Crawling and indexing forms the very basics of SEO and search marketing. If you were at a digital marketing institute studying SEO, the concept of crawling and indexing would perhaps be the first topics you’d be taught.
The question of these two crucial actions exists at the very heart of SEO.
Without wasting a lot of time, let’s get into crawling and indexing?
How do Search Engines Work? Crawling and Indexing
Imagine you start writing a blog. Naturally, you want your content to appear on search engine results when someone one searches a relevant query.
Google has its own index of search results. In this index, it keeps a copy of web pages on the internet. Now imagine a searcher comes and queries ‘dog food’, Google scans through its index of web pages and reproduces the most relevant web pages on the search results.
The practise in which Google adds a webpage to its vast index is called indexing.
There are three questions which one can ask based on the above explanation –
- How does Google know which webpage to add to its index?
- How does Google which web pages are relevant to be displayed?
How Does Google Know Which Web page to Index?
Google has programs called search engine crawlers (or simply crawlers) whose main job is to go to different websites, scan web pages, and add them to the indexing queue.
If you’re a blogger starting a new blog, you’d naturally want crawlers to come to your website all the time and index your web pages. However, crawlers only those websites regularly who update their content often. This is why news websites tend to have a very high ranking on search engines. The rate at which content is added to a website is a major reason behind crawlers arriving on the website and pushing new content to the search engine index.
This practise of crawlers arriving on a web page and scanning the content is called crawling. In digital marketing, crawling is seen as a key activity driving search engines and helping marketers rank their content.
How Does Google which web pages are relevant to query?
Google identifies web pages relevant to the query primarily by scanning through the content of each web page and its context with the query. It takes a number of other factors into account, such as the presence of keywords related to the search query and the number of backlinks a website has.
Once relevant web pages are selected, Google ranks web pages based on their relevance. This is where SEO comes in. SEO is a collection of various different metrics used to identify the relevance of a web page and website to the search query. These metrics taken into account in SEO vary in importance.
Content is by far the most important metric a search engine takes into account while ranking a website. Backlinks are a close second, followed by other metrics like page load tme, bounce rate, anchor text optimization, meta tags, and so on.
In conclusion, this article covers the concepts of crawling and indexing.
About the Author – Raman Iyer is an online marketer and SEO expert. He often writes guest posts for DelhiCourses, an institute known for its digital marketing course in Delhi.