April 18, 2023 Shankari Das

SEO Crawler: And Its Importance

An SEO crawler is an online bot. It primarily explores web pages on the internet to learn about them and their content.

Their sole purpose is to serve this info to online searchers. User who pose a query on a respective search engine.


What Exactly is an SEO Crawler?

A type of bot is known as a crawler – but other names include web crawlers, SEO spiders, or website crawlers. Their task is to peruse the internet and its web pages. They pick up info and add it to their index.

Remember that the index is a database of web pages that the SEO crawler has discovered. It is the primary database from which search engines like Google pull their search results.

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It is important to note that after the crawler has crawled your web page, it stores the info in a database. So, when you or any user searches for something on Google – the results you see are not generated live. Instead, the search engine is sifting through its existing index. That sounds interesting, right?

Search engines like Google are – great examples of a crawler. The bot that Google uses is called Googlebot.

You aim to rank on a search engine results page as an SEO expert or digital marketer. Once your page ranks, end users will likely start to see and click your page.

After your content has been created and published, what does the complete process look like?

Two types of agents browse the web in search of information – humans and bots.

Human agents are regular people like you and me. You use search engines to find info relevant to your search queries. The other type of bot is known as a crawler. They first navigate or crawl the internet to learn about your website. Then they store the info.

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Web Crawler – To Navigate The Website

A crawler is primarily a computer program that search engines use to search and index website content. They also index other info over the internet. These programs, or bots as you might know them, are most commonly used to create entries for a search engine index.

Web crawlers only systematically browse web pages – to learn what each page on your website is about. With the sole purpose of indexing your page and collecting the latest info. This info is helpful to retrieve when a user makes a search query. Other websites use web crawling bots – only to update their web content.

Search engines like Bing or Google apply a search algorithm. They collect this info to display relevant information and websites in response to user searches.

When SEO crawlers begin crawling a specific set of known pages, then follow hyperlinks to particular pages. If you do not want your website to be crawled by search engines, you can use tools like the robots.txt file. This file can help to request bots not to index your website or only index portions of it.


SEO Crawler: Important For SEO

Regular crawling is vital for your website to make the latest info available to search engines. It will help increase the page ranking.

As you know, crawling is the discovery process in which search engines send out a team of robots. These are the crawlers or spiders – to find new and updated content. The porches help improve your page ranking.

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SEO aims to enhance a website’s visibility on search engines. It can do so by optimizing it for relevant search queries. A website with crawl errors or blocked access to web crawler bots often receives lower SERP rankings. In some instances, they may even fail to show up in organic search results.

Therefore, it is crucial to fix broken links on your website. Fixing other errors while allowing web crawler bots to access websites is also advisable.

Regular crawling of web pages is necessary on your website to keep the search engine results up-to-date. In addition, regular crawling can also reflect any recent changes that could boost SEO.

Failing to crawl your web pages regularly can result in outdated info. It may lower search rankings, particularly for time-sensitive content. Therefore, updating pages and ensuring they are crawled periodically is critical for improving SEO.


SEO Crawler: How Do They Work?

Many of you may ask how web crawlers work? A crawler is a program often used by search engines. They collect data from the internet.

When an SEO crawler visits your website, it picks over the entire content and stores it in a data bank. It is important to note that it also stores all the internal and external links to the website.

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Web crawlers begin by accessing a seed list of known URLs. They then systematically examine and classify the web pages. Prior to reviewing each page, the crawler checks the webpage’s robots.txt file. The file will help the crawler determine the website’s guidelines for bot access. Significantly, the pages can be crawled and even the links can be followed.

To navigate to the next webpage, the web crawler will locate and track the hyperlinks on the current web page. The decision about which hyperlink to follow is based on predetermined policies. Meaning policies that help the crawler determine the order in which the crawler should navigate.

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These policies might include the following:

how many pages link to that page;
brand authority.
the number of page views;

These above-mentioned factors signify a page might have more important info for indexing.

