We’ve had a busy start to 2016. Here are some of the highlights from our January Changelog:
Diffbot is a happy user of Slack, the increasingly ubiquitous group-chat service. Its most distinguishing feature is broad support for third-party integrations—everything from status alerts to trouble-ticket updates to credit card transactions to popular GIFs can be piped into a Slack “channel” for immediate updates.
Just for the visual and auditory learners — and/or those of you who prefer their web crawling with the dulcet tones of yours truly — a couple of Crawlbot tutorials to help you get up and running:
A quick overview of Crawlbot using the Analyze API to automatically identify and extract products from an e-commerce site.
This tutorial discusses some of the methods for narrowing your crawl within a site, and setting up a repeat or recurring crawl.
- Various Ways to Control Your Crawlbot Crawls for Web Data (blog.diffbot.com)
- Crawlbot Support
In 2013 we welcomed Matt Wells, founder of Gigablast (and henceforth known as our grand search poobah) aboard to head up our burgeoning crawl and search infrastructure. Since then we’ve released Crawlbot 2.0, our Bulk Service/Bulk API, and our Search API — and are hard at work on more exciting stuff.
Crawlbot 2.0 included a number of ways to control which parts of sites are spidered, both to improve performance and to make sure only specific data is returned in some cases. Here’s a quick overview of the various ways to control Crawlbot.
A common use for Diffbot APIs: build an index of structured content for easy and precise searching. This post walks through the most simple way to do that using our Bulk Processing Service and Search API.
Miles Grimshaw of Thrive Capital recently used Crawlbot and our Product API to analyze product availability and extract pricing data from a number of online fashion marketplaces — to help determine the scale, margins, customer profile and trends of each site, and to inform their investment decision-making.
Miles writes about his experience and analysis on his blog. Nice Diffbotting, Miles!
We’ve long offered HTML as a response element in our Article API (as an alternative to our plain-text
text field). This is useful for maintaining inline images, text formatting, external links, etc.
Until recently, the HTML we returned was a direct copy of the underlying source, warts and all — which, if you work with web markup, you’ll know tilts heavily toward the “warts” side. Now though, as many of our long-waiting customers have started to see, our
html field is now returning normalized markup according to our new HTML Specification.
One of our most common feature requests: can Diffbot APIs access content behind a login or firewall? Until recently, the answer was mostly “no.”
But now we’ve recently added new features to all of our APIs, both Automatic and Custom, that should allow much broader access to non-publicly available content: