Web Crawling: How to monitor websites for quality data

a computer screen performing web crawling with a bar graph and a diamond

Today, web crawlers help optimize both websites and search engines. It is a common practice where a crawling tool or bot automatically accesses and processes web pages to understand their content. In this blog post, we will take a deep dive into what web crawling is and how marketers and executives can utilize this technique to monitor websites for quality data. So grab your notepads because by the end of this article you’ll have all the knowledge you need to implement web crawling and web scraping into your business operations effectively. Let’s get started!

Web crawling websites for acquiring web data

In today’s data-driven world, businesses rely heavily on accurate and high-quality information to make crucial decisions. Whether it’s for marketing campaigns or sales strategies, having reliable data is essential. However, with the overwhelming amount of content online, gathering and analyzing this data can be a daunting task. This is where web crawling comes in – a powerful tool that automates the process of extracting useful information from websites.

In general, a web crawler is a robot that automatically accesses and processes web pages to understand their content. They have many common names that can be found such as tractor, bot, spider and spider robot.

The nicknames for “spiders” come from the fact that these robots navigate the World Wide Web.   Search engines use crawlers to discover and categorize web pages. They then provide the options they think are best for users in response to search queries.

In this way, we could define Web crawling as a way of obtaining a map of the territory. We will try to explain this concept with a symbolic example. Let’s imagine that we start with a treasure map that contains chests of jewels. If we want this treasure map to be valuable, then it must be accurate. In this sense, we need someone to travel to the unknown area to evaluate and record all the necessary aspects on the ground.

The bots are the ones who will be in charge of making this map. The way it works would be to scan, index and record all websites, including pages and sub-pages. This information is then stored and requested each time a user performs a search related to the topic.

The use of bots is not exclusive to Internet search engines, although it may seem so from the example of crawlers mentioned earlier. Other sites sometimes use crawling software to update their web content or to index the content of other sites.

How Web Crawlers Work and Why They Matter to Businesses

Typically, web crawlers scan three main elements of a web page: 1. Content; 2. Code; and 3. Links.

By reading the content, bots can evaluate what a page is about. This information helps search engine algorithms determine which pages have the answers users are looking for when they perform a search.

That’s why it’s important to use SEO keywords strategically when planning and developing your company’s public content. They help improve an algorithm’s ability to associate that page with related searches.

In addition to reading a page’s content, web spiders also crawl a page’s HTML code. They understand that all web pages are made up of HTML code, which structures each web page and its content.  You can use certain HTML code (such as meta tags) to help crawlers better understand the content and purpose of your page.

Why is web crawling important to my business? Auditing your site with a web crawler allows you to find crawlability and indexability issues that might otherwise go unnoticed. Crawling your site also allows you to view it as a search engine crawler would, essentially helping to optimize and continually improve it. This data is turned into valuable knowledge that can help with your company’s strategic planning and marketing efforts.

The Main Differences Between Web Crawling and Web Scraping

Although these two terms are often used synonymously, we could say that web scraping has a more defined purpose, which is to find specific information among thousands or millions of references.

A simple definition of a web scraper could be that of an ordinary person who wants to buy a next-generation QLED TV. So what I would do is manually search for information and record the details of that item such as brand, model, price, color, technical characteristics, etc. in a spreadsheet. This person also examines the rest of the content, such as advertisements and company information. However, this information would not be recorded; he knows exactly what information he wants and where to look for it. Web scraping tools work the same way, using code or “scripts” to extract specific information from websites you visit, especially when it comes to products or services.

We must not forget that the skill of the person looking for this price plays an important role in the amount of treasures or low prices he or she will find. In this sense, the more intelligent the tool is, the more quality information we can obtain. Better information means you can have a better strategy for the future and get more profit.

Scraping Pros: The Master Key to Data Extraction and Analysis Solutions

Whether you are looking for professional services called “web crawling” or “web scraping”, Scraping Pros is the reliable solution you need to solve these website monitoring problems.

One of the great advantages of Scraping Pros is that it is a flexible scraping service that adapts to the changes of your business and the competition: you can feed your business with audited and integrated data from different websites, relying on complete scraping solutions. Make more informed decisions based on market insights with web data integration from Scraping Pros.

We do the work for you: we automate tedious manual processes, freeing up your time and resources to develop other core business activities without worrying about the technical aspects. We have competitive intelligence that can gather information about competitors and their products, prices, and promotions, among other types of data.

At the same time, we have a professional team with more than 15 years of experience in web scraping. Our technical capabilities and world-class resources make Scraping Pros one of the leading solutions on the market. Our knowledge of the characteristics, opportunities and potential of each industry means that we can deliver personalized data every day, according to the unique needs of each project.

Finally, the scalability of the Scraping Pros service is worth mentioning: we have the resources and infrastructure to handle any type of data extraction project on a large scale, no matter how large and complex it may be.