What should I do if I encounter CAPTCHAs when scraping Zoominfo?

When scraping data from websites like Zoominfo, encountering CAPTCHAs is a common issue because they are a security measure employed by websites to distinguish between human users and automated bots. CAPTCHAs can significantly hinder automated web scraping efforts. Here are some strategies you can consider if you encounter CAPTCHAs:

1. Respect the Website’s Terms of Service

Before attempting to circumvent CAPTCHAs, you should always read and respect the website's Terms of Service (ToS). Some websites strictly prohibit any form of automated data extraction, and ignoring their ToS can lead to legal consequences or being permanently banned from the site.

2. Use Web Scraping Best Practices

Employ web scraping best practices to minimize the chance of triggering CAPTCHAs: - Rotate user agents to mimic different browsers. - Use delays between requests to simulate human browsing speed. - Limit the scraping rate to avoid excessive server load on the target site. - Rotate IP addresses using proxy servers to prevent a single IP from being blacklisted.

3. CAPTCHA Solving Services

If CAPTCHAs are unavoidable, you can use CAPTCHA solving services. These services use either human labor or advanced algorithms to solve CAPTCHAs. Examples include 2Captcha, Anti-CAPTCHA, and DeathByCAPTCHA. These services have APIs that you can integrate into your scraping script.

Example using 2Captcha API in Python:

import requests

# Your 2Captcha API key
API_KEY = 'your_2captcha_api_key'

# Get a CAPTCHA token from 2Captcha service
def solve_captcha(site_key, page_url):
    # Here 'method' specifies that we're solving a reCAPTCHA and 'googlekey' is the site key
    captcha_data = {
        'key': API_KEY,
        'method': 'userrecaptcha',
        'googlekey': site_key,
        'pageurl': page_url,
        'json': 1
    captcha_id = requests.post('http://2captcha.com/in.php', data=captcha_data).json()['request']

    # Polling to check if the CAPTCHA is solved
    recaptcha_response = None
    while not recaptcha_response:
        response = requests.get(f'http://2captcha.com/res.php?key={API_KEY}&action=get&id={captcha_id}&json=1')
        if response.json()['status'] == 1:
            recaptcha_response = response.json()['request']
        time.sleep(5)  # Wait 5 sec. and check again

    return recaptcha_response

# Use the token to submit the form or use it in your scraping request
# token = solve_captcha(SITE_KEY, PAGE_URL)

4. Optical Character Recognition (OCR)

For simple CAPTCHAs, you can use OCR tools like Tesseract to programmatically read the text. However, many modern CAPTCHAs are designed to be difficult for OCR to decipher.

5. Manual Intervention

Consider a hybrid approach where you manually solve CAPTCHAs when they appear. This can be combined with a notification system to alert you when human input is required.

6. Avoid Scraping Altogether

As a last resort, if scraping is not permissible or too difficult due to CAPTCHAs, consider reaching out to the website owner and ask if they provide an official API or data export feature for the information you need.

Legal and Ethical Considerations

Remember that attempting to bypass CAPTCHAs may violate the website’s terms and potentially the law. Always ensure that your scraping activities are legal and ethical. If you are unsure, it’s best to seek legal advice.


Dealing with CAPTCHAs can be challenging, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Depending on your specific use case, you might employ one or a combination of the strategies mentioned above. It’s important to consider the legal and ethical implications of your approach and to always respect the website's terms of service.

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