Ever imagined the work a search engine does to answer your question in the most appropriate way? Can you imagine the amount of content uploaded every single day and how difficult it is to manage it?
Fortunately, Search engines have crawlers to achieve particular tasks. Let’s learn how the search engine works, the first step to rank in Google and the most fundamental part in SEO.
What Are Web Crawlers?
Web crawlers are also known as Spiders, bots, robots, user agents are computer programs for search engines that are used to ‘read’ or scan everything (text) a website has to offer.
Crawlers crawl the entire website, the structure and flow of information including internal links
Once the crawlers finish crawling then the information gets stored in databases that are also known as Indexes. And search engines can carry out any query as per users requirements.
For example, if a user states a query for cars on the search engine, the search engine scans its index and prepares a list of pages containing car information.
Crawlers scan the website on a regular basis and keep the information up to date.
Web Crawlers: The SEO implications
Now, as you have an understanding of the working of a crawler, it is important to optimize the website according to the behaviour of the crawler so that pages can be indexed and rank high on search engines.
While optimizing a web page, it is important to include keywords in the content as well as in the title. It is to let search engines understand the relevancy of the page as per searchers.
The page includes the relevant keyword in the URL, Title tag, Meta description, Header tags, body content and Image alt attributes to assure the relevancy for any user searching for information on wood and glass coating, creating a high chance to return the information.
As far as optimizing is concerned, it is important to consider the analyzing behaviour of the crawlers, they not only analyze keywords but also wherein the content they are found.
Keywords in headings, meta tags, and in the first few lines in the paragraph are considered by the crawlers also the keywords at the prime point signal of the page.
It is crucial to include the keywords on your website at headings, meta tags, and opening paragraphs so that search engines get to know about the website.
Websites need to constantly update the content on the pages to provide fresh and unique content knowing crawlers regularly crawls the website to update-index.
Making Web Pages Crawler-Friendly
As we have already discussed, crawlers are programs for search engines, they follow the hierarchy list of links to scan the information on a particular website.
Seems simple rights? But the process begins to get complex as soon as it gets dynamic pages and content to scan.
Ever wondered, having a dynamic responsive page with, forms, flash files, animations and still missed out on by crawlers. This is because crawlers do not see a webpage as a user does.
To make pages crawler-friendly, these webpages need to be optimized as per crawler scan behaviour so that these heavy responsive pages with lots of animations and flash files can be ‘seen’ by the crawlers.
Fix Website Issues using crawlers
Nowadays internet usage has become a part of daily life, so to make websites get indexed some crawlers also provide SEO tools to get benefited with webmasters as to identify errors and critical issues which can lead pages from being included in search results.
Screaming frogs SEO spider is one of the crawler tools that help to identify crawl errors and also to fix them. As fixing issues can lead to high ranking on search engines.
With the help of the robot.txt file, crawling can be set manually. Robot.txt is a file on a website that tells crawlers to crawl specific pages as mentioned in the file.
Also keep in mind that the robot.txt file is not a mechanism to keep a web page out of search engines reach, for that you might need index and no-index or make page password protected.
The Big List: Search Engine Index
As soon as the crawler crawls all the pages of the web and collects all the information, it creates an index for the same.
The index is basically is a large list of the content which the crawler has collected including the location of the content.
There is a Reason Why Indexing is Called Initial Stage
Every time a search engine reply to a query with relevant information the search engine understands and scan the index and retrieve the most relevant information.
Search engines work on algorithms which are complex equations to rate the quality of pages on the index.
So when a user makes any search query the search engine will measure all the factors and return with the best possible results.
Some basic assessment factors are:
- When the content was published.
- Content consist of images and flash files
- Quality and uniqueness of the content.
- Relevancy of the content with search queries
- Website or webpage loading speed
- Content sharing
And some more factors.
De-Indexing by Google
Google search engine is the most visited website in the world, it handles over 3.5 billion searches every day and owns 92% of the search market.
Being the highest visited search engine, Google does not want to promote websites with a shady reputation. Precisely the websites that break the guideline of google webmaster.
If found engaged in any suspicious or shady practices may result in partial or complete google penalty or website de-indexing.
You might be wondering what on earth makes any difference, it does make a lot of difference.
If your website is being penalised or de-indexed by Google, it means that your website will be removed from the Google index and no longer available for search results.
And this could be a fatal blow for any business which has a good online presence. As prevention is better than cure, one should be aware of the rules and follow the guidelines of Google to avoid any such penalty.