What is a web crawler in SEO?
A web crawler is an automated program used by search engines like Google and Bing. Its main purpose is to systematically browse and index the content of websites on the Internet, enabling them to appear in search engine results.
Web crawlers are also known as SEO spiders or website crawlers, which is fitting as the Internet is often referred to as the World Wide Web, and these spiders ‘crawl’ the web to index data uploaded.
Each search engine utilizes its own web crawler to gather data from the internet and create an index of searchable results. For example, Google Search employs a crawler called Googlebot. The major search engines usually have multiple web crawlers operating concurrently from different servers.
What is crawling budget in SEO?
Crawl budget is the number of pages and times a crawler, like Googlebot, will crawl and index a page in a given time period. Every website has a different allotted crawl budget, which is determined based on the following:
1. Crawl Limit:
How often can crawlers visit your site without taking too much space on your hosting and causing issues on your site
2. Crawl Demand:
How often the crawler wants to visit your website, which is determined based on popularity, updation, and other factors.
After the budget has been exhausted, the crawler will stop accessing your website and move to other content on the web.
Why are web crawlers important for SEO?
SEO, or search engine optimization, is the method used to boost a website’s position in the results of relevant online searches.
A website’s SERP ranks will drop, or it will not appear in organic search results if it has site issues that make it difficult or impossible to crawl. This is why it’s crucial to check web pages for issues like broken links and enable crawlers to access your website seamlessly.
What is the web Crawling process?
Initially, web crawlers begin by crawling a predefined set of known pages and then explore new pages by following hyperlinks. Websites that do not wish to be crawled or found by search engines can use tools such as the robots.txt file to request that bots refrain from indexing their site or specific sections.
Web crawlers also visit newly submitted websites and sitemaps website owners provide, periodically returning to these sites to check for updates. Consequently, the search results for a particular query, such as “best software in 2023” on Google, may differ over time, reflecting the ongoing work of web crawlers in discovering and indexing new websites, web pages, and updated content.
What are web crawler types?
While there are many types of crawlers, some of the most commonly used ones include:
1. General Purpose Crawlers:
Typically referred to as ‘spiders’ or ‘bots,’ these crawlers focus on indexing a website online, which can then be displayed on search engine results for relevant searchers.
2. Hidden Web Crawler:
The Hidden web, also known as the Deep web, encompasses web data that web crawlers can only access through interaction with specific web-based search forms rather than simply following hyperlinks.
3. Incremental Crawlers:
Instead of crawling the whole website again, incremental crawlers focus on detecting any changes made to a website since the last crawl.
4. Hybrid Crawlers:
These crawlers combine features from different types of crawlers using various strategies and algorithms.