Web Spider, Crawler, and Robot's

A Web crawler is a computer program that browses the World Wide Web in a methodical, automated manner or in an orderly fashion.

This process is called Web crawling or spidering. Many sites, in particular search engines, use spidering as a means of providing up-to-date data. Web crawlers are mainly used to create a copy of all the visited pages for later processing by a search engine that will index the downloaded pages to provide fast searches. Crawlers can also be used for automating maintenance tasks on a Web site, such as checking links or validating HTML code. Also, crawlers can be used to gather specific types of information from Web pages, such as harvesting e-mail addresses (usually for sending spam).
A Web crawler is one type of bot, or software agent. In general, it starts with a list of URLs to visit, called the seeds. As the crawler visits these URLs, it identifies all the hyperlinks in the page and adds them to the list of URLs to visit, called the crawl frontier. URLs from the frontier are recursively visited according to a set of policies.

As Edwards et al. noted, "Given that the bandwidth for conducting crawls is neither infinite nor free, it is becoming essential to crawl the Web in not only a scalable, but efficient way, if some reasonable measure of quality or freshness is to be maintained."[4] A crawler must carefully choose at each step which pages to visit next.
The behavior of a Web crawler is the outcome of a combination of policies:[5]
• selection policy that states which pages to download,
• a re-visit policy that states when to check for changes to the pages,
• a politeness policy that states how to avoid overloading Web sites, and
• a parallelization policy that states how to coordinate distributed Web crawlers.