If you’re a little familiar with the world of SEO, you’ve probably heard of Google‘s crawlers or Google’s web crawler. What is Google Crawler? What does he do? Are there any types of Google bots? Should the site be optimized for crawlers as well? If yes, how? This article answers these questions and clarifies the role and importance of Google crawlers in SEO.
Various factors must be considered for SEO. SEO expert should follow the standards and guidelines of search engines: Website design and site user experience design should have features. Website content must be original and high quality and so on. A large part of the standards that search engines (especially Google) set for sites is to make it easier and faster for the user to find what they want.
But in addition to the user and before the user is present, crawlers need to find and see what is important to search engines on the site. Google crawlers (and search engines in general) play an important role, and if the site is not optimized for crawlers, it is unlikely to be fundamentally SEO. I have to say that these bots have one common name: the Google bot. But there are other names for Google bots on the English Web: Google spiders or cobwebs, crawlers, crawler bots, Google crawler bots, Google search bots or Google crawlers.
To learn more about the importance of Google crawlers and what they do on SEO, you need to know how search engines work, that is, how they view and rank pages. For this reason, I suggest you read the following article.
Table of Contents
What is Google Crawler?
All search engines use their own bots to navigate the site pages; For example, Yahoo search engine crawlers are called Slurp. This article only talks about Google search bots, because Google is the most popular search engine in the world.
You build a site and put the best content and information in the world into it. Naturally, you do this so that users can come to your site and see it. Most likely, the user will reach your site from Google search results. In fact, it is Google that shows your site to the user. So it’s natural that Google should see the site and its content first.
Google has to index that page to find out what information you put on each page of the site. That is, to see it, to read and understand all the content that is placed in it, and to put it on the list of pages that it has seen and recognized. All that is done by crawling bots for Google.
Reference sites in SEO defined Google crawlers. But in my opinion, the best and most comprehensive definition is provided by the ahrefs reference site:
Googlebot is the web crawler used by Google to gather the information needed and build a searchable index of the web. Googlebot has mobile and desktop crawlers, as well as specialized crawlers for news, images, and videos.
Why are Google crawlers important?
Crawlers build the Google Search Index. Google uses crawlers to list all the pages on the Internet to rank them later. Google bots see the page as a user and list it. So Google crawlers and that the site is optimized for them is important because if the spiders do not see the site pages and do not crawl on it, Google will not see them and therefore the page and site will have no place (rankings) in Google search results.
There are some very important questions about how Google search bots work: Can an SEO expert or webmaster control crawlers or is it up to Google? Can pages not be shown to crawlers (Google)? Do reptiles visit a site every day and look for new pages? How long do bots stay on a site?
Yes, an SEO expert can control the behavior of Google crawlers on the site to some extent and not show him some pages or photos. All SEOs are familiar with the robots.txt file. This file is actually a list of site pages that you want crawlers to see. In the same file, you may not allow reptiles and tell them not to go to specific pages of the site.
Here are some important things SEO experts need to know about how Google search bots work.
How do Google’s crawling robots work?
- The SEO expert should never forget that, apart from the pages or content he has hidden from crawlers in the robots.txt file, Google spiders visit and crawl the sites every few seconds, looking for new things.
- SEO expert can not determine for Google when, how often and for how long crawlers crawl the site.
- The more valid the domain of the site, the more time crawlers spend crawling on that site and the more pages (content) they see and index (ie the crawl budget of that site is more).
- Google crawlers may not go through all the pages of a site. Google bots first navigate through the pages of the site based on the robots.txt file and then based on the sitemap. Sitemaps are very useful and important for navigating crawlers. A regular, structured, and clear sitemap makes bots work easier and faster, and delivers them to important pages and content on the site faster.
How many types of Google bots are there?
Before we get to the most interesting and practical part of this article, it’s best to give a brief description of the types of Google bots. As mentioned, search engines use programs and machines commonly referred to as crawlers or crawling bots to view pages and their content and navigate the site (via internal linking). Any site SEO expert can set rules for crawlers (robots.txt file).
In that file, the expert can specify that certain types of crawlers are not allowed on the site. He uses the specific name of each to define the rules for reptiles. Crawler boats are primarily known by the extension (user-agent) based on which search engine they belong to, and secondarily by what they do. For example, Google crawlers that only view and browse video content are known as: Googlebot-Video or Googlebot-News are crawlers that only index news.
If the SEO expert does not want his site videos to be indexed for any reason, he can easily prevent those crawlers (Googlebot-Video) from entering the site. Naturally, not all types of crawlers are equally important, and an SEO expert has no reason to block Google crawlers from entering the site because he or she wants to see all of his or her site’s queries and rank in search results. (You can see a list of the most important Google bots at developers.google.com.)
How to optimize the site for Google Spiders?
If the SEO expert wants the site to be indexed without any problems, he should make it easy for Google crawlers. This means that crawlers should not have a problem or obstacle to entering the site and navigating the pages. For this reason, the site must be optimized for Google Spiders before any SEO work can be done. (Because the importance of the robots.txt file and the sitemap have already been discussed, I did not mention them in the following.)
The site should not be technically difficult for Google crawlers
Internal linking and the production of quality content should not be overlooked
I think it’s clear why Google bots are called spiders. When a crawler enters a page of the site, it goes to any link (whether internal, ie to other pages of the same site or landing pages, or external, ie to other sites) that exists on that page. That is, it also sees the content of the links (pages). For this reason, it is recommended that external links be of the Nofollow type so that the spider does not leave the site and continue to crawl between the pages of the same site.
For this reason, internal linking must be done carefully so that the crawler can crawl between different pages and content and see more pages. Remember that the crawl budget of every site is not infinite. That is, it is limited, and the crawler bot can only see and index a certain number of pages each time it visits the site. Google crawlers, on the other hand, are looking for quality, up-to-date content. The more Google crawlers see a page of the site and the more up-to-date and quality the content of that page, the better the chance that the page will rank better.
The presence and activity of Google bots on the site must be carefully monitored
The work of Google crawlers and their share of SEO is so important that they are also assigned a section in the Google Search Console. The SEO expert can view the status of the sitemap, errors as well as crawl stats. Searching the console can help you easily find and fix crawl errors (these are covered in detail in a comprehensive guide called “Everything you need to know about crawl errors + how to fix them“).
In the Settings section of the search console there is an option called Crawl Stats. There is a complete report on how Google crawlers crawled the site and how many times in a certain period of time. An SEO expert in the same tool can ask Google to reduce the crawl rate. Crawl rate is the number of requests that Google bots have when crawling the site. When this number is high, problems may occur for the site. If the SEO expert wants to make sure that the crawlers saw a page and that page is indexed, he can check this in the console search. It is also possible that if changes are made to the indexed page, it will ask Google to resend the crawlers to that page.