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What is crawling in the context of SEO?

Crawling is the process by which search engine bots systematically browse and index web pages on the internet to gather information for search engine results.


Crawling, in SEO, refers to the automated process of search engine bots navigating through web pages by following links from one page to another, systematically indexing the content encountered along the way.

Example of how you can use Crawling

When a search engine bot encounters a webpage, it reads the HTML content and follows links to other pages within the site. By crawling through these pages, the bot discovers new content and updates its index, enabling the content to appear in search results.

Key Takeaways

  1. Indexation: Crawling is essential for search engines to index web pages and make them discoverable in search results.
  2. Content Discovery: It allows search engines to discover new and updated content on websites by following links.
  3. Frequency: Search engines may crawl websites at different frequencies based on factors like site authority and content freshness.
  4. Robots.txt: Websites can control which pages search engines crawl by using the robots.txt file to instruct bots on which areas to ignore.
  5. Crawl Budget: Search engines allocate a crawl budget to each website, determining how often and how deeply they crawl the site.

FAQs for Crawling

What is the purpose of crawling in SEO?

Crawling allows search engines to discover and index web pages, making them accessible in search results.

How do search engine bots find new web pages to crawl?

Search engine bots find new pages through internal links, sitemaps, and external links from other websites.

What factors affect the frequency of crawling?

Factors such as site authority, content freshness, and crawl budget influence how often search engines crawl a website.

Can I control which pages search engines crawl?

Yes, you can use the robots.txt file and meta robots tags to control which pages search engines crawl and index.

What is a crawl budget?

Crawl budget refers to the number of pages search engines are willing to crawl on a website during a given period, based on factors like site quality and relevance.

How can I improve crawl efficiency?

Improving site speed, fixing crawl errors, and optimising internal linking can help improve crawl efficiency.

Do search engines crawl all pages equally?

No, search engines prioritise crawling pages based on factors like site authority, content quality, and relevance.

Why are some pages not indexed even after crawling?

Pages may not be indexed due to issues like duplicate content, thin content, or technical errors preventing indexing.

How often should I update my sitemap for crawling?

You should update your sitemap whenever you add new pages or make significant changes to existing ones to ensure search engines discover them promptly.

Can I request that search engines crawl specific pages?

While you cannot directly request search engines to crawl specific pages, you can prioritise important pages by optimising internal linking and updating sitemaps.

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