Have you ever heard of a web crawler? Web crawlers are also known as spiders. They are a special type of bot that is usually operated by search engines, most notably Bing and Google. They have only one purpose – to index the valuable content and data from top websites on the web to make those websites visible in top search engine results.
Because of that, these little bots play a significant role in the modern business landscape as they benefit businesses in many different ways. With that in mind, let’s see what web crawlers are, how they work, and how they can help a modern organization.
What Are Web Crawlers?
A search engine bot or a spider or a web crawler crawls the web to download and index precious data from the top-class websites on the internet. The main goal of these bots is to provide vital data about the website to store the information that can be retrieved when needed.
These bots are called web crawlers because of the crawling process they perform. Crawling refers to gaining automatic access to any website on the internet to scrape/extract data from it. They are mostly operated by Google and other search engines, allowing internet users to see their requested content.
How Do They Work?
The internet is constantly expanding, adding new websites and pages with each passing day. Keeping track of all these sites and pages is simply impossible. Instead, it’s much easier to let web crawlers do the counting for you.
They start from the list of known URLs, crawling all listed websites. As they crawl, spiders discover new hyperlinks and add them to the list. Even with these bots, the process of indexing all the pages would go on forever.
That’s why spiders have specific protocols and policies that allow them to select the pages to crawl, as well as how often and when to crawl them. Several factors determine which pages spider crawl first, including:
- The page’s likelihood of containing valuable data
- The number of visitors that visit the page
- The number of other pages that link to the target site or page
If many internet users visit a certain page, chances are that it contains accurate, authoritative, and high-quality data. Search engines need such pages. The content on websites is also constantly moved, removed, and updated.
Spiders periodically revisit indexed pages to make sure the data they have is up-to-date. Thanks to the robots.txt protocol, spiders can decide which pages to crawl. In other words, they can prioritize target pages and links they can follow.
Why Are They Important for Modern Businesses
Modern businesses depend on data to remain relevant and competitive in their industries and overwhelmingly crowded worldwide markets. However, doing manual web searches for data is prone to making mistakes, and it would take a tremendous amount of time, effort, and resources to find the wanted data.
Instead, businesses rely on spiders to find the data for them almost effortlessly. You can check the Oxylabs website for more information. Aside from that, there are a couple of benefits more:
- Constant monitoring of social media and news – one of the best ways to find out what’s on the mind of your customers and competitors is to keep an eye on social media and news.
- Competitive data – if you want to find out what your competitors have been up to, you need data to achieve your goals. Spiders can crawl the websites of your competitors and scrape all the data you need. That’s why businesses use spiders for web scraping.
- Lead generation – the more data you have about your competitors and customers, the more you’re able to generate new leads and revenues.
- Target lists – thanks to their web scraping capabilities, spiders can be used to extract data from websites. Set up your spiders to crawl target websites that provide data relevant to your business to generate more potential prospects.
- Supplier availability and pricing – spiders can help your business find the best prices for everything you need to keep your organization up and running.
How do Web Crawlers Help Them Position Better on the Market?
Web crawlers help businesses position better on the market by improving the rankings of their websites on search engines. That’s what is known as SEO or search engine optimization. SEO requires the pages of a website to be increasingly readable and reachable for spiders.
When an internet user sends a request to view any business website, it’s the crawling that allows the search engine to lock onto the requested web page. Spiders also help businesses stay on top of all SEO updates by regularly crawling their pages to keep the content fresh and up-to-date.
That’s why web crawling is an essential part of your SEO campaign. In other words, spiders help your business appear in search results across a wide range of search engines and enhance the user experience.
Web crawlers play a vital role in the modern business world. Since most businesses operate over the internet, they rely heavily on data to go about their daily needs.
The internet is an ever-expanding environment with endless loads of data, so spiders help businesses save time, effort, and money by providing all the necessary data they need to keep their operations up and running.