Do you know what search-bot is? What is a web spider? How does it work? Why do you need to know? Understanding the behavior of search-bots will help you to master expertise in SEO.
This article is a quick guide about search-bots and its working model that each SEO and digital marketing professional must know. Also, it is an interesting read for someone who loves search industry and technological inventions.
The internet is made up of web, called, World Wide Web (WWW). A lot of information is placed all across the web. Search engines collect all the information and present it in front of us when we are looking for it, but how do they do it? To understand that first you need to understand the concept of Web Spider.
What is Web Spider or Web Crawler?
Web Spiders are also commonly known as user agent, crawlers and Spiders.
These spiders are software programs developed by the search engines like Google, Bing, etc. Each search engine has given its own name to its spider (software program for web crawling). For example, Google’s spider is known as Googlebot; Bing’s spider is called, Bingbot. Some search engines like Google has more than one Spider.
How Web Spider Work?
As mentioned earlier, the spiders are software program. This software program helps search engines to fill in their database with information sources available on the web.
Below is a step by step explanation that shares how these search engine user-agents aka spiders work:
- The spider starts with crawling available links and indexing those pages in the search engine database.
- From each page, the spider picks all available links and crawl those links and add it in the database of search engines.
- This way it keeps on crawling and adding new sources in the database.
The process of crawling a web page:
- The search spiders start crawling a page in the specific direction that is from top to bottom and left to right.
- As and when it finds a link, it keeps on adding these links in their crawl list that will be crawled once crawl schedule (also known as crawl budget) of a current website is over.
A few things to increase your knowledge are,
- The spiders pick the links and pages from all possible sources.
- It drops the links with nofollow attributes.
- It doesn’t index the pages with noindex attribute.
- Each website has a predefined crawl rate and budget. (Crawl rate means how often a site gets crawled and Crawl budget means how much time is allocated to a website during single crawling.)
- If your website keeps on adding new fresh content, it may get crawled within a few minutes or even within a few seconds; and if your website is having an old content, it would have crawling time of a few weeks or months from the last crawling date.
- The web crawlers can negatively affect the website bandwidth.
- An SEO expert can control the crawl-rate of Google through the Google Webmaster Tool, which is known as Google Search Console now. Please be advised, the manual crawl-rate can get overridden by the bots.
- You can restrict a crawler from crawling or indexing your pages using robots.txt file or Robots Meta tag.
Access a complete User Guide about Robots.txt and Meta Robots to use it wisely.
The understanding about search-bots will take you one step closer to your goal of becoming an SEO Expert.
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About Author: Ash Vyas
Ash Vyas has 10+ years of practical experience in digital marketing and international business development. She has written 100s of articles on various topics to live her passion of helping people with her knowledge and expertise. In addition to directing Digital Marketers India, Ash also delivers keynote sessions and holds key positions in some international companies as a consultant, director of operations and mentor.