Here is a list of the most popular web crawlers and user agents also known as web spiders or internet bots. The web crawler list also includes good and bad bots that crawl through web pages across the Internet. Check out this list so you can handle and use these web crawlers for SEO purposes:
A web crawler, also known as bots, ants, web robots or spiders, and auto-indexers, is a software or script that ‘crawls’ through web pages to create an index of the data it aims to seek out. This process of methodically scanning a web page is what we commonly term web crawling.
Although a web crawler has many uses, its primary role is to mine or collect data from various websites across the Internet.
Now that the Internet has almost digitized the global community, these tools have become extremely popular. Thanks to these tools automating the crawling process, data crawling has now become considerably simple and accessible to almost everyone who wishes to mine data for one reason or another.
Most search engines use these tools to gather data from the Internet. Market researchers and analytics professionals are also using web crawlers to unravel market trends and understand customer behavior. Web crawlers are in demand today.
What You Will Learn:
- Importance of Knowing Good and Bad Web Crawlers
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Most Popular Web Crawlers List
- Comparing All the Best Web Crawlers
- #1) Cyotek WebCopy
- #2) HTTrack
- #3) Octoparse
- #4) Sitechecker
- #5) Screaming Frog SEO Spider
- #6) Dyno Mapper
- #7) Zyte (Formerly ScrapingHub)
- #8) WebHarvy
- #9) Nokogiri
- #10) Dexi.io
- #11) UiPath
- #12) Webz.io
- #13) Getleft
- #14) ParseHub
- #15) Deepcrawl
- #16) Oncrawl
- #17) Import.io
- #18) OpenSearchServer
- #19) Apify
- List of All Good and Bad Bots
Importance of Knowing Good and Bad Web Crawlers
There are now tons of web crawlers and user agents for you to exploit. To make your final decision a tad bit simpler, we have conjured a crawlers list of our own. The crawler list will walk you down some of the most widely used web crawlers being used.
Market Trends: In a report published by Imperva that aims to provide a clear outlook on the bad bots landscape in 2020, it was found that bad bots amounted to 25.6% of all website traffic. Good bots, on the other hand, amounted to only 15.2% of all website traffic, whereas human website traffic amounted to 59.2%.
- Go for a web crawler that can keep track of all the changes being made to the website and update itself accordingly.
- A good crawler is one that scales easily to meet the needs of your expanding business.
- The crawler you choose should easily bypass the anti-crawler mechanisms that some sites have up to prevent crawling.
- Find a crawler that can display mined data in multiple formats.
- Go for crawlers with a good support system to make sure the issues you may face using the tool are resolved in time for a hassle-free user experience.
- The crawler should clean up the data it gathers and present it to you in an easy-to-comprehend and structured manner.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q #1) What are web crawlers good for?
Answer: A Web Crawler’s primary role is to crawl through web pages across the Internet to mine and gather data that could serve several purposes. Search engines mostly use crawlers to mine data. They’ve also proven to be quite beneficial for market researchers who are always on the lookout for fresh data that could help them understand market trends better.
Furthermore, a crawler is also ideal for automating website maintenance tasks, which involve validating HTML code or link checking.
Q #2) Which web crawler is best?
Answer: There is no shortage of good web crawlers in the market that serve their intended purpose very well. Out of the plethora of options available, the following are some of the best web crawlers that can help you today:
- Cyotek WebCopy
- Screaming Frog
Q #3) How many types of crawlers are there?
Answer: There are three main types of crawlers. They are as follows:
- Open Source Web Crawlers: These are open-source tools that can be used and modified by almost anyone under a free license.
- In-House Web Crawlers: These are crawlers developed by an in-house company to crawl through the pages of their own website to find broken links, generate sitemaps, etc.
- Commercial Web Crawlers: As the name suggests, these types of crawlers are commercially sold and purchased from organizations that specialize in the development of such software.
Q #4) Is Web Crawler still around?
