Desktop crawlers have their place. We should know - our Desktop offering has helped thousands of SEOs audit websites of all sizes around the world - and we have the glowing reviews to prove it. But cloud crawling (and cloud computing in general) adds an extra layer of adaptability to the benefits of a desktop-based solution. It’s not a case of which is better, but which will enable you to do what you need, want and dream of doing.
Let’s look at some of the benefits of cloud crawlers for SEO, and why jumping to a cloud-based system might make your SEO team more efficient than ever before. We’ll touch on:
You can jump to a specific area of the guide using the jumplinks below:
- What is a cloud-based web crawler?
- How using a cloud crawler makes SEO teams more efficient
- Cloud Crawlers vs Desktop Crawlers
- How to implement cloud crawling for SEO teams with Sitebulb Cloud
- Cloud crawling FAQs
Prepare to get familiar with everything cloud crawling, and realise just how much switching to one could help you and your team.
What is a cloud-based web crawler?
A cloud crawler does everything a desktop crawler does… apart from use your computer’s CPU and memory to run. You don’t need to install a cloud crawler on your desktop, and all the work you do resides in the cloud or online servers, where it can be accessed by multiple people at one time, working from different locations.
How using a cloud crawler makes SEO teams more efficient
Simultaneously crawl multiple websites
Where desktop crawlers are naturally limited by the resources available on your local machine, cloud crawlers remove such restrictions, providing significant power and resources to crawler bigger and faster. It also gives us the ability to crawl multiple websites simultaneously, enabling us to gather more data in a short space of time. Your SEO team can then put their freed-up time to good use - whether that’s tending to tasks that need their attention, or improving their work-life balance.
Ongoing automated crawls
Scheduling automated continuous crawls is easy with a cloud crawler, as it doesn’t rely on a computer being left running overnight or unattended. You can still receive real-time data and stay abreast of any updates or changes, without having to manually schedule and monitor your crawls. This helps shorten your response time, should any issues arise.
Integrations with SEO tools
It’s usually pretty easy to use your other tools in tandem with cloud crawlers, though some products integrate more successfully than others. When your keyword research tools, link analysis tools and rank tracking software all align, the resulting streamlined workflow gets rid of time-consuming manual data transfers, and gives your efficiency and accuracy a boost.
Greater collaboration with remote teams
You might be asking yourself, why switch from desktop crawling to cloud-based crawling if your setup is serving you well? If you’re part of a team, especially one that works remotely, chances are no one else in your team can truly appreciate how well your setup works for you - because they can’t access any of your data.
One of the greatest strengths of cloud crawlers is the way they enable seamless collaboration between teams working from different locations. Because information is stored on the cloud, it can be accessed from anywhere in the world, making it easier to share information with your team, reducing the risks of miscommunication and allowing for better handover when negotiating role changes or annual leave.
More scalability for teams
We’ve already touched on the power of cloud crawlers. They have the potential to grow alongside your team and company, tackling large websites with an ease that can’t be achieved on desktop. If you’re in a period of growth, or doing all the right things to reach one, a cloud crawler is a solid investment in your team’s future.
Cloud Crawlers vs Desktop Crawlers
As we said at the beginning, when it comes to Sitebulb Cloud vs Desktop it’s not a case of which is better - it’s all about prioritising your needs and seeing which kind of crawler they align with. Here are some of the pros of using both kinds of crawlers.
Benefits of cloud crawlers for SEO
- Perfect for large teams and enterprises
- Less reliant on physical machinery
- Great for overlapping projects
Benefits of desktop crawlers for SEO
- Much cheaper than cloud crawlers
- Great for quick crawls
- Perfect for freelancers, small agencies and consultants
- Secure - everything is kept in one place that only you can access
Both clearly have their strengths and weaknesses. But, if you’re heading up a busy SEO team that could do with a tool that will take some of the pressure off and give you back some time, cloud-based crawling is likely the way to go.
Key considerations for SEO teams when using cloud crawling
When it comes to making the switch from desktop to cloud, there are some key things to keep in mind.
Your team’s ability to access data from multiple locations is great for teamwork and collaboration - but you need to ensure that your team is the only one gaining access. Whether this means updating your security measures or carrying out training surrounding data security, it’s good practice to be proactive.
Most SEOs like to use a combination of different tools at any one time - and it’s always nice to have the option of trying another method should your first idea not go to plan. Integrating your chosen cloud crawler with any pre-existing tools is important, and can sometimes be difficult. Ensure you dedicate enough time to smoothing out the kinks.
Employees are often resistant to change. Giving your team adequate time and materials to learn how to use your chosen cloud crawler can help boost their confidence and wear down some of that natural resistance that comes with fear of the unknown. Make sure you can roll out training to anyone who may need it. Your crawler may be able to provide additional resources and support.
To find out more about switching from a desktop crawler to a cloud-based platform, take a look at our in-depth guide.
Cloud Crawling FAQs
- What are the key features to look for when considering a cloud-based crawling solution?
If you’re going to be paying more, you want to ensure that investing in a cloud crawler will mean an upgrade for the features that you already use on a regular basis, as well as bringing new features into play. We would also advise checking whether or not they impose limits on crawls or projects; and what customer service and support comes as part of the package.
- Are there any limitations to cloud-based website crawling?
The main limitations are the ones set by the crawlers themselves - e.g. crawlers that use crawl credits, which you need to pay to replenish.
- What’s the best way to manage and organise cloud-based crawls?
Ideally you will want to set up all of your client sites as distinct projects on a recurring schedule (typically weekly or monthly schedules).
- How reliable are cloud-based crawlers?
Due to not hinging on the power of a single desktop computer, fewer things can interfere with cloud-based crawlers, making them more reliable.
- What are the potential risks of switching to a cloud-based crawler?
Depending on the level you’re working at you may find a cloud-based crawler and its features a little overwhelming, and potentially pricey.
Joining Sitebulb Cloud is easy
We won’t make you jump through hoops or go through a lengthy sales call to get a simple quote. If you’re interested in Sitebulb Cloud for your team, view our plans and pricing here.