Webbots are often useful extensions to webpages to provide a number of interactive features. Website authoring software such as Microsoft frontpage and Macromedia dreamweaver offer a number of these ‘webbots’ to add features to your webpages. Common frontpage webbots are Search, Table of Contents, and Timestamp. These act to keep the webpage and navigation up to date for the web page browser. Other common uses of webbots are to manage cookies, handle website encryption and process online forms. Webbots can also be referred to as screen scrapers or spiders depending on their function.
The programs that search engines such as google send to read webpages for inclusion in that engines search results are also often called webbots.
While most webbots are useful there are a number of malicious webbots that use virus like activity to infect a users computer or other malicious activity such as deleting files, collecting user information etc.