Crawling and indexing websites is the first step in a complex process of understanding what webpages are about so that they can present as answers to user queries.
Search engines are constantly improving their crawling and indexing algorithms.
Understanding how search engines crawl and index websites help develop search visibility strategies.
Now, let’s take a look at how Google indexes the pages.
The term ‘Index’ refers to a collection of all the information or pages crawled by the search engine crawler. Indexing is the process of storing aggregated information in a search index database. The stored data is compared with SEO algorithmic metrics before comparing similar pages using indexed data. Indexing is critical because it aids in the ranking of the website.
How do you find out what Google has indexed?
In the search box, type “site: your domain” to see how many pages of your website are indexed. It will display all of the pages that search engines have indexed, including pages, posts, images, and many others.
The best way to ensure that the URLs are indexed is to submit the sitemap to Google Search Console, which includes a list of all the crucial pages.
How does Google determine what to index?
When a user enters a query, Google attempts to retrieve the most relevant answer from the database’s crawled pages. Google indexes content based on its defined algorithms. It typically indexes new content on a website that Google believes will improve user experience. The higher the quality of content and links on a website, the better it is for SEO.
Search engines use web crawlers to detect new links, a new website or landing pages, changes to current data, broken links, etc. This process is known as Crawling. Web crawlers are also known as’ ‘bots or spiders.’ When bots visit a website, they follow internal links that allow them to crawl other pages. As a result, one of the primary reasons for making it easier for the Google Bot to crawl the website is to create a sitemap. The sitemap includes a crucial list of URLs.
Bots follow the DOM (Document Object Model) whenever it crawls the website or webpage. This DOM represents the website’s logical tree structure.
Optimize Your Website For Google Crawler
We occasionally come across specific scenarios in which Google Crawler is not crawling various crucial pages of a website. As a result, we must instruct the search engine on how to crawl the site. To accomplish create and place a robots.txt file in the domain’s root directory. (For example, https://raksav.com/robots.txt).
The Robots.txt file allows the crawler to crawl the website systematically. The Robots.txt file instructs the crawler which links to crawl. If the bot does not find the robots.txt file, it will continue its crawling process. It also aids in the maintenance of the website’s crawl budget.
Elements Impacting the Crawling
- Because login pages are secured, a bot does not crawl the content behind the login forms or if any page requires users to log in.
- The Googlebot does not crawl the site’s search box information. Many people believe that when a user enters the product of their choice into the search box, the Google bot crawls the website.
- There is no guarantee that the bot will crawl media formats such as images, audio, videos, etc. The best practice is to include the text (as the image name) in the HTML> code.
- Cloaking to Search Engine Bots is the manifestation of websites for specific visitors (for example, Pages shown to the bot are different from Users).
- Search engine crawlers may detect a link to your website from other websites on the internet. Similarly, the crawler requires the links on your site to navigate to landing pages. Pages that do not have any internal links are referred to as orphan pages because crawlers cannot find a way to visit those pages. They are also nearly invisible to the bot while crawling the website.
- When crawlers encounter ‘Crawl errors’ on a website, they become frustrated and leave the page—crawl errors such as 404, 500, and many others. The recommendation is either temporarily redirect the web pages using ‘302 – redirect’ or permanently move them using
- ‘301 – permanent redirect’. It is critical to place the bridge for search engine crawlers.