Whitepages Protects Online Data and Blocks Form Spam Using Distil | Whitepages Case Study

September 25, 2015

“Data is the lifeblood of our business. Using Distil Networks, we’re able to block bots on a per request basis, rather than just blocking whole IPs. We are protecting our data and preserving a good user experience. With Distil, we’ve essentially outsourced our bot problem.”

-- Michael Bradshaw, IT Operations Manager, Whitepages

Overview

Founded in 1997 by Alex Algard out of his Stanford dorm room, Whitepages has become the leading provider of contact information in North America. Whitepages helps people find, understand and verify personal and business identities, and has more than 50 million monthly users.

Challenges

  • Data scrapers were stealing directory data and premium content
  • Whitepages’ homegrown bot prevention solution was timeconsuming and error-prone, resulting in many false positives
  • Customer service was receiving daily complaints about blocked pages
  • Bots were executing costly third party API calls
  • Infrastructure costs were out of control due to increased query load from bots

Deployment

Distil Appliance

Results

  • Stopped comment spam and prevented scrapers from stealing data
  • Reduced time spent detecting bad bots and eliminated false positives
  • Reduced workload on Customer Service and DevOps by 20%
  • Eliminated costly third party API calls
  • Reduced expense of taking legal action against malicious scrapers
  • Decreased query load on production servers, reducing infrastructure costs and improving user experience
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