Define Web Crawling and Scraping
Web scraping and crawling are two terms that are closely related when referring to data gathering. The terms may sometimes be used interchangeably to refer to the same action of extracting data from the web, but some key differences set them apart.
Web crawling generally refers to bots that crawl through multiple pages and websites online to make indices or collections (e.g. Google’s crawler). On the other hand, web scraping focuses on extracting specific data sets on given web pages.
Differences between Web Crawling and Web Scraping
|Web Crawling||Web Scraping|
|Manual/Automatic||It is only done with a crawling agent/ spider/ bot.||It can be done manually or with a scraping tool.|
|Action||Only “crawls” the data (looks through the defined targets).||Only “scrapes” the data (takes the targeted data and downloads it).|
|Deduplication||A lot of content online gets duplicated. To not gather excess, duplicated information, a crawler can filter out such data.||Deduplication is not always necessary as it can be done manually, hence in smaller scales.|
How do Scraping and Crawling work together in data gathering?
Scraping and crawling work smoothly together to make an efficient data gathering workflow. Firstly, the spider bots look for the most useful websites and pages by crawling them. Then, the scrapers come in and download the wanted data of specific assets on the crawled pages. Furthermore, the extracted data can be structured into reports for various uses, such as business strategising.
According to a Forrester report, data and insights-driven businesses are growing more than 30% annually. Staying focused on customer and competitor insights allows enterprises to stay ahead of the game and stand out in their markets.
Our brand, DataSearch, provides both crawling and scraping services. The services are built to gather and extract large amounts of data from the web. Moreover, our brand provides autonomous data reports tailored to each customer’s needs. Some examples of crawling uses include competitor price monitoring and data aggregation. Contact us to chat about your ideas and learn more about Datasearch.