A crawler and a scraper are two different concepts related to search engines:
- Crawler (also known as a spider or a bot): A crawler is a software program used by search engines to systematically browse and index web pages on the Internet. The crawler starts by visiting a few seed URLs and then follows links on those pages to discover and crawl other pages. It traverses the web, collecting information about each page it encounters, including its content, metadata, and links. The data collected by the crawler is then used by search engines to index and rank web pages in search results.
- Scraper: A scraper is a software tool or program used to extract specific data from websites. It mimics human behavior by accessing web pages, parsing the HTML or structured data, and extracting desired information. Scrapers can be customized to scrape various types of data, such as product details, pricing information, contact information, or any other data available on web pages. However, it’s important to note that web scraping may be subject to legal and ethical considerations, as scraping certain websites or data may violate terms of service or intellectual property rights.
While a crawler is an essential component of search engine technology, responsible for discovering and indexing web pages, a scraper is a tool used for data extraction purposes, often employed by individuals or organizations for specific data collection needs.