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Web Crawling

What is web crawling?

Web crawling is the automated process of systematically navigating through the internet to index and collect information from websites. Search engines use web crawling to update their databases and provide users with relevant and up-to-date search results.

What is web crawling used for?

Web crawling extracts data from web pages and their linked pages. It's valuable for competitive analysis and SEO, as search engine bots like Google crawl and index pages based on various factors, including loading speed and broken links.

How does a web crawler work?

Web crawlers start by scanning known URLs, exploring pages, and finding links for further navigation. Companies use them to gather data, often with web scrapers for extraction. Scraping focuses on data parsing, while crawling targets URLs. Ethical use is vital to avoid straining servers and impacting projects; robots.txt files can help regulate access.

Web crawling vs. web scraping

Web crawling involves using bots to systematically browse and index the entire content of websites for search engines, creating a searchable database of the web. 

In contrast, web scraping specifically targets and extracts particular data from web pages, such as prices or contact information, for specific analytical or operational uses.

For a more detailed comparison of these two methods, you can read this blog post.

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