Web crawling has become something that businesses operating in the online space can’t live without anymore. With its power to collect massive amounts of clean data from the unstructured pile of information that the internet has, web crawling is definitely a technology worth investing time and money in. There are countless possibilities with the data you can get through scraping. The data can help you gain business intelligence, run an aggregator site, build your own search engine, fuel your database, you name it. One of the most creative things to do with web crawling is to crawl a huge number of websites while actively looking for a set of keywords that would trigger a specified action. This type of crawling is especially useful in industries like news and media where information appearing on the web on particular topics need to be monitored. Here is all about crawling the web for your keywords.
Industries where keyword based crawling can help
News and Media
Keyword based crawling can be especially beneficial for media companies who are actively looking for news and related content from the web to be gathered for content. If a news company wants to get any new content posted online related to ‘Olympics 2016’, they could setup a web crawler to look for this keyword in a huge list of news sites where it’s likely to appear and get the crawler to fetch articles, sentences or URLs of pages with the keyword. This data can benefit the media company save their time spent in researching the web manually by humans.
Advanced web research
Everyone uses the internet for research these days. Search engines can cater to small-scale web research needs and they do an excellent job at that. When it comes to researching a particular topic for business related needs, search engines won’t be of much help. This is because large-scale data aggregation needs a scalable custom setup made for the particular requirement. A web crawling setup can do the job if it’s programmed to fetch content from the web that has a set of keywords you are researching on. If you are researching a particular topic in deep, web crawling for keywords is the best solution.
For example, the spread of viral diseases across the globe can be tracked and monitored by crawling news sites from all around the world. Since instances of finding an infected patient could get reported by the news websites, crawling these sites for the associated keywords can help track the spread. This can help governments take precautionary actions depending on the estimated chances of the disease spreading to their country. It can also be used by researchers in the medical field to figure out causes and cures of certain health issues from the data aggregated on a particular health threat.
Brand monitoring is a great way to keep watch on what people are talking about your brand on the web. This can help you identify issues with your product or service at the earliest before problems escalate further and ruin your brand reputation. Keyword based crawling can be used for brand monitoring. In this case, the keywords would be your brand and product names. The web crawler can look for instances of your brand/product names in a huge list of source websites and report back with the content in which it appeared. This data could give you an idea on what’s being talked about your brand on the web.
How is crawling for keywords done
When it comes to crawling for particular keywords, the sources to be crawled should be defined since crawling the whole world wide web is not feasible. The ideal sources for the crawl would be a list of websites where the content with your required keywords is likely to surface. When it comes to brand monitoring, the source sites would mostly comprise of forums and social media sites. For media, the sites would be news sites and blogs. Once your sources are defined, the keywords to look for should be programmatically fed into the crawler so that it can fetch data when an instance of the keyword is detected.
Web crawling for keywords requires fairly good know-how of the technology and a high-end tech stack to run the crawlers. Luckily, there are web scraping solutions that can cater to this exact requirement. When you are going the web scraping service route, all you have to know is your sources and keywords. Your company can get the data that it needs with the option to decide your preferred document format like JSON, XML or CSV. The data is delivered in a clean and structured format which is ready to plug and play.
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