Answer: Yes, Web Crawler is one of the oldest search engines to grace the Internet. Developed in 1994, Web Crawler was the first of its kind to offer the privilege of full-text search. Decades after its inception, it is still active to this date.
Q #5) How do you crawl a website?
Answer: Here are the steps to methodically crawl a website to yield the best results.
- Understand the domain structures
- Configure URL sources
- Run a test crawl
- Add crawl restrictions
- Test your changes
- Run your crawl.
Most Popular Web Crawlers List
Some remarkable user agents and web crawlers list:
- Cyotek WebCopy
- Screaming Frog SEO Spider
- Dyno Mapper
- Zyte (ScrapingHub)
- Open Search Server
Comparing All the Best Web Crawlers
|Octoparse||.NET||Windows||Free Plan, Standard Plan - $75/month, Professional Plan - $209/month, Custom enterprise plan also available.|
|Sitechecker||--||Cross-Platform||Basic: $23/month, Start Up $39/month, Growing - $79/month, Custom enterprise plan available|
|Screaming Frog SEO Spider||--||Cross-Platform||Free with Crawl Limit of 500 URLs, pay around $160 per year for unlimited crawling|
#1) Cyotek WebCopy
Best for website scanning and content downloading.
Kicking off our list is Cyotek WebCopy, arguably one of the best website crawlers encountered. The tool allows you to copy websites locally onto your hard disks for offline browsing. It is flexible with configuration. You can adjust the settings as per your preference to tell the crawler how you wish to crawl a particular page.
Cyotek can also configure user-agent strings, domain aliases, and default documents, among many other things. When scanning websites completely or partially, WebCopy will also automatically remap links to resources such as images in order to match the local path.
If you wish to assess the HTML markup of a website and discover all linked resources in the process, then this bot is for you.
- Full website scanning.
- Content downloader.
- Make a copy of the static website.
- Extensive configuration option.
- Highly configurable.
- Easy to use with limited restrictions.
- No installation is required.
- Downloads websites partially or completely to a local disk.
- Can identify linked resources.
- Absent Virtual DOM.
Verdict: Cyotek can copy websites locally onto your device, either partially or completely. It is also very easy to use and highly configurable, which makes it one of the best web crawlers today.
Website: Cyotek WebCopy
Best for people with advanced programming language knowledge.
HTTrack boasts functionalities that make it more than capable of downloading entire website data to your PC device. HTTrack can either mirror one site or multiple sites together with shared links. You get to decide how many connections you wish to open concurrently when downloading web pages.
The tool works as either a command-line program or via a shell for professional and private use. As such, HTTrack isn’t everybody’s cup of tea and should be used mostly by people proficient in advanced programming languages.
- Download web content to a local directory.
- Arrange the link structure.
- Resume interrupted downloads.
- Update mirror site.
- Works as a command-line program.
- Simple to view website structure.
- Proxy available.
- Can restart interrupted downloads.
- Only suitable for people with knowledge of advanced programming languages.
Verdict: HTTrack is not everybody’s cup of tea. This is a web crawler we would have no qualms recommending to people with deep knowledge of advanced programming knowledge.
Best for a user-friendly interface.
Octoparse is a robust client-based web crawler that mines data across the web and presents it as a comprehensive spreadsheet. The software is remarkably easy-to-use, thanks to the point-and-click interface it offers. This makes Octoparse ideal for non-coders.
It can present web data in a variety of formats, which include HTML, XML, Excel, CSV, etc. Furthermore, Octoparse shines due to the pre-built scrapers and auto-detection features it comes equipped with. Pre-built scrapers, for instance, scrape data from sites like Amazon and Facebook.
Auto-Detectors can automatically identify structured data once you enter the target URL. After detecting the data, Octoparse scrapes it for download.
- Simple data mining.
- Auto Structured Data Detectors.
- Pre-built scraping capabilities.
- Point-and-click interface.
- Comes with 2 types of learning modes.
- Quick concurrent data extraction.
- Impressive pre-built scrapers.
- The lack of support and tutorials really sticks out.
