Spiders are computer programs which are used on the Internet to peruse websites, checking for content, hyperlinks and different resource links. The information retrieved by the spiders is used for multiple purposes such as by the search engines and browsers to establish search engine ranking results.
Spiders: Vital Search Tools
Understanding the purpose and function of spiders is essential for anyone who creates a web page. Spiders capture information which a siteowner may, or may not, want to be captured.
Spiders, also called webcrawlers, are basically information seekers that go from website to website, scanning each site they visit for what could be new or useful information.
For example, spiders can help a search engine identify a website which should have a high search ranking, which in turn, can bring many potential readers to the site.
Operation of Spiders
Many different websites across the span of the Internet use spiders, some more than others. In general, however, they are an efficient way of updating databases and search categories that allow users to obtain a vast amount of information on a steady basis.
The most active spider that is utilized on the Internet is the one developed by Google, which is called “Googlebot.” This particular spider will scan looking for new and current websites to list in the Google index, the source of the Google rankings. Googlebot might scan a site every week or so, or every few seconds to record any updates that the site may have published.
Starting with a list of URLs from a sitemap provided by the website, the Googlebot spider will crawl over a website looking at multiple pages and looking for links to follow. The results of the crawl are available to the webmaster and are often reflected in the position held by the website in the Google search engine ranking.
Spiders can also be used to harvest, or gather, information. For example, a spider can be directed by software to crawl through websites looking for email addresses which will then be used to sent spam emails.
Spiders are software tools to gather information from a website. Depending how they are used, they can be very beneficial.
- plural form of spider