At the moment, one of the best resources that the internet has to offer is information, and we’re not talking about helping you find a cooking recipe. We’re talking about large volumes of data that you can use for strategic purposes and achieving business goals.
That data can help make critical business decisions, predict trends, stay competitive in the market, and so much more. Different types of companies use web crawlers to gather that kind of data. But, what is a web crawler exactly?
Read on to learn what a crawler is and why real-time crawlers are the latest solutions that occupy this space.
What is a real-time crawler?
So, what is a web crawler? Also known as a spider bot, it’s a software solution used to extract data from websites and index them. Real-time crawlers are extraction tools designed to collect only real-time data. They are particularly beneficial when you need to gather data that changes quickly.
That’s why real-time crawlers are often used for price intelligence operations. More precisely, real-time crawlers are specifically designed for applications with ecommerce sites and search engines. We can freely say that they are improved versions of web scrapers.
They can be incredibly successful at extracting heavy data. These crawlers also guarantee a 100% success rate and many other improvements compared to typical crawlers. Read the full post here to find out more about crawlers.
How it works
The crawling process using real-time crawlers is pretty simple:
- The user sends a request to the bot regarding the data they want to extract and how they want the bot to do it.
- The crawler activates and starts gathering all of the required data.
- The bot extracts the requested data and sends it to the user in a structured way.
These crawlers provide real-time data delivery, meaning they gather the necessary data through the same connection. In other words, they use the same HTTPS connection both for the request and for data delivery. That is the core of real-time data crawling.
Other real-time crawlers use callback data delivery. This method doesn’t require an open connection, and users receive a notification when their data is ready. You can only use the callback data delivery method if the bot runs on a callback server.
Where it’s used
People use real-time crawlers for various reasons due to their superior nature compared to older versions of spider bots. Here are some of the most common use cases.
Scraping ecommerce sites
Real-time crawlers are designed to scrape ecommerce sites and can be used for data scraping on all of the largest online platforms.
You can use it to extract reviews data, Q&A sections, product pages, listings, search results, and anything else. They can work with all kinds of page structures and localised domains and store pricing data historically.
Scraping search engines
Real-time crawlers are designed to support scraping all of the best-known search engines. It’s possible to scrap keyword ranking data in various formats, including JSON and HTML formats.
Businesses commonly use these crawlers to scrape organic SERP and paid data. Many companies use them to scrape search engines, as spider bots can help find the best keywords for their strategies and enhance their efforts for campaign follow-ups.
Why are real-time crawlers so valuable
Real-time crawlers offer more value compared to traditional scrapers. Here’s how.
They are cost-effective
There are a lot of real-time scrapers out there that you can utilise for your needs. There’s no need to create a brand new one to get the job done. At the same time, they don’t require expensive infrastructure and powerful servers, making them a cheaper option.
Additionally, these services charge per page scraped, not per IP or the amount of traffic used. That makes implementation easier and keeps costs at a reasonable level.
They’re easy to use
Getting real-time crawling services is affordable and straightforward. Users don’t need any technical knowledge or special skills to use them effectively.
You need to find the sites and pages you want to scrape and determine which information you need. From there, you will only have to input the desired URL to get structured data that you can use for different needs.
They offer a 100% success rate
IP blocks are some of the most significant challenges web crawlers face. They could stop the entire crawling process or lead to partial data results, making it challenging to reach vital conclusions and make data-based decisions. That isn’t an issue with real-time crawlers since they offer many IP addresses that make it impossible to get blocked.
If you’re looking for a scraping solution for search engines or ecommerce sites, real-time crawlers are the best way to go. They are efficient and specifically designed for these kinds of applications. They are incredibly effective, simplify and accelerate data extraction, and come at competitive prices.