The world was once a simpler place before the internet, yet information didn’t spread as fast, and growth was not as encouraging.
If you need to learn something, you need to find someone who knows it and learn directly. This would be impossible if the teacher and learner were divided by geographical barriers.
However, all these changed with the coming of the internet and you could learn anything anywhere and with so much convenience. But as the internet grew and expanded, it became home to billions of websites with several topics and subjects.
There was, therefore, the need to organize all this information into one large repository to make it easier for people to find answers to questions.
This repository became known as the Google index, which contains data about hundreds of billions of web pages.
And the tool that makes it possible to find and collect this much information became known as a web crawler. In this article, we will look at what is a web crawler, how it affects businesses, and how you can build or run one. For a more detailed look at what crawlers and crawling is check out this blog.
Table of Contents
What Is A Web Crawler?
A web crawler can be defined as an internet technology developed to search and index content from websites worldwide.
It is an automated tool that repeatedly browses websites using URLs and harvest various information about each website it visits.
Once the information has been collected, it is stored systematically to create an index that allows search engines to dish out results when users enter a search quickly.
The process can be used to extract data from a targeted destination or allowed to recognize patterns and extract from the unknown destination but with relevant and high-quality data.
Why Does Scripting A Crawler Have Value Generating Benefits?
Hence, scripting a web crawler can help you achieve certain advantages aside from what has been described above.
Monitor the Market and Competition
No one wins by fighting blindly, and it is often smart to have certain information at your disposal at all times.
One such information is the current market trends and everything happening, both now and the nearest future. This would allow you to produce and sell the correct way and make more profits.
Secondly, you need to understand who your competitors are and what they are up to at all times. This gives you the ability to augment production and marketing and outperform them.
Having a web crawler allows you to gather all the data you need to do all of the above.
Customer Sentiment Analysis
Perhaps the greatest influence on whether or not you will sell and make a profit is the sentiments of buyers and what they feel.
Customer sentiments affect how people make buying decisions and who they buy from, and to swing that in your favor, there is the need first to collect it then analyze it to understand it.
It is after you have fully understood it that you can correctly blend your brand and business to rhyme with it.
Web crawlers can help you gather many customers’ opinions on products or services and their attitudes towards them.
You wouldn’t have customers to sell to unless you constantly generate leads already familiar with similar products and services and can buy what you sell.
These are not random people on the internet but a carefully collected set of individuals that might have dealt with your competitors or bigger players in your industry.
You can use web crawlers to gather necessary information such as names, phone numbers, and emails about these people and contact them as leads.
The goal is to get them to become active customers or paying subscribers.
Generally speaking, this is the biggest benefit to everyone that uses the internet for one reason or the other.
Because of the abundance of data and the frequency of new information that gets added to the internet every minute, the World Wide Web would have been a very chaotic place.
Web crawlers are used to navigate websites and web pages and harvest information about each website.
Then that information is used to arrange the internet in a way that makes sense making it quicker and easier for search engines to show results during every search.
How to Build a Web Crawler
Now that we know what a web crawler can do let us consider building one. There are major ways to own and deploy a web crawler.
Writing A Crawling Script
If you know how to write codes and are a successful programmer, you can easily build and deploy your crawler using any common programming language such as Python.
The tool you build can be as efficient and as powerful as you write it to be. However, this also takes a reasonable amount of time to get right and is solely for those with a programming background.
Using A Crawling Software
This is a great alternative to the option above, especially since not everyone knows how to write codes.
Experts have developed these tools and already work well in the market. All that you need to do is select a suitable provider, buy, deploy and begin to crawl any website you want.
However, the cost can go from affordable to expensive depending on the quality of the bot and the types of tasks it can perform.
Even with just the ability to help search engines perform optimally, the place of web crawlers on the internet cannot be overemphasized.
Yet, their other functionalities make them very important tools for businesses and companies who want to excel and dominate the market.
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