SEO for beginners: what are web crawlers, how it works on the search engine and its roles



(Photo: Pixabay / kevinandthepup) Web crawler search engine

Web crawlers might be a familiar term, but not everyone knows what it means. Basically, web crawlers search the web and index it so that when you search for something on search engines like Google or Bing, you can find it easily.

Web explorers and search engines

When you search for something online using a keyword, the search engine crawls trillions of pages to create a list of results related to your keyword, according to CloudFlare.

So how do these search engines get all the pages saved and know how to sort them in seconds?

The answer to this is web crawlers. Web crawlers are automated programs that crawl the web to add pages to search engines. These bots index websites to create a list of pages that will appear in your search results.

Read also: Edward Snowden used web crawler software to dig into NSA files

Web crawlers also create and store copies of pages in the engine’s database, allowing you to find pages in seconds. This is also the reason why search engines generally include cached versions of sites in their own databases.

Selection of web crawlers

Web crawlers can choose which websites to crawl on because website owners allow them to do so. They can achieve this by asking search engines such as Yahoo, Bing or Google to index their pages, according to WebFx.

The process depends on the search engine used. Additionally, search engines typically select popular and well-related websites to crawl by tracking the number of times the URL is linked on other websites.

Website owners can also use certain processes to help search engines index their websites, according to How to Geek.

For example, they can download a sitemap. It is a file that contains all the links and pages that are part of your website. It is used to indicate which pages you want to index.

Once the search engines have crawled a website once, they will crawl it again. The frequency will depend on the popularity of the website.

