Comparison of Web Crawlers and Web Scrapers

  • 05/10/2022

Web scraping is quite complicated, from its definitions to its potential commercial applications and its ability to influence how firms will operate in the future. Of course, web crawling is another expression that is frequently used. It’s critical to comprehend the distinctions between a web crawler and a web scraper because you might have heard that these words are sometimes used interchangeably. Before we go deeper, here is a basic summary:

Web crawling is the process of finding target URLs, whereas web scraping is the process of extracting data from a website (links).

Although they may sound similar, scraping and crawling differ significantly in some important ways. However, there is a strong connection between these two concepts. Scraping and crawling work hand in hand to collect data, so when one is complete, the other usually follows.

How does data scraping work?

When you grab any publicly accessible data, whether it is on the web or your computer, then import the discovered information into any local file on your computer, that practice is known as data scraping, which is frequently confused with web scraping. Additionally, this data may occasionally be forwarded to another website. One of the best methods for obtaining data from the internet without using the internet is through data scraping.

How does web scraping work?

Web scraping is the process of importing any publicly accessible internet data that you find into a local file on your computer. The primary distinction between this and data scraping is that web scraping by definition involves using the internet. Another popular method is to use a Python scraper.

Scraping vs crawling

Crawling is the process of going through a website and clicking on different targets, whereas scraping is the part where you take the data that you’ve found and download it into your computer, among other things. To gain a general understanding of the primary differences between scraping and crawling, you need to keep in mind these details. When you scrape data, you extract only the information that you need and want (for example, in the context of web crawling and data scraping, the information that may typically be scraped includes product data, prices, titles, descriptions, and so on).

It is essential to have a solid understanding of the primary distinctions between web crawling and web scraping; nonetheless, in the majority of situations, scraping is inextricably linked to crawling. When you crawl the web, you download information that is widely available on the internet. Crawling is a method for extracting data from online resources such as search engines and e-commerce websites. After that, scraping is used to narrow down the results to just the information that is relevant to your needs by removing any extraneous details.

Web scraping, on the other hand, can be carried out manually without the assistance of a crawler (especially if you need to gather a small amount of data). On the other hand, a web crawler is typically accompanied by scraping in order to separate relevant information from irrelevant data.


It is now easier to understand what data scraping, data crawling, web scraping, and web crawling are and how they differ from one another. To summarize, the most significant distinction between web crawling and web scraping is that the former involves browsing through data and clicking on it, whilst the latter involves downloading the material in question. If it contains the word “web,” then it is related to the internet in some way. The same is true for the word “data.” If it is made up of the word “data,” then the crawling efforts do not necessarily have to incorporate the internet.

It is now abundantly evident that data scraping is a crucial component of every successful organization, whether the goal is to expand the customer base, the business overall, or both. The future of data scraping also appears to be full of activity; as the internet evolves into the primary starting point for businesses to gather intelligence, an increasing amount of data that is freely available to the public will need to be scraped in order to obtain valuable business insights and maintain a competitive advantage.

Frequently asked questions:

What variety of web scraping exists?

The three basic types of data scraping are as follows: Report mining: Software uses user-generated reports to mine data from websites.Similar to printing a page, except with the user’s report acting as the printer instead of a page. Screen scraping: This technique transfers data from older computers to more recent ones.

What variety of crawlers exist?

There are numerous ways utilized in order to fetch the relevant sites from the web such as priority-based crawler, structured based crawler, learning-based crawler, and context-based focused crawling

Is Selenium a web scraper?

Selenium is required to automate the Chrome browser we’ll be utilizing and perform web scraping. Because Selenium uses the webdriver protocol, the webdriver manager must be imported in order to get a ChromeDriver that is compatible with the current version of the browser.

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