What are the recommended intervals between scraping sessions on Zoopla?

When scraping websites like Zoopla, it's important to follow ethical guidelines and respect the website's terms of service. As of my last update in early 2023, Zoopla's terms of service likely prohibit scraping, as is the case with most property listing websites. Therefore, it's crucial to review their terms of service and privacy policy to ensure compliance with their rules.

If you have obtained permission to scrape Zoopla or are using an API provided by them that allows for data access, you should follow the guidelines provided by Zoopla regarding the frequency and volume of requests. In the absence of specific instructions, here are some general best practices for scraping intervals:

  1. Rate Limiting: Limit the number of requests you send to a website within a given period. A common practice is to mimic human browsing patterns, which typically means a few seconds delay between page loads.

  2. Randomized Intervals: Instead of scraping at fixed intervals, use random intervals between requests to avoid pattern detection.

  3. Respect robots.txt: Always check the robots.txt file of the website (e.g., https://www.zoopla.co.uk/robots.txt) to see if the website has set any crawl-delay directives or has disallowed the scraping of certain pages.

  4. Off-Peak Hours: Schedule your scraping activities during the website's off-peak hours to minimize the impact on the site's performance.

  5. Concurrent Requests: Be cautious about the number of concurrent requests you make. Single-threaded scraping with reasonable intervals between requests is less likely to trigger anti-scraping measures.

  6. Session Duration: Keep your scraping sessions short and don't scrape the website continuously for extended periods.

  7. Monitor for Errors: Implement error handling in your scraping scripts. If you receive HTTP 429 (Too Many Requests) or 503 (Service Unavailable) responses, it indicates that you're sending too many requests too quickly, and you should back off.

  8. API Usage: If Zoopla provides an API, using it with an API key is the best approach. APIs usually have clear rate limits and terms of service.

Here's a simple example in Python using the requests library where we implement a delay between requests using the time.sleep function:

import requests
import time
import random

base_url = 'https://www.zoopla.co.uk/for-sale/property/london/'

for page in range(1, 5):  # Example of iterating through 4 pages
    url = f"{base_url}?page_size=25&page={page}"
    response = requests.get(url)

    if response.status_code == 200:
        # Process the response...
        print(f"Scraped page {page}")
        print(f"Error: Received status code {response.status_code}")

    # Randomize wait time between 1 to 5 seconds
    wait_time = random.uniform(1, 5)

And here's a JavaScript (Node.js) example using axios and setTimeout to introduce a delay:

const axios = require('axios');

const baseUrl = 'https://www.zoopla.co.uk/for-sale/property/london/';

const scrapePage = async (page) => {
    const url = `${baseUrl}?page_size=25&page=${page}`;
    try {
        const response = await axios.get(url);
        console.log(`Scraped page ${page}`);
        // Process the response here...
    } catch (error) {
        console.error(`Error: ${error.response.status}`);

const scrape = async () => {
    for (let page = 1; page <= 4; page++) {
        await new Promise(resolve => {
            setTimeout(resolve, Math.random() * 4000 + 1000); // Wait 1-5 seconds
        await scrapePage(page);


Remember, the above examples are for illustrative purposes only. You should not scrape Zoopla or any other website without permission, as it may violate their terms of service and potentially lead to legal consequences.

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