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Over the last decade, the technology landscape all over the world has undergone a massive transformation. Leading the charge of evolution has been the advent of the Internet and the boom in the use of smart devices. The mobile platform has taken the world by storm with more than half of the world population currently using smart mobile devices. This phenomenon has opened up a world of lucrative opportunities for businesses worldwide.
Companies can now use the mobile platform for all kinds of critical business operations like marketing, sales, lead acquisition, customer relationship management and a variety of other important procedures. Consequently, the realm of mobile web has also grown exponentially over the last few years. Companies are racing against time and competition, to feature mobile friendly or responsive websites to capture the large, connected smart phone user audience. As a result, many of the important business processes pertaining to the Internet at large have crossed over to the domain of mobile web.
Web crawling now goes mobile
Web crawling or scraping the Internet for business intelligence is also something which is successfully transitioning to the mobile platform. Mobile web crawling is currently a process that many companies are actively doing in order to take advantage of the vast and versatile mobile web platform and extract business-critical, actionable data which can be used in formulating business strategies and plans and for myriad other important business processes.
There are currently many web crawlers for mobile systems available on the market, and a number of web scraping and web crawling service providers are offering services for extracting data from mobile websites. Altogether, it has opened up a vast new field of potential which businesses worldwide are speedily trying to harness for their own growth and development purposes.
How does mobile web crawling work?
The basics of mobile web crawling are similar to those of standard Internet crawling and scraping. There are, however, a few subtle differences which makes mobile web crawling an entirely new field of study and research and with varied business application in context with a number of important business processes.
The way mobile URLs are structured and the nature of the formatting and navigation of mobile webpages and mobile applications warrant that there needs to be subtle changes in the web crawling tools as well for the designated platform. With unprecedented volumes of information being generated for the mobile web, crawling the Mobile Web data has now become one of the most important business activities for organizations. This is especially true for those who have a well detailed mobile strategy central to their business activity. Extracting mobile URL information is one of the ways in which businesses can fathom their position in the competitive mobile space, carry out competitor research and customer research, and generate critical business intelligence which can be used as a backbone for further mobile strategies.
Basic Facts and Techniques
Mobile websites are laid out in a much more simple and straightforward manner, and are usually lightweight and easily rendered. The mobile web platform is in itself a place which encourages simplicity and minimalism. This salient feature has to be kept in mind while reflecting upon crawling the Mobile Web data.
The unique way in which mobile websites are designed and their unique URL structure means that web scraping tools need to be particularly customized to successfully monitor mobile URLs and store relevant data fields from mobile webpages. Extracting data from mobile websites can be particularly effective and beneficial for most businesses as it is easier to locate relevant data and to extract this data for storage and further examination.
Mobile web crawling agents and tools usually are particularly tuned and adapted to the mobile web platform, making it easier to retrieve data in a specific and targeted manner. Data mining mobile devices is a complex and multifaceted process, and often there is need to commit the crawling tools itself to the mobile platform.
Developers all over the world have started putting together their versions of crawling tools for the Mobile Web data which come in the form of standalone mobile applications. Companies that provide data extraction services for the mobile platform are also currently in the process of further streamlining and fine tuning their tools and techniques so as to achieve better performance and more palpable results.
Huge data in hands
The large wealth of data that can be found in the mobile web is one of the first triggers that warrant that companies undergo web crawling and scraping activity specifically for mobile Web data. The immense scope and potential of the mobile web makes it necessary for businesses to put in their best efforts in the collection and storage of relevant data taken from the mobile web.
Web crawlers for mobile systems can come in the form of both automated solutions that gather vast amounts of data, and customizable and configurable solutions that collect data from the mobile web based on certain preset criteria. With both these data collection techniques, there is the prospect of putting together a large base of business critical, actionable and reliable data that can be used as the basis of formulating further business plans.
Crawling the Mobile Web data can also put your company in a position of power inside the competitive framework. With high-quality mobile web crawling, you can have detailed information about the mobile web strategies of your competitor companies, including valuable data about their products, services, pricing strategies and customer interactions.
You can use this information to enhance the reach and value of your products and services so as to attain a competitive edge in the market. You can also learn from your competitors some of the good industry best practices that they are implementing to bring in positive results and adapt them to your particular requirements.
Lead generation is an important part of any business, and with the advent of mobile web crawling, it has come to include the domain of the mobile web. By extracting data from mobile websites, you can acquire a voluminous database of consumers. This can include your own customers, potential customers and customers for a competing company. This can be an essential step in the list building process for lead generation and can help you reach out to a much wider and more varied audience with your offerings. The mobile platform also gives you the option of using this information to communicate and connect one-on-one with these prospective leads and start the process of lead nurturing and management.
If you are operating in the e-commerce domain, crawling the Mobile Web data can be extremely beneficial. Stored away in the Mobile Web is important product and service pricing information which you can collect, store and retrieve in real-time. This makes you instantly aware when one of your competitors change their pricing strategy to become more competitive.
You can provide better prices for your own products and services almost instantaneously, thereby nullifying any price advantage that a competing company can gather over your business. Keeping a database of pricing records can also help you accurately forecast future changes in overall pricing strategies and provide you with enough insight to stay on top of your competition when it comes to pricing.
In the present day and age, it is very important for businesses to have a clear handle on customer preferences, behavior and personality. The mobile web is an organic breeding ground for social interactions, and can provide you with a golden opportunity to learn more about your customers.
You can use mobile web crawling to crawl specific customer information from mobile social networks. This not only allows you to gauge your brand reputation in social platforms and the reach and visibility that you have successfully built up, but also enables you to ascertain with certainty the total mind share of the market that your company currently holds.
Furthermore, it gives you detailed and in-depth information about the tastes, preferences, queries, opinions, suggestions and positive reviews of a large pool of consumers with great individual detail. This information is worth its weight in gold when it comes to designing marketing and sales campaigns, promoting products and services and for customer relationship management activities.
With this valuable customer insight, you can go on to strategize and implement high impact plans for Brand positioning, customer acquisition, product and service assessment and marketing ventures. You can also use the social element inherent in the world of mobile web as a potent tool of communicating with customers and potential customers and addressing their requirements in an intimate, one-on-one basis.
Overall, mobile web crawling is a practice that is sure to become more popular very quickly. The advantages of the techniques involved are palpable and can prove to be a difference maker for any business. Extracting data from mobile websites can be the next logical step in the evolution of scraping or crawling on the Internet, and help your business work its way towards new heights of success.