My mistakes

Web crawler

Posted on: October 31, 2007

A web crawler (also known as a web spider or web robot) is a program or automated script which browses the World Wide Web in a methodical, automated manner. Other less frequently used names for web crawlers are ants, automatic indexers, bots, and worms (Kobayashi and Takeda, 2000).

This process is called web crawling or spidering. Many sites, in particular search engines, use spidering as a means of providing up-to-date data. Web crawlers are mainly used to create a copy of all the visited pages for later processing by a search engine that will index the downloaded pages to provide fast searches. Crawlers can also be used for automating maintenance tasks on a website, such as checking links or validating HTML code. Also, crawlers can be used to gather specific types of information from Web pages, such as harvesting e-mail addresses (usually for spam).

A web crawler is one type of bot, or software agent. In general, it starts with a list of URLs to visit, called the seeds. As the crawler visits these URLs, it identifies all the hyperlinks in the page and adds them to the list of URLs to visit, called the crawl frontier. URLs from the frontier are recursively visited according to a set of policies.

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