The internet is an abundant source of various data beneficial for both regular internet users and businesses. Many data seekers rely on an array of search engine tools to browse the web and find the information they need.
For search engines to find the required information, they need to use a system of crawler modules to quickly browse the web and fetch the data required by the user. Put simply, crawlers make the world of the internet go round and are in charge of presenting the information you need each time you go online and use a search engine.
You need to find the right data to fuel your business, beat your competitors, and grow your operations. For that, you’ll need to configure a web crawler that can fetch the exact type of information you require, giving you a higher level of control over the data delivered for a particular inquiry.
Since it’s virtually impossible to find and extract the data you need without web crawlers, let’s talk about what they are, what they do, and how they can benefit your business.
Web crawlers explained
Many people are aware of the existence of web crawlers, but they don’t know what they are or what they do. So, what is a web crawler exactly? A web crawler is a programmed script or software tool that crawls (browses) the web in an automated, targeted, and systematic manner.
The entire web is a massive scheme of links, where each one represents a particular web page. A crawler relies on these links to effectively crawl web pages in search of relevant data that the internet user wants to see.
Crawlers are programmed to follow the internet’s linked web structure while traversing the indexed websites and web pages. A crawler can read the web pages’ graphical structure to move from page to page.
These crawling programs are also known as worms, spiders, and robots. They are designed to find the most relevant web pages and insert them into your local repository, where you can create copies of all the pages your crawler has visited. They can store data about multiple web pages and automatically browse the links stored in the local repository. This link explains more about what is a web crawler.
Focused web crawlers
A focused web crawler is designed to follow the links between web pages related to each other to download them and gather the information that is relevant and specific to the user’s inquiry. Also known as a topic crawler, the focused web crawler is used for the following tasks:
- Relevancy – a crawler determines the relevancy of the web page to the user’s inquiry;
- Forward – if the fetched web page’s information checks out, a crawler determines how to proceed, depending on the given requirements.
A focused web crawler offers a few benefits to the user, with the biggest one being its economic feasibility in terms of saving network and hardware resources. Businesses use this type of crawler to decrease the number of downloads and reduce the network traffic load.
Its ability to perform massive web searches is also highly beneficial to corporate internet users.
An incremental crawler performs its operation by incrementally refreshing the collection of web pages in its local repository to visit them as frequently as required. It actively monitors every change in the reposited web pages to replace outdated information with the latest, relevant, and updated data.
Businesses rely heavily on incremental crawlers to handle outdated information and ensure they always have an easily accessible source of new and relevant information. The biggest benefit of this type of crawler is that it can filter data and provide the user with the most relevant information, saving network bandwidth in the process.
A distributed crawling technique involves deploying multiple spiders working together to crawl the web and index as many pages as needed. They are also in charge of the synchronization and communication of web pages and are used to crawl pages in different geographical locations.
These crawlers can significantly improve the quality and efficiency of your web search. The best use case for distributed crawlers is crawling various applications.
Parallel crawlers are required for performing massive operations where multiple crawlers are required. Parallel crawling is an excellent way to browse pages in closed and local networks and at different geographical locations. They are used to save time while downloading relevant information from different geo-targets.
Different use cases
Focused web crawlers are commonly used by companies who need to reduce the network traffic load and decrease the number of downloads. They can also help with saving on network resources and hardware while increasing search exposure.
Incremental crawlers increase the quality of crawled information and save network bandwidth. However, the biggest benefit of incremental web crawling is to make sure you always have the most relevant information in your possession.
Distributed crawling is used for various operations. such as increasing the quality of the target web pages. And extending your web reach to the global level to increase the quality and efficiency of your web search.
Parallel crawlers help businesses save time while finding and extracting data from different geo-targeted locations and local and closed networks. Web crawlers are the best tools for finding and extracting web data according to specific users’ needs.
Web crawlers are extremely valuable as they provide many benefits to users, such as:
- Improving the quality of downloaded web information;
- Finding only the most relevant web pages for downloading;
- Extending the reach of web searches;
- Saving time and resources on network and hardware requirements;
- Crawling web pages in different geographical locations.
A web crawler is a valuable tool that can help a user browse the web and quickly download any information they need at the moment. Businesses typically rely on web crawlers to ensure their database is up-to-date, saving time, effort, and resources in the process.