Website Crawler 2023

Website Crawler

A web crawler, also known as a crawler or web spider, is a computer program used to automatically search and index the content of websites and other online data. These computer programs, or “bots,” are most often used to add items to a search engine’s index.

So that it may be archived, updated, and retrieved in response to a user’s search query, crawlers examine websites methodically to determine the content of each page.

While updating their own web material, other websites employ web crawling bots. In order to respond to user searches, search engines like Google or Bing use a search algorithm to analyze the information gathered by web crawlers and show pertinent information and webpages.

It must first be indexed if a company or website owner wants their website to appear in search results.

Website Crawler

What is a website crawler?

Imagine the internet as a sizable library with a wide variety of disorganized materials. The internet’s librarians and site crawlers comb through webpages and catalogue useful information. Each search engine has its own set of site crawlers; Google, for instance, uses “Google bots.” These “bots” (sometimes referred to as “crawlers” or “spiders”) visit newly launched or updated websites, examine the content and metadata, and then index the stuff they discover.

Website Crawler

As part of your SEO efforts, you can also use third-party web crawlers. These site crawlers can examine the backlink profiles of your competitors or the health of your website.

How do web crawlers work?

Web crawlers analyze and categorize the webpages after starting with a seed, or list of known URLs. The web crawler first looks at the robots.txt file on each webpage, which gives instructions for bots that access the website. These guidelines specify links that may be followed as well as the pages that may be crawled.

The crawler identifies any links that occur and follows them to the next webpage. Based on established policies that specify which hyperlinks it should follow; the crawler is more selective about the sequence in which it should browse. For example, defined policies could include the following:

  • Number of backlinks
  • Page views
  • Brand authority on that page.

When a crawler is on a page, it records the copy and the descriptive information known as meta tags and then indexes it so a search engine may look for keywords. The method then determines whether the website will appear in search results for a query and, if it does, returns a list of important indexed webpages.

Even if a website owner forgets to submit a site map, a web crawler can still find the website by following links from other indexed websites that link to it.

Website Crawler

Web crawler examples

The majority of well-known search engines have their own web crawlers that collect data about webpages using a particular algorithm. Tools for web crawling may be desktop- or cloud-based. The following are some instances of web crawlers used for search engine indexing:

  • The Amazon web crawler is called Amazon Bot.
  • The Bing crawler from Microsoft is called Bing Bot.
  • The search engine DuckDuckGo’s crawler is called DuckDuckBot.
  • The crawler for Yahoo’s search engine is called Yahoo Slurp.

What distinguishes web crawling from web scraping?

Web scraping, data scraping, or content scraping are all terms used to describe the practice of a bot downloading website content without permission, typically with the intention of using it for illegal activities.

Web scraping is typically much more targeted than web crawling. While web crawlers continuously follow links and crawl pages, web scrapers may only be interested in certain pages or domains.

Website Crawler

What is search indexing?

In order for a search engine to know where to find material when someone looks for it on the Internet, search indexing is similar to building a library card catalogue for the Internet. It is comparable to an index found in the back of a book, which shows all the instances in which a particular subject or phrase is referenced.

The content on the website and the page’s metadata that users don’t see are the two main areas of concentration for indexing. With the exception of terms like “a,” “an,” and “the” in Google’s case, most search engines add all the words on a page to the index when they index it.

The search engine selects the most pertinent pages from its index of all the pages where those words appear when people search for those words.

Metadata is information that tells search engines what a webpage is about in the context of search indexing. Content from the webpage that is visible to users will not always be displayed on search engine results pages; instead, the meta title and meta description will.

Website Crawler


Why the web crawler is important for SEO

SEO is the practice of making changes to a website to boost its visibility when users search for goods or services. A website’s search engine results page (SERP) ranks will be reduced or it won’t appear in organic search results if it has crawlability issues that make it difficult or impossible to crawl. This is why it’s crucial to check for broken links and other issues on webpages and to permit web crawler bots access to websites rather than prevent it.

Additionally, pages that aren’t regularly crawled won’t show any current updates that may otherwise improve SEO.

Website Crawler

Why is it vital to crawl the web?

The digital revolution has resulted in a rise in the amount of data available online. Over the next two years, up until 2025, it is predicted that the amount of data generated worldwide will rise to more than 180 zettabytes. By 2025, 80% of all data will be unstructured, predicts IDC.

The figure illustrates how, during the same time period, interest in web scraping and web crawling diverged, with web scraping enjoying greater popularity. Possible causes include:

  • Companies’ investments in scraping are mostly motivated by growing interest in analytics and data-driven decision-making.
  • Since businesses have been investing in search engine crawling since the late 1990s, it is no longer a subject of growing interest.
  • Few organizations need to construct crawlers because the search engine sector is an established one that is dominated by a small number of players like Google, Baidu, Bing, and Yandex.

Website Crawler

Check the crawlability of your website.

Make your website as crawlable as you can to ensure that search engines will index it. You must ensure that it is configured properly to let bots browse every page.

Google may alter its ranking formula in the future, but user experience and crawlability remain constant.

Conducting routine site audits will help you keep track of any potential mistakes that might affect how crawlable your site is. Keep in mind that maintaining a website takes time, so don’t be reluctant to do it right.


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