The internet wouldn’t be what it is today without web crawlers. Google and other big search engines use web crawlers to find content on the web and index it. This is how search engines do their magic. However, crawlers aren’t used for this purpose only.
Some uses include extracting articles for curating web content, gathering business listings for lead generation, and other types of data mining capabilities. A lot of websites use web crawling to extract prices for various services or products and offer comparisons on one platform.
In fact, any business can benefit from using a web crawler. Luckily, you don’t need to buy a web crawler and learn how to use it. Many companies can perform these tasks for you.
Data has become very important in business. In the world of data, big data reigns and can provide the most benefits. This is why 53% of companies are already using big data analysis. However, not all companies have vast resources to focus on big data.
At the same time, small businesses also need to rely on data to make informed decisions, predict trends, find their mistakes, improve business efficiency, and so on. This is where web crawling comes into play. These services allow companies to gather relevant data while focusing on a specific aspect of their work.
For example, they can be focused on video crawling, social media, images, news, emails, and much more. There is no need to buy a web crawler or invest a lot of money in developing one as you can get crawling as a monthly service.
Quicker Information Gathering
Gathering data is one thing, but having a bulk of data that is unstructured and raw is basically meaningless. This data needs to be turned into information, a processed set of data that has context towards a particular requirement. This is what makes it useful.
If a company doesn’t have the expertise or resources to process data, various web crawling service providers are willing to do this for them. They can do it better than their clients as they work on scraping the data in the first place.
They aren’t only experts at gathering data but also at analyzing it. Your business will get actionable and understandable information more quickly. You will be able to use it sooner to improve your business efforts.
Automated Tasks And Flexibility
Managing web crawling in-house can be a daunting task. Even if you buy a web crawler, it requires a lot of know-how to use it properly. You will need at least a couple of employees focusing on these tasks every day.
At the same time, you will also need a powerful computer that will continuously work on web scraping. When it is set up, the crawler bot will extract data on its own automatically. But this computer will always require energy and maintenance.
When you have someone else doing this for you, there is no need to spend your own resources. Furthermore, all of the costs associated with these tasks will be fixed. You will be able to allocate the budget easily for your crawling processes and organize your business more efficiently.
At the same time, you will have the freedom to focus on the core aspects of your business. If you focus on your strengths, your business will naturally have a better ROI.
Lower Costs Than Programming One From Scratch
There is an ongoing debate about whether it’s better to do web scraping in-house or hire a third-party to do the work for you. However, it’s clear that only experts in web scraping and development can create and use these tools to their fullest potential.
Building a web scraper might seem like a straightforward thing. In reality, they have a high initial cost as things usually never go the right way. Making corrections and fixing bugs along the way can drain a lot of time and money. Even after the software is finished, it still requires lots of maintenance.
Websites are always changing, and this means that your scraper needs to keep up with their changes. You will have to pay developers to make these changes, or the tool will become useless. In the end, data scraping is only useful when you can merge data from multiple sources.
But, to do this, you will have to normalize data so that you can compare it and structure it in the same way. This is also an expensive process.
If you don’t have enough resources or a specific team to work with web scraping in your company, you should consider buying a web scraping tool. Read more about Oxylabs Scraper APIs, and you’ll be able to gather data from search engines and e-commerce websites with 100% delivery.
We aren’t saying that you shouldn’t invest in web crawling. On the contrary, we think that any business can benefit from this practice. At the same time, the best way to go is to leave this to professionals as it’s not a simple thing to do, and it requires extensive knowledge and improvements.