When visiting a webpage, the web crawler saves the content and descriptive information, such as meta tags, and indexes it for the search engine to analyze for relevant keywords. Based on this analysis, the search engine determines whether the webpage should appear in search results for a particular query. If the webpage is deemed relevant, it will be displayed in the search results, with more important pages ranking higher than others.

Even if a website owner does not submit a sitemap for search engines to crawl their website, a web crawler can still discover the website by tracking links from indexed sites that link to it.


SEO Crawling vs Web Scraping

The short answer is that web crawling is about finding or discovering URLs or even links on the web. Whereas, web scraping is about extracting data from one or more websites.

Usually, in the web data excretion process, you need to use web crawling and web extraction.

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Web crawling and web scraping are often confused, but they are distinct concepts. The primary difference between the two is that web crawling is focused on identifying and cataloging web pages, whereas web scraping involves retrieving data from one or more web pages.

You can use web scraping techniques to extract data from various websites. Unlike web crawlers that follow hyperlinks to gather data continuously, web scraping is a more focused process. Meaning it targets specific pages to extract relevant info. However, it is important to note that web scraping may involve collecting data without explicit permission from website owners. Such a practice can raise legal and ethical concerns.

Web crawlers typically abide by the rules set in the robots.txt file. Meaning the file limits their requests to prevent overburdening web servers. In contrast, web scrapers may not follow such rules. As a result, that may cause strain on web servers.


You can use web scraping for analytics purposes – that is, to collect data, store, and then analyze it in order to create more targeted data sets.

Do you know that web scraping uses simple bots, but more sophisticated bots use artificial intelligence? These bots help find the appropriate data on a page and copy it to the correct data field. Wherein an analytics application can process them. AI web scraping-based typically use cases. It includes e-commerce, labor research, and supply chain analytics. They can also have enterprise data capture and market research.

Note that commercial applications use web scraping to do sentiment analysis. The analysis is often done on new product launches. Curated structured data sets about the companies and their products. They are also involved in simplifying business process integration and predictively gathering data.


Difference between Crawling and Indexing

In the SEO world, crawling means following your links to learn about the pages. Indexing is the process of – adding web pages to Google search.

Note that crawling and indexing are how Google explores and makes sense of your website. It is crucial, as it can significantly affect your website’s SEO.

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What exactly is the difference between the two?

What is the difference between crawling and indexing?

Even you would agree that these terms are continuously thrown around in the SEO world. Many of these terms seem to be synonymous. Crawling and Indexing – are two such terms that are perfect examples of two words often used incorrectly. Today you will find many SEO articles explaining the two words as the same.

What is the difference between these two terms – crawling and indexing? Before you understand the difference between the two, you should understand what each means.

What does being indexed mean?

Once your page is indexed by Google – then it will show up in search results. The best explanation – Google will only index your page AFTER it crawls it. This clearly means that – every site that gets crawled by search engine bots gets indexed. But every website indexed had to be crawled.

Only if Google deems your new web page worthy of being found will it index it. Once the web crawler indexing completes, Google comes up with how all the pages will be ranked. It uses different algorithms to do it.


Knowing the functioning of the SEO crawler is important. This is where your search engine optimization starts. You will not be included in any search results if Google cannot crawl your website.

Always make sure to check robots.txt. Moreover, a technical SEO review of your website should typically reveal any other issues. Any issues that search engine web crawlers might have while accessing your website.

If your website is overloaded with low-quality pages or errors, Google might get the impression that your website is useless. And your website mainly contains useless junk pages. Therefore, coding errors or CMS settings – can send Googlebot down a path of poor-quality pages. Finally, when poor quality outweighs the high-quality pages on the website, your search rankings will suffer.

Read on similar topics like keyword density, local SEO Dubai, online writing, competitive SEO strategies,  hidden text, Yoast SEO, link farmlink farm, and more.

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