When transferring data, especially for e-commerce or classified listings, it's crucial to choose the most efficient and accurate method. While both XML feeds and website crawling have their places, there are several compelling reasons to favor sending an XML feed over relying on crawling a website:
Sending an XML feed means you're providing structured data directly from the source. This ensures that the receiving end gets the most accurate and up-to-date information, as opposed to crawling, which might misinterpret or miss data.
XML feeds can be set up to push updates as frequently as needed, ensuring real-time or near-real-time data transfer. Crawling, on the other hand, can be resource-intensive and might not capture real-time changes.
Regularly crawling a website can put a significant strain on the server, especially if there's a high frequency of crawls. Sending an XML feed for displaying ads on TrailersMarket.com, in contrast, is a more streamlined process that minimizes server load.
XML feeds are designed to be structured. This ensures that every piece of data is in its expected place, making parsing and integration simpler. With crawling, the structure might change if the website's design changes, leading to potential data extraction errors.
XML feeds can be customized to include specific pieces of information as required. This level of granularity isn't always achievable with standard crawling.
Some data on a website may not be meant for public view or external databases. Sending an XML feed allows you to share only the data you intend to share, ensuring privacy where needed.
Many websites have terms of service that prohibit unauthorized scraping or crawling. Sending an XML feed is a way to provide data without violating these terms.
Websites can undergo redesigns or changes in their structure. If a site is being crawled, such changes can disrupt the crawling process or the accuracy of the data being extracted. With XML feeds, the format remains consistent, ensuring uninterrupted data transfer.
With crawling, if a website goes down temporarily or experiences issues, the data extraction process is hampered. XML feeds can be sent and received even if the main website is facing downtime.
Many websites deploy anti-bot measures like CAPTCHAs or rate limits to prevent automated data extraction. XML feeds bypass these measures, ensuring smooth data transfer.
To sum up, while website crawling has its uses, especially for gathering data across various sources on the open web, sending an XML feed offers a more direct, efficient, and accurate method for data transfer between known parties. It's particularly beneficial for businesses and platforms that require timely and precise data updates.