SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is the practice of building the quality and quantity of traffic on your website. It is the process of optimising the web pages to organically achieve higher search rankings. Do you ever wonder what makes a search engine go around? It is fascinating how some mechanisms can systematically browse the World Wide Web for web indexing or web crawling.
In the ever-increasing SEO trends, let’s have a closer look at the primary function of Crawling & Indexing in delivering the search results
Crawling is the process performed by the search engines where it uses their web crawlers to perceive any new links, any new website or landing pages, any changes to current data, broken links, and many more. The web crawlers are also known as ‘spiders’, ‘bots’ or ‘spider’. When the bots visit the website, they follow the Internal links through which they can crawl other pages of the site as well. Hence, creating the sitemap is one of the significant reasons to make it easier for the Google Bot to crawl the website. The sitemap contains a vital list of URLs.
Whenever the bot crawls the website or the webpages, it goes through the DOM Model (Document Object Model). This DOM represents the logical tree structure of the website.
Optimise Website For Google Crawler
Sometimes we come across specific scenarios wherein Google Crawler is not crawling various essential pages of the website. Hence, it is crucial for us to tell the search engine how to crawl the site. To do this, create and place robots.txt file in the root directory of the domain. (E.g., https://www.infidigit.com/robots.txt).
Robots.txt file helps the crawler to crawl the website systematically. Robots.txt file helps crawlers to understand which links are supposed to be crawled. If the bot doesn’t find the robots.txt file, it would eventually move ahead with its crawling process. It also helps in maintaining the Crawl Budget of the website.
Elements affecting the Crawling
- A bot does not crawl the content behind the login forms, or if any page requires users to log in, as the login pages are secured pages.
- The Googlebot doesn’t crawl the search box information present on the site. Especially in ecommerce websites, many people think that when a user enters the product of their choice in the search box, they get crawled by the Google bot.
- There is no assurance that bot would crawl media forms like images, audios, videos, text, etc. Recommendations for the best practice is to add the text(as image name) in the <HTML> code.
- Manifestation of the websites for particular visitors( for example Pages shown to the bot are different from Users) is cloaking to the Search Engine Bots.
- At times search engine crawlers detect the link to enter your website from other websites present on the internet. Similarly, the crawler also needs the links on your site to navigate various other landing pages. Pages without any internal links assigned are known as ‘Orphan pages’ since crawlers do not discover any path to visit those pages. And, they are next to invisible to the bot while crawling the website.
- Search Engine crawlers get frustrated and leave the page when they hit the ‘Crawl errors’ on the website—crawl errors like 404, 500, and many more. The recommendation is to either redirect the web pages temporarily by performing ‘302 – redirect’ or 301 – permanent redirect’. Placing the bridge for search engine crawlers is essential.
Now let’s move ahead to understand how Google indexes the pages.
‘Index’ is the compilation of all the information or the pages crawled by the search engine crawler. Indexing is the process of storing this gathered information in the search index database. Indexed data then compares the previously stored data with SEO algorithm metrics compared to similar pages. Indexing is most vital as it helps in ranking the website.
Identifying how our websites make it to the indexing processes.
Google often crawls the web pages. To check the cached version of the website, click on the ‘drop-down’ symbol beside the URL (as shown in the screenshot below). Another method involves writing ‘cache:https://www.infidigit.com’.
YES! Web pages can be removed after being indexed on SERP. Removed web pages could be returning 404 errors, it can be redirected URLs, could contain broken links, and many more. Also, the URLs would have a ‘noindex’ tag.
Placed in the <head> section of the HTML code of the site.
- Index, noindex – This function tells the search engine crawler whether the pages to be indexed or not. Default, the bot considers it as an ‘index’ function. Whereas, when you choose ‘noindex’, you are telling crawlers to isolate the pages from the SERP.
- Follow/nofollow – Helps the search engine crawler to decide which page should be monitored and pass the link equity.
Here’s the sample code:
<head><meta name=”robots” content=”noindex, nofollow” /></head>
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