Spiders and Snakes: No Green Thumb Required

Just as your garden benefits from spiders and snakes that eat the typical pests, your searches on the Web can benefit from them too. But, the ones on the Web aren’t the creepy crawly kind. Rather, they’re sophisticated software applications that traverse the Web in search of whatever you’ve programmed them to find. They “eat” the pages from the Web, deliver them to your hard drive and you reap the benefits. Spiders and snakes allow you to do routine tasks in an automated way, leaving you more time for more important recruiting work. Several functions can benefit from spiders and snakes. Search engines use the applications to crawl the Web, looking for new pages to index and new links to follow. If you have a Web site, you want to make sure and submit your URL to the top search engines so their spiders will find you. If you don’t have a Web site, spiders and snakes are extraordinarily useful in other ways – perhaps more immediately relevant to mining candidates. There is a type of intelligent agent called a browser searchbot that allows you to search multiple engines from a single query, giving you a quick and convenient way to search the Web from your desktop. Some of these include: Copernic 98, Queryn Metasearch, WebFerret and Web Seeker. Other types allow you to do a quick meta-search online, but save the results to your hard drive so that you can view them offline. Often you can specify how deep into a site to go and which links to follow. These are particularly useful if you have limited time online or want to create your own database of relevant sites. Some of these include: Websnake, Black Widow and Web Whacker. Then, too, there are those handy applications that gobble up email addresses from relevant search pages, saving you tons of time searching, cutting and pasting. These include: Webmole, Web Bandit, WhoIs and MacroBot Pro. In the next few weeks, we’ll take a close-up look at some of these software applications that can make your Internet recruiting life considerably easier. Next week: Web Ferret

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Jennifer Hicks, a seasoned Internet researcher who writes extensively on the use of the Internet for job hunters and recruiters, is a contributor to AIRS research. The AIRS Search Guide acts as your personal trainer, guiding you through our Advanced Internet Recruitment Strategies (AIRS) in a highly illustrated offline magazine. Each issue is full of new sourcing strategies, search examples, step-by-step procedures, and AIRS latest research for finding high-value passive candidates on the Internet. Contact AIRS at searchguide@airsproducts.com

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