure that you're using an up-to-date string that matches the current version of the browser.

  4. Check for Specific Restrictions: Some websites have specific restrictions on which user-agents are allowed. Always check the site's robots.txt file and terms of service.

  5. Be Respectful: Don't send requests too frequently and try to scrape during off-peak hours. It's best to mimic human behavior as closely as possible.

Here's an example of how you might set a user-agent in Python using the requests library:

import requests

url = 'https://www.trustpilot.com/'

# Example of a user-agent string for Google Chrome on Windows
headers = {
    'User-Agent': 'Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/88.0.4324.150 Safari/537.36'

response = requests.get(url, headers=headers)

# Proceed with scraping if response is successful
if response.status_code == 200:
    # Your scraping logic here

In JavaScript using Node.js with the axios package, you might do something similar:

const axios = require('axios');

const url = 'https://www.trustpilot.com/';

// Example of a user-agent string for Firefox on macOS
const headers = {
    'User-Agent': 'Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10_15_7) AppleWebKit/605.1.15 (KHTML, like Gecko) Firefox/86.0'

axios.get(url, { headers })
    .then(response => {
        // Your scraping logic here
    .catch(error => {
        console.error('Error fetching the page:', error);

Remember that scraping can impact the performance of the website you're targeting and may be against the website's terms of service. Always scrape responsibly and ethically, and seek permission from the website owner when possible.

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