The manual process of search engine crawling
You often hear the term, search engine crawlers, bots, spiders but what are they? Bots, crawlers, and spiders are essentially the same thing. They crawl websites on the internet and use links as their “roads” to scan information and piece it together to show results for your internet search query.
I’m going to show you the process of how crawlers work manually. Note, you may think I’m creepy but all this information is public domain so it’s a great example for not only crawlers but also a topic we will not go into too much but just how much information people share on social media and leave themselves open for risks such as internet fraud, identity theft, and other risks.
First, let’s start with a photo of a dog. He is cute hey! Simply do an Image Search on Google and see if you can find a match on the dog. Bingo!
This pooch has a twitter profile and his handle is @HugoBark_. The Twitter profile is a great springboard for a world of information.
So far we have learned the dog in the photo is:
- Hugo Bark
- Lives in LA, USA
- Is a Yorkshire Terrier
- Born 13 Aug 2017
- His contact details are firstname.lastname@example.org
- Hugo has two parents with the twitter handles @mattmrx & @minks
Hugo Barks father twitter handle @mattmrx tells us dad is;
- Matt Morello
- Lives in LA, USA
- He is a sport commentator and video producer for OverWatchLeague.
- He is contactable on MattMrXBiz@gmail.com
Hugos mother with twitter handle @minks
- She is Australian
- But lives between Australia and the USA
- Born 25 January
- email@example.com – (we have a match with Hugo’s contact details.
- Is a streamer on ttv/xminks
- She leads us to her instagram page – http://Instagram.com/xMinks
- Where we learn her name is Chelsea
- Her instagram leads us to https://www.twitch.tv/xMinks – her streaming/gaming channel
- So now we learn additional information
- Chelsea’s education.
- Bachelor of Pharmacy degree
- The University of South Australia.
- Used to work as a Dispensary Technician at a Pharmacy
- Now full time streamer
- From this page, there are many links to follow to many news articles including dexerto.com where we learn Chelsea and Matt are now engaged
- https://www.dexerto.com/news/mr-x-minks-announce-engagement/22515 which was announced on Chelsea’s twitter account on 23 Oct 2016.
- Chelsea’s surname is Sandy
- Via her instagram, we have learned she and her fiancé have travelled to many places for holidays and to gaming conventions from Texas, Hawaii, London to going back to Adelaide for xmas.
- Chelsea’s education.
Simply by following a few links from an image search on Google, we have found a wealth of personal information through the openness of information sharing on social media.
But…What are the implications for privacy and security?
Social media has become a normal part of everyone’s lives but the amount of information we freely post does leave consumers open to a range of privacy and security issues. It is suggested that consumers should update their privacy settings so only their “friends” can see their posts and not have it open to everyone, including crooks, bullies, and stalkers.
Traditionally known as dumpster diving, identity theft has been taken to a whole new level with the introduction of the internet and social media. Identity theft can be defined as “the illegal or unauthorised use of personal information belonging to someone else for one’s own benefit” 1).
According to a ZDNet article, 80% of robbers check Facebook, Google Street View and foursquare as people “check in” or #vacation 2). Social media users are guilty of revealing too much information on social media as they brag about where they are and what they are doing, enabling burglars online surveillance and opportunity to know when to rob your home.
Cyberbullying and stalkers
Bullying has always been a problem but due to Social Media and technologies, many choose to bully and harass others without even meeting that person. It’s not only a problem that is isolated for the schoolyard.
Cyberbullying is where someone consistently sends nasty, judgmental messages and expresses hostility to the victim’s social media. No matter who you are, you can be attacked by these trolls. Famous celebrities who have not escaped cyberbullying are 3):
- Taylor Swift
- Leann Rimes
- Selena Gomez
- Ed Sheeran
- Daisy Ridley
- Charlotte Dawson – committed suicide due to the emotional effects of cyberbullying and twitter trolls 4).
With all this available information both text and visual, it could be very easy for a cyber bully to become a physical stalker.
What are the issues marketers need to think of?
Note reasons why people use Social Media
According to the yellow social media report of 2018, 85% of Australian’s use of social media to catch up with friends and family. Of the 14 reasons why people are using social media only 4 were related to brands. Marketers need to understand that the majority of people are on social media for hedonic social purposes and not to shop or buy.
It may be suggested that marketers use social brand pages for more gamification and engagement strategies rather than a direct sales objective in an attempt to build brand bonds rather than transactions through these channels.
Facebook organic reach in decline year on year
Facebook has been changing its algorithm which has been affecting organic reach since as early as 2012. Facebook defines organic reach as “how many people you can reach for free on Facebook by posting to your Page.” And since 2012, the organic reach number has been in serious decline 6).
So what does this mean, it means post quality over quantity as while reach is in decline with quality posts, engagement does increase as Neil Patel displays in his blog.
Know when to Post.
Your post engagement will depend on the timing of your posts.
Different social media’s are used for different reasons. Therefore it’s important to know when to post by channel or your message may get lost and not seen by your target audience. A carefully scheduled post sent at the right time by channel correlates with higher engagement, comments, shares, and click-throughs. But timing is not everything; the quality of the post will also have some effect.