July 07, 2017
Web Crawlers or Bots have been around for more than a decade now. From Lycos to AltaVista to Google itself, web crawlers have not only helped evolve our perception of the internet but also given it a new meaningful implementation with each passing day. As Internet became an indispensable resource, web crawlers sprouted up expeditiously to keep the internet connected and under check. The intent behind setting up a web crawler then, was to index and search the vast resources of data on the internet. The uses of web crawlers, since then, have diversified to include a lot more capabilities that have helped multiple teams across industry segments to expand their business intelligence via technologically advanced crawlers. Some of the most common industries where web crawlers have proven themselves to be useful are ecommerce, real estate, social media agencies, travel and hotel reviews, media publications etc. for multiple use cases ranging from price comparisons to building simple indexes. But below mentioned are a few things you didn’t know where you could put your web crawling and data extraction technology to use.
1. Automatic Site Maintenance: Running a web crawler through your website at predefined intervals could help you identify all the blocks and navigational errors in your site immediately. These errors could crop up due to code changes, system changes or something as simple as outdated code. If your business depends on you running your website fluently, then using bots to scan your website for you could be a huge relief. By sending out crawlers to scan your website, you can identify if each link is accessible to the crawler and each node is accommodating all requests as expected of them.
2. Freshness Check: Web crawlers are the best medium to ping links to all relevant web pages and building simple indexes out of them. You can check the freshness of all hosts and their services frequently by sending a web crawler at predefined intervals and getting them to match the results against their freshness threshold. That ways you can identify which links need to be changed or promoted to get better visibility on search engines and prevent your data from decay.
3. Celebrity lifestyle listening: A big part of the media and entertainment industry, revolves around Page 3 news and informative bits and pieces about Celebrities and their life styles. Web crawling can play a huge role in tracking celebrity related news, blogs and social media activity to derive insights into their lifestyle and help build articles from the collected sources of information on your own blog or news site. By crawling these news sites in real time, you can get notified of any new piece of information and gossip almost immediately and keep yourself and your audience aware of what’s happening in their favourite industry.
4. Food Blogger aggregation: Are you a foodie or into the business of providing food recipes to the ever growing population of foodies around you? Use Web crawling and data extraction services to get all bloggers on a single app. You can crawl multiple individual food blogs sothat all their food related articles are listed and indexed. Further you can build upon this index and serve it on one platform to make it the one stop food blog destination for everybody. You can download images, text recipes, video tutorials, comments, reviews and all information that makes your food blog aggregator site interesting.
5. Dynamic pricing of tickets: With the online ticketing systems making it big in the travel industry, getting all current flight and railways ticket prices from multiple sources and launching a sale based on availability and choice of seats is a much in demand service, that could greatly benefit from Web Crawling. By getting dynamic ticket prices from multiple platforms, it gets easier to identify the lower priced tickets and which tickets are currently more in demand. Thereby, boosting the market intelligence that goes behind the online ticket service providers’ platforms for better pricing, seat plans and availability.
Do you know more such unique scenarios where web crawlers could come to rescue? Do share those with us.