Researching the internet for a multitude of different reasons has been essential in any corporation. Automatized web crawlers have replaced endless manual research and browsing. The concept of web crawling becomes more and more known to many companies that want to make various strategies based on accurate data.
Web crawlers have been gaining popularity for quite some time, and are now more advanced than ever. Along with browsing, monitoring, and researching programs, web crawler tools have an immense implementation in any business for a multitude of reasons such as:
- Gaining an edge over the competition
Web crawling can make companies more competitive in the market as businesses get vast amounts of data that can be analyzed. This information helps to improve marketing, pricing, and other business strategies.
- Competitive pricing
One of the biggest challenges for every e-commerce company is to set the right prices for their products or services. Web crawling helps to understand what is happening in the market and what are the costs of similar products. This makes it much easier to make a decision.
- Trend monitoring
Web crawling helps to make future decisions of the company. When businesses get a bunch of required data from their market field, they can think of future plans, what will be the trends, and so on.
While the use of web crawlers is best suited for corporations and companies, even consumers can benefit from it. All of this and more is going to be discussed below.
What do they do?
Web crawling is used for data extraction and refers to collecting data from either the world wide web. Usually, web crawling is used to get vast amounts of data, but it can also be done in small quantities. A website crawler tool automatically and systematically browses the internet for a multitude of different indexing purposes. Most often, the primary use of these tools is indexing the many pages that the world wide web has to offer in a particular preset way. Based on indexing, web crawlers are categorized into:
- Search engine crawlers
- Academic crawlers
- Corporate and business web crawlers
- Focused web crawlers
- Parallel web crawlers
Web crawlers are often called spiders that browse the web to index as many pages as possible and turn them into valuable data. This data is later used for different purposes. While a web crawler might be useful to cover a wide variety of websites, there are other crawlers that are important to discuss.
Search engine crawlers
Search engine web crawlers are tools made by search engines to index as many pages as possible. Google, Bing, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo, and many more popular search engines have specific tools that work on indexing as many pages as possible and making them available for viewing.
Some search engine bots are custom-built, such as Google Scholar. Google Scholar’s bot is categorized as an academic crawler, as it operates to solely index pages from praised scholarly sources. Different search engine bots index different things for various purposes.
For example, there are deep web crawler tools that work to categorize deep web content for search engines such as ParaZite, Yippy, and even multi-engine aggregators, such as Dogpile.
Corporate and business crawlers
Corporate and business crawlers work very much the same as search engines and other crawlers, but for a different purpose. While other specialized web crawlers might work to index as many pages as possible for search engines, business web crawlers work to build a database of specific websites for further monitoring purposes.
The business application of a web crawler tool is quite immense, as they allow corporations to collect detailed databases for further data analysis purposes. That will enable businesses to:
- Monitor their competition
- Garner key opposition data
- Outshine their competition
- Competitively price their products
- Undercut their competition
- Make informed marketing and business decisions
- Monitoring and review purposes
- Collect vital information on their target demographic
Web crawlers for custom tasks
Web crawler tools have their use for consumers as well. Not only search engines and corporations can benefit from scraping the internet, as consumers can benefit from this as well. A custom web crawler is built from scratch or an open-source program and can be programmed to collect virtually any data.
Sometimes, consumers use custom made web crawlers to collect pieces of data they need for things such as data refinement, information gathering.
Custom web crawlers can be used for things such as:
- Personal price monitoring
- Finding the lowest priced product on a wholesale website
- Discovering news, e-mails, and other personal data
- Finding images, articles, and videos
To conclude our research, web crawlers are handy indexing tools. They have found their foothold in personal study, search engines, and businesses alike. They might be a fun piece of technology that aids and serves several purposes, but if you use them with malicious intent, this is not safe or legal.