Web Crawler

Web is the largest source of public information however due to formatting issues and UX changes, it requires manual effort to get consistent/high quality data from web sources. Web crawlers, with the help of pattern recognition techniques, help users overcome these difficulties and leverage the largest source of public information

Web crawlers are also called web scrapers, web data extractors or collectors.

To be categorized as a web crawler, a product must provide an:

  • Interface (code or graphics based) for building web crawlers
  • Bot management module to start/stop/control bot activities
Popularity
Satisfaction
Maturity
Pricing
Country

Compare Web Crawlers
Results: 13

AIMultiple is data driven. Evaluate 13 products based on comprehensive, transparent and objective AIMultiple scores. For any of our scores, click the icon to learn how it is calculated based on objective data.

Sort by:
92.5220563828901
95.33547539884385
0.7999996335927765
100
43.71584699453552
67.20128523930632
top10
top5 , top10
4star
Datawatch Monarch
4.42
100%
43%
87%
= 5 reviews
= 10 employees
= 100,000 visitors

Monarch is desktop-based, self-service data preparation, offering the easiest way to access, clean, prepare and blend any data - including PDFs and semi-structured text files. Accelerate your reporting and analytics with easy, powerful data prep.

64.55218097252032
65.2709902840865
0.03636354792051345
69.2442250093579
6.0109289617486334
58.0828971684248
top10
4star
Webhose.io
4.10
100%
6%
3%
= 5 reviews
= 10 employees
= 100,000 visitors

Webhose lets you get instant access to large-scale structured data from the web

41.46049380239126
41.37051553329302
0.9090910670250572
43.528737545835696
14.207650273224044
42.27029822427539
top5 , top10
top5 , top10
4star
Mozenda
4.46
24%
14%
100%
= 5 reviews
= 10 employees
= 100,000 visitors

Billions of web pages scraped since 2007. Trusted by thousands of customers worldwide including many of the Fortune 500.

32.56842701097789
31.877841314357703
1.4545450755034992
33.822575910143854
1.366120218579235
38.78369828055957
top5 , top10
top10
4star
Octoparse
4.19
17%
1%
100%
= 5 reviews
= 10 employees
= 100,000 visitors

Free Web Scraping Tool & Free Web Crawlers for Data Extraction without coding. Cloud-Based Web Crawling/Data As A Service.

27.996557934106647
28.494605239826896
0.6545454419107227
29.65596619237433
19.94535519125683
23.5141321826244
top10
top5 , top10
3star
Import.io
3.30
20%
19%
71%
= 5 reviews
= 10 employees
= 100,000 visitors

Web Data Integration - Import.io - Data Extraction, Web Data, Web Harvesting, Data Preparation, Data Integration.

Popularity

Searches with brand name

These are the number of queries on search engines which include the brand name of the product. Compared to other product based solutions, web crawler is more concentrated in terms of top 3 companies' share of search queries. Top 3 companies receive 93% (15% more than average) of search queries in this area.

Web Traffic

Web crawler is a highly concentrated solution category in terms of web traffic. Top 3 companies receive 95% (17% more than average solution category) of the online visitors on web crawler company websites.

Maturity

Number of Employees

Median number of employees that provide web crawler is 22 which is 38 less than the median number of employees for the average solution category.

In most cases, companies need at least 10 employees to serve other businesses with a proven tech product or service. 9 companies (39 less than average solution category) with >10 employees are offering web crawler. Top 3 products are developed by companies with a total of 101-500 employees. However, all of these top 3 companies have multiple products so only a portion of this workforce is actually working on these top 3 products.

Phantombuster
Datawatch
Scrapinghub
import

Learn More About Web Crawler

What are the use cases for web crawling?

Web crawling is a true Swiss army knife like Excel, therefore we will stick to the most obvious use cases here:

  • Competitive analysis: Knowing your competitor's campaigns, product launches, price changes, new customers etc. can be invaluable in competitive markets. Crawlers can be set to produce alarms and reports to inform your sales, marketing and strategy teams. For example, Amazon sellers set up price monitoring bots to ensure that their products remain in the correct relative position compared to the competition. Things can take an unexpected turn when two companies automatically update their prices based on one another's price changes. Such automated pricing bots led a book to reach a $23m sales price.
  • Track customers: While competition rarely kills companies, failing to understand changing customer demands can be far more damaging. Crawling customers' websites can help better understand their business and identify opportunities to serve them.
  • Extract leads: Emails and contact information of potential customers can be crawled for building a lead funnel. For example, [email protected][domain].com email addresses get hundreds of sales pitches as these get added into companies' lead funnels
  • Enable data-driven decision making: Even today, most business decisions rely on a subset of the available relevant data. Leveraging the world's largest database, internet, for data-driven decision making makes sense especially for important decisions where cost of crawling would be insignificant.

How does a web crawler work?

First, user needs to communicate the relevant content to the crawler. For the technically savvy, this can be done by programming a crawler. For those with less technical skills, there are tens of web crawlers with GUIs (Graphical User Interface) which let users select the relevant data

Then, user starts the crawler using a bot management module. Crawling tends to take time (e.g. 10-20 pages per minute in the starter packages of most crawlers). This is because the web crawler visits the pages to be crawled like a regular browser and copies the relevant information. If you tried doing this manually, you would quickly get visual tests to verify that you are human. This test is called a CAPTCHA "Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart". Websites have variety of methods like CAPTCHA to stop such automated behavior. Web crawlers rely on methods like changing their IP adresses and digital fingerprints to make their automated behavior less noticeable

What is a web crawler?

Web crawlers extract data from websites. Websites are designed for human interaction so they include a mix of structured data like tables, semi-structured data like lists and unstructured data like text. Web crawlers analyze the patterns in websites to extract and transform all these different types of data.

Crawlers are useful when data is spread over multiple pages which makes it difficult for a human to copy the data

Q&A

Is it legal to use a web crawler?

Legality of crawling is currently a gray area and the Linkedin's lawsuit against hiQ which is still in progress, will likely create the first steps of a legal framework around data crawling. In case you are betting your business on crawling, for now don't.

Unless severe restrictions are placed crawling, crawling will remain an important tool in the corporate toolbox. Leading web crawling companies claim to work with Fortune 500 companies like PwC and P&G. BusinessInsider claims in a paywalled article that hedgefunds spend billions on crawling.

We will update this as the Linkedin vs HiQ case comes to a close. Please note that this does not constitute legal advice.