7 SEO Crawling Tool Warnings & Errors You Can Safely Ignore
SEO crawlers are indispensable tools but they need an SEO pro's insight and experience to determine which warnings to heed or ignore.
SEO for Beginners Tutorial – 14 – Website Crawls
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Technical Tips: How to Identify Critical Crawler Issues
When you have thousands of crawler warnings, how do you find the most important ones? On today’s episode of Technical Tips, Dr. Pete walks you through his method for identifying the most important site issues so you can fix them with ease!
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Crawling, Indexing, and Ranking | Lesson 2/31 | SEMrush Academy
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0:05 Understanding Search Engines’ Working Principle
0:40 Crawling, or How Google Discovers Content on the Internet
1:14 Indexing, or How Google Stores Crawled Content
1:47 Ranking, or how Google’s Algorithm Prioritizes Indexed Pages
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So let’s talk about how search engines actually work. Sure, Google’s algorithm is extremely complex, but in its simplest form, Google is really just a pattern detection program. When you search for a keyword phrase, Google is going to provide you with a list of websites that matches the pattern that’s related to your search.
Most people don’t realize that when they do a search on Google, they’re not actually searching the live web. They’re actually searching Google’s index of the web… the stored copy of the sites that Google has crawled.
Crawling, or How Google Discovers Content on the Internet
Google uses little programs called spiders to crawl the web. The spiders are how Google actually discovers content. Basically, a spider will start on a page and check out all the content on that page, and then it follows the links on that page and looks at the content on those pages. Then it follows the links on those pages to discover even more content, and then the links on those pages lead to more content… The spiders keep crawling at a mind-blowingly massive scale until most of the internet has been crawled.
Indexing, or How Google Stores Crawled Content
As the spiders crawl all of these pages, a copy is stored on Google’s servers. This is Google’s index, and it’s stored in a way that allows Google to quickly search through the billions of pages in the index. When you search for a certain phrase, Google checks the index to get a list of every page that’s related to your search phrase.
Here’s where ranking comes into play – this is the part that SEOs work to influence. Google uses an algorithm to look at that list of pages it just pulled from the index and rank the pages based on relevancy.
Ranking, or how Google’s Algorithm Prioritizes Indexed Pages
Let’s say you did a search for “Denver omelette recipe” – Google’s going to search the index and come up with a list of every website with a recipe for a Denver omelette. Then it’s going to use the algorithm to sort that list so that the most relevant sites will be at the top.
There are hundreds of ranking factors, each with a different assigned weight or value. The algorithm will look at a few hundred different factors that influence relevancy, like the content on the page, the number of other sites that link to that page, and the overall quality of the website.
When we do SEO, we’re hoping to influence those relevancy scores. We know that if we optimize the right signals, Google’s algorithm will decide that the page is more relevant – that it’s a better answer to the question being asked – and show that page higher than the other options in the index.
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SEO For Beginners: Crawling, Indexing and Ranking
In the second part of our video series, “SEO For Beginners”, we talk about how search engines like Google crawl, index, and rank websites.
00:28 How Search Engines Work
5:52 Important Ranking Factors
This can help you optimize your website according to Google’s best practices and improve your visibility in search results.
Crawling refers to the discovery of all the pages on the web. Google has little programs called GoogleBots which are also known as crawlers or spiders. Crawlers start off by discovering only a few web pages and then follow the links on those webpages to find new pages, and so on and so forth. This way they discover billions of webpages on the internet to add them to Google’s database.
With a Robots.txt file in a website’s root directory, webmasters can give directives to crawlers about which parts of their site the crawlers should and shouldn’t crawl or index. For webpages that don’t need to be crawled or indexed, like test pages, a Disallow directive can be used. You can learn more about Robots.txt here: https://www.linkbuildinghq.com/beginners-guide-robots-txt/
A Crawl Stats report in the Google Search Console shows how many pages of a website have been crawled in the last 90 days. The Coverage report shows if crawlers are encountering any errors while crawling a website.
Crawlers have a Crawl Budget which refers to the average number of URLs Googlebot will crawl on a site before leaving. Therefore, it is important to optimize the Robots.txt file to ensure Google isn’t crawling unimportant or junk pages. With a sitemap, GoogleBots make sense of the site architecture and understand which pages the webmasters think are more important.
While crawling is the discovery of pages, indexing handles the storing of the discovered pages in Google’s database or index.
By typing in “site:yourdomain.com” in the search bar, you can know which pages of your website have currently been indexed. There can be a few reasons for webpages not being indexed which are discussed in this video.
Some common Robots.txt instructions for indexing include:
• A NoIndex tag which can be used to tell Google which pages to crawl but not index.
• A NoArchive tag to remove pages with outdated pricing. This is useful for ecommerce sites.
• An X-Robots-Tag to exclude specific folders or file types from being indexed.
Ranking refers to showing webpages in a certain order based on a search query. Google uses hundreds of mini-algorithms, or ranking factors, to assess where and when to show pages in its search results.
These mini-algorithms add up to form Google’s ranking algorithm which keeps updating to improve Google’s ability to show the most relevant and high on quality search results.
Depending on the search intent, the searcher’s location, their search history, and other metrics, Google displays what it thinks are the most relevant results. Google’s ranking factors help the search engine in this process. There are over 200 ranking factors, but the most important ones include:
• Content Relevance
Relevance is among the most important ranking factors. Your content including your keywords needs to be relevant to the searcher’s query. Conducting keyword research will help you find the right keywords to target.
• Content Quality
The quality of the content helps you stand out from your competition. Assessing the content in terms of its EAT (Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness) helps you with this factor.
• Quality Backlinks
Backlinks act like “votes” from one site to another. Having backlinks from high authority websites improves this ranking for this factor.
• Mobile-Friendly Websites
With mobile-first indexing, your website’s mobile version is now even more important than the desktop version. Therefore, ensure your website is fully optimized for mobile. If you want to learn more about mobile-first indexing, read this blog: https://www.linkbuildinghq.com/mobile-first-indexing-guide/
• Technical On-Page SEO
This includes having the right meta tags and headings, making sure your page can be crawled and indexed if you want it to rank, making it easier for search crawlers to understand your page, having a fast load time, using alt text for images, internal linking, having a secure site, deploying schema markup, and more.
Now that you have a solid grasp of how Google crawls, indexes, and ranks websites, it’s time to move on to developing a winning SEO strategy. And it all starts with a solid keyword research plan, which is the main topic of part 3 of this series. Stay tuned!
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