For your website to be discovered by a search engine, the search engine must navigate through links on your website to discover web pages and integrate them into its search engine index. Search engines behave differently in different markets, so this is why a crawler website tool is needed.

In terms of size, Google is the biggest search engine in most countries, with other search engines having less market share. We will discuss Google's behavior in this guide. You should check other search engines and ensure your website complies with their guidelines.

Search engines utilize web crawlers to navigate through websites and their links. These bots identify themselves using a custom user-agent string. Googlebot Desktop and Mobile are the most common user-agent strings used by Google's web crawlers.

Let’s Start with How Search Engines Work

Search engines do their jobs through three primary functions:

  • Crawling: Scour the Internet for content, analyzing the code/content of each link found.
  • Indexing: Store and organize content found during the crawling process. Once a page is in a given database, it’s in the running to be displayed as a result of relevant queries.
  • Ranking: Provide the pieces of content that best solve a searcher’s query. Thus, results are ordered from most relevant to least relevant.

Search engines store huge amounts of personal and impersonal information into an index.

When someone searches with a search engine, it searches its index for words and phrases that match the query and puts them in an order that it thinks will best solve the searcher's desire. This order is called ranking. The search engine ranks sites based on relevancy; the higher ranked sites, the more relevant they are in solving someone's search query.

It’s possible to ask a search engine not to take your site into account or to prepare a site to fit into the search engine’s guidelines and be easily read. If people don't access your site in one way or another, your site won't get viewed very much.

search-engine-working

How Search Engine Crawling Works

Search engine crawling is the discovery process in which search engines send out a team of robots to find new and updated content. Content can vary—a webpage, an image, a video, a PDF, etc.—but regardless of the format, links discover content.

Googlebot starts by fetching a few web pages and then follows the links on those web pages to find new URLs. By hopping along this link path, Googlebot can find new content and add it to their index called Caffeine—a massive database of discovered URLs. This will later be retrieved when a searcher is seeking information about the content for that URL that is a good match.

As you learned just a moment ago, ensuring your site gets crawled and indexed is a prerequisite to showing up on the search engine results page (SERPs). If you already have a web page, it might be a good idea to start by ensuring that the search engine is crawling and finding all the pages relevant to your customers' queries and none that you don't.

An effective way to check your indexed pages is “site:yourdomain.com," an advanced search operator. Head to Google and type the link into the search bar.

This will return results in its index for the site specified: While the number of results Google displays isn't exact, it presents a solid idea of what pages are indexed sites and how they appear in searches.

You can even monitor and use the Index Coverage report in Google Search Console for more accurate results; there's a free Google Search Console account if you don't currently have one. This tool empowers web developers to submit sitemaps for your site and monitor how many submitted pages have been added to Google's index, among other things.

Troubleshooting

If your website isn’t appearing in indexes, here are a few possible reasons why:

  • Your website is new and hasn’t been crawled yet.
  • You aren’t linked to any other websites.
  • Your site's navigation and interface make it hard for a robot to crawl your site effectively.
  • You may have blocked search engine bots in your site code.
  • Google may have penalized your website for spammy tactics.

Suppose you used Google Search Console or the “site:domain.com” advanced search operator to find some of your important pages are absent from the index and some of your unimportant pages have been mistakenly indexed. In that case, there are some optimizations you can implement to better direct Googlebot to how you want your web content crawled.

Telling search engines how to crawl or using a crawler website tool empowers businesses to index helpful information for customers.

Conclusion: Why Should You Crawl Your Website Regularly and How Will It Benefit Your SEO?

While most of you are familiar with Google, which does a wonderful job indexing and ranking web pages, this basic knowledge is not enough. You may do a lot of manual searches for random information, but what if you need targeted reviews to pull specific content? Manual searches can be time-consuming and prone to human error, which means important information might be overlooked.

Let's say you're tracking a large organization with hundreds of sites and would like a comprehensive view of their actions. It would save web users time and energy if a crawler could extract relevant content and send it to you in an easily manageable format once the crawler has gathered it. This data can be stored in a search engine or database, integrated with an in-house system, or tailored to any other target for future use.

Finally, there are multiple ways to access the collated data. It can be as straightforward as receiving a scheduled e-mail message with a .csv file, setting up search pages, or a web app. You can also add functionality to arrange content according to factors such as a specific timeframe, certain keywords, relevance, etc.

Alternatively, you can create a unique web crawler from scratch for your needs. You don’t even have to start from zero. There are many tools and suppliers available to get you started.

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