Verdict: It will practically take you no less than a minute to turn website content into structured spreadsheets containing comprehensive data with Octoparse by your side. You also don’t need coding language knowledge to operate this crawler.
Price: Free Plan, Standard Plan – $75/month, Professional Plan – $209/month, Custom enterprise plan is also available.
Best for technical SEO Auditing for digital marketing professionals and agencies.
If cloud-based real-time website crawling is what you seek, then you will be pleased with what Sitechecker has to offer. This tool is ideal if you wish to crawl your entire website to unearth technical issues and fix them before it’s too late.
Sitechecker is also one of the fastest web crawlers in existence today. Reportedly, the tool can scan over 300 pages of a website within 120 seconds or less. You have the freedom to set rules in order to find errors, pages, or both. Based on the site-level and page-level issues uncovered, Sitechecker also assigns scores to a website that can help you determine its health.
- Site Auditing
- Site Tracker
- Track website positing by keywords.
- Backlinks tracker.
- Fast Website Scanning.
- Website scoring.
- Chrome extension is also available.
- Facilitates thorough site audit.
- No free plan is available.
Verdict: Aside from being a great website crawler, we especially like that Sitechecker basically arms you with tools that can drastically improve your website’s position on search engines like Google and Bing. This one is definitely worth trying if you are a digital marketing professional.
Price: Basic: $23/month, Start-Up $39/month, Growing – $79/month, Custom enterprise plan available
#5) Screaming Frog SEO Spider
Best for crawling small and large websites and fixing website performance.
As the name suggests, Screaming Frog is a web crawler with features that can considerably improve one’s SEO. The tool can instantly crawl an entire website to unearth errors, broken links, temporary and permanent redirects, duplicate content, etc. The tool then allows you to export this information in bulk to developers in a bid to fix issues.
Screaming Frog allows you to mine for any type of data from the HTML of a web page using regex, CSS, and XPath. You will also get to view all URLs that were blocked by robots.txt or Meta robot directives. Finally, it is extremely easy and quick to generate XML sitemaps and image-XML sitemaps with Screaming Frog’s advanced settings.
- Data Extraction.
- Data Auditing.
- Analyze page titles and meta-data.
- Visualize Site Architecture.
- Find broken links and errors.
- Finds duplicate content.
- Quick Sitemap generation.
- Integrate seamlessly with Google Search Console.
- Advanced options are paid.
Verdict: We like how Screaming Frog allows you to crawl over 500 URLs without charging a dime. The tool also helps you significantly improve your website’s performance and reduce bounce rates by fixing page issues like broken links and duplicate content.
Price: Free with a Crawl Limit of 500 URLs, pay around $160 per year for unlimited crawling
Website: Screaming Frog SEO Spider
#6) Dyno Mapper
Best for easy Sitemap Generation and Website Optimization
Dyno Mapper is a crawler we would recommend for its amazing site-building capabilities. All you have to do is enter the website’s URL into Dyno Mapper’s software and you will be presented with that particular website’s entire sitemap. Aside from helping you discover a sitemap, Dyno Mapper can also help you build one automatically.
- Content Planning
- Keyword tracking
- Website accessibility testing
- Content auditing
- Excellent content analysis for SEO.
- Suitable for project management.
- Automatically build sitemaps.
- The starter plan does not crawl private sites.
Verdict: Dyno Mapper is undoubtedly one of the best tools to generate a visual sitemap for your website. The tool also excels regarding website optimization and content planning, which is why it is a tool we recommend to web developers and digital marketing professionals.
Price: Standard – $49/month, Standard – $99/month, Organization – $360/month. (Billed annually)
Website: Dyno Mapper
#7) Zyte (Formerly ScrapingHub)
Best for people with strong programming knowledge of the language.
ScrapingHub, which is now Zyte, is another web crawler that is more suitable for developers with proficiency in coding. It offers multiple features that make extracting information from websites across the Internet a hassle-free experience.
Zyte leverages 4 tools (Splash, Crawlera, Portia, and Scrapy Cloud), the help of which helps developers translate extracted web data into coherent content.
- Data Extraction
- Pre-defined crawl frequency
- Automatic Extraction API
- Excellent support
- Uses Crawlera, Portia, Scrapy Cloud, and Splash
- Unlimited Spiders
- Multi-IP crawling
- Only suitable for professional developers.
Verdict: Zyte is not everybody’s cup of tea. It is an amazing crawler that can do wonders in the hands of a professional coder. It is rich in features, scalable, and offers its services at an affordable rate.
Price: Flexible pricing plans starting from $25/month for small web scraping projects. A custom plan is also available.
Best for hassle-free visual web scraping.
We had such a breezy time extracting data from my web pages into my local device using this web scraping tool. WebHarvy works phenomenally with all types of websites. You don’t need to have any prior scripting or programming language knowledge to use this tool.
The software is ideal for extracting data from sites like forums, eCommerce stores, social media channels, listing websites, etc.
- Pattern Detection.
- Save to file or database.
- Keyword submission.
- Handle pagination.
- Easy to use.
- Keyword-based extraction.
- VPN support included.
- Impressive crawling scheduler.
- Expensive, especially for a very simple tool.
Verdict: WebHarvy makes web scraping look like a walk in the park with features that are easy to implement. From URLs to text and images, WebHarvy will easily scrape these elements in no time from any website online.
Price: $129 for a single-user license, $219 for 2 user license, and $299 for 3 user license.
Best for handling XML and HTML documents from Ruby.
With Nokogiri, you get a comprehensive API that can read, write, modify and query documents. The tool makes a developer’s job easier by making it simple to deal with XML and HTML for Ruby. Nokogiri functions on two core principles.
First, it treats all documents as suspicious by default. Second, it doesn’t bother to fix the behavioral differences detected between parsers.
- DOM Parser for XML, HTML4 and HTML5.
- Push Parser for XML and HTML4.
- SAX Parser for XML and HTML4.
- Document Search via XPath 1.0.
- Absolutely free.
- Good XML and HTML parser for Ruby.
- Excellent security.
- Not suitable for non-developers.
Verdict: Nokogiri has plenty to offer as a website crawler to those who are professional coders. It especially helps them deal with XML and HTML documents with a comprehensive API that makes reading, modifying, and querying documents considerably simple.
Best for quick and comprehensive Data Transformation.
Boasting impressive intuitive data mining and automation capabilities, Dexi.io is a powerful web crawling tool for developers. You can rest assured that Dexi.io will interact with any type of website and scrape data from it without any hassle.
How crawler de-duplicates data proactively before it is dispatched to be stored and viewed into the system is most recommendable.
- Automatic Data Capture.
- Location-based analytics.
- Category Analytics.
- Highly customizable.
- Automatically de-duplicate data.
- Intelligent data mining and automation features.
- Facilitate agent creation services.
- Not ideal for non-developers.
Verdict: With impressive automation capabilities, you’ll find Dexi transforming content from any website into valuable data. This data can then be leveraged by businesses to accomplish several of their organizational goals.
Price: A free plan is available. Contact for a custom quote.
UiPath excels as a robotic process for automation software that specializes in website scraping. Though only compatible with Windows, the tool does a great job in automating both web and desktop data crawling for almost all third-party applications.
The software is especially ideal when handling complex UIs. It can easily extract data in tabular or pattern form from multiple different web pages.
- Intelligent automation of web and desktop data crawling.
- No programming knowledge is needed to create web agents.
- Can handle both individual and group text elements.
- Can easily manage complex UIs.
- It’s very expensive.
Price: Automation Developer: $420/month, Unattended Automation: $1380/month, Automation Team: $1930/month.
If you want your crawler to extract real-time data from websites all across the Internet, then Webz.io is for you. This tool will crawl and interact with any type of data and extract keywords in multiple different languages. The extracted data can be easily saved in RSS, JSON, and XML formats. Webz.io supports more than 80 languages.
You will have no issue searching or indexing structured data crawled by this tool.
- Massive multilingual support.
- Extract real-time data.
- Simple to use query system.
- Not suitable for business organizations.
Price: Try it for free. Contact for a custom quote.
Getleft has to be one of the best free tools on this crawler listing. With an austere interface aesthetic and multiple features to boast, the software can easily download a website completely. To get started, you need to enter the website URL onto Getleft and then select which files you wish to download.
The software changes the links to all of a website’s original pages to relative links for local browsing when grabbing a website. In hindsight, this is the software we would recommend to quench basic crawling needs.
- Multilingual support.
- Free of charge.
- Easy to use interface.
- Limited FTP support.
The software can work as both a browser-based crawler and as a desktop application compatible with MacOS X, Linux, and Windows.
- Get a real-time view of websites being crawled.
- Excellent customer support.
- Impressive puzzle-piece GUI.
- Supports extraction from single and multi-page sources.
- Limited public projects.
Price: Free for scraping the first 200 web pages, $189 per month, and $599 per month. A custom enterprise web scraping app is also available
Deepcrawl is a fascinating SEO website crawler. It is really good at performing audits, finding issues with SEO strategy, and unearthing key information about one’s competitors. The software allows you to schedule crawls on an hourly, weekly, or monthly basis. This software is ideal for website migration and improving your website’s structure.
- Google Analytics Integration.
- Schedule crawls as per your wish.
- Seamlessly crawls millions of pages.
- Can get slow when performing large audits.
Price: Contact for a quote.
Oncrawl is a great SEO crawler that offers features that are guaranteed to help improve your site’s rankings, traffic, and online revenue. The crawler relies on information provided by more than 600 indicators to understand how search engines view your website.
You also get advanced data exploration features alongside an interactive dashboard that allows you to make informed decisions.
- Crawl Budget report.
- Good support.
- The UI needs to work.
Price: Explorer: $69 per month, Business: $249/month.
Import.io impresses you with its ability to collect data and convert it from its original state on web pages to well-structured data.
This makes the tool ideal for businesses and marketing researchers who seek organized data to make informed decisions. The software integrates seamlessly with multiple programming languages. The crawler is easy to use, thanks to its point-and-click interface.
- Point and click interface.
- Seamless integration with multiple languages.
- Flexible pricing.
- The absence of a free trial or free version sticks out.
Price: Contact for a quote
OpenSearchServer is a good tool to crawl websites or build a search index. It also offers you text extracts and auto-completion features, which can create search pages. The software allows you to opt for any one of the six scripts it offers you to download, each serving a different purpose.
The Index script, for instance, features automatic classification and distinct analysis and supports seventeen languages.
- Allows you to create your own indexing strategy.
- A plethora of search functions is available.
- Can be confusing.
- Powerful automation.
- Seamless web integration.
- Not suitable for non-developers.
Price: Free plan available, Personal – $49/month, Team – $499/month, Custom enterprise plan also available.
List of All Good and Bad Bots
Now that we’ve introduced you to the top web crawlers. Let’s quickly run down a list of all the good and bad bots that are actively operating on the World Wide Web today.
Good Bot Names
Good bots are basically bots that are owned by legitimate businesses and are being used to automate certain tasks for the direct benefit of their users. These bots usually belong to search engines.
Following are some prominent examples of good bots on the Internet:
User-Agent – DuckDuckBot
DuckDuckBot is a web crawler used by the popular search engine DuckDuckGo. Search engines have become quite popular in recent times, thanks to growing scrutiny around user privacy and tracking. The bot essentially connects consumers to businesses.
User-Agent – Applebot
Applebot is a web crawler used by the popular computer technology brand Apple. This bot is vehemently used by Apple’s Siri and Spotlight suggestions to provide personalized services to its users.
User-Agent – Googlebot
Googlebot is the most popular among the bunch of web crawlers we have scurrying around the Internet today. The bot is used by the Google search engine to index content. You can make use of the ‘Fetch Tools’ in Google Search Console to test exactly how this bot crawls on your site or renders a URL.
User-Agent – Baiduspider
This web crawler belongs to Baidu – a popular Chinese search engine. It crawls web pages to collect data and presents it to Baidu’s search engine. Baidu is a leading search engine that dominates 80% of the overall search engine market of mainland China.
User-Agent – Bingbot
Bingbot is a standard web crawler used by the search engine Bing to handle their daily crawling tasks. Developed in 2010, it was intended by Microsoft to be a replacement for what once used to be the MSN bot.
User-Agent – Slurp
This web crawler belongs to Yahoo and helps them with their search engine. It collects information from partner sites. The information gathered is then listed on sites like Yahoo Finance, Yahoo News, etc. It also mines data across the web to help Yahoo give a personalized user experience to its users.
#7) Yandex Bot
User-Agent – YandexBot
This web crawler belongs to Russia’s biggest search engine – Yandex. The site generates the majority of search traffic in Russia. Yandex has several types of robots, each performing a different function.
#8) Facebook external hit
User-Agent – facebot
As the name suggests, this web crawler belongs to the popular social media channel Facebook. It serves two main purposes. It helps Facebook offer personalized content to its users and provides data that can improve advertising performance.
#9) Alexa Crawler
User-Agent – ia_archiver
Alexa Crawler is a web crawler used by Amazon’s Alexa internet rankings. The crawler collects information for both local and international site rankings.
User-Agent – Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Konqueror/3.5; Linux) KHTML/3.5.5 (like Gecko) (Exabot-Thumbnails), Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Exabot/3.0; +http://www.exabot.com/go/robot)
Exabot is a web crawler developed by Exalead – a popular search engine belonging to France. Founded in 2000, it has indexed more than 16 billion pages ever since its inception.
Bad Bot Names
Bad Bots aren’t necessarily harmful. However, they are still considered to be bad bots due to their excessive crawling habits that can sometimes devour bandwidth and server resources. Some experts also found that these bots ignore robots.txt directives and move forward directly with website scanning.
Some prominent bad robots are as follows:
User-Agent – MJ12Bot
Majestic is a specialist search engine based in the UK. It is widely used by a plethora of businesses in over 60 countries across the globe. It is also available in 13 different languages.
User-Agent – PetalBot/AspiegelBot
PetalBot is a program that belongs to the Petal search engine and is widely known for automating tasks. Its main role is to establish an index database by accessing both mobile and desktop websites.
User-Agent – AhrefsBot
AhrefsBot is a web crawler used to power the 12 trillion link database that belongs to Ahref’s main marketing toolset. It crawls the web constantly to populate databases with fresh links and replace old links with their most up-to-date version.
User-Agent – SEMrushBot
This is a bot sent out by SEMrush every now and then to gather new, up-to-date data. SEMrush often uses this data in the graphical reports it presents to users.
User-Agent – DotBot
DotBot is a web crawler predominantly used by Moz.com. The bot mines data across the web and makes it available in Moz tools and Mozscape API.
Extended List of Web Crawlers
|Web Crawlers||Language||OS Supported|
|GRUB||C, Python, Perl, C#||Cross-Platform|
|Norconex HTTP Collector||Java||Cross-Platform|
|Distributed Web Crawler||C, Python, Java||Cross-Platform|
Website crawlers have been around since the dawn of the Internet. As the years passed, they have only become more popular and relevant today. They serve a variety of imperative purposes by crawling websites all over the Internet across the globe.
They are especially useful for businesses that want to improve their online presence or boost the performance of their SEO strategy.
Whatever the reason, we believe you don’t have to look any further than the crawlers we’ve listed above to get the job done. As per our recommendation, go for Cyotek WebCopy if you are looking for a website crawler that is easy to use and highly configurable. Those who are proficient in advanced programming languages can opt for HTTrack.
- We spent 20 hours researching and writing this article so you can have summarized and insightful information on which web crawler will best suit you.
- Total Web Crawlers Researched: 75
- Total Web Crawlers Shortlisted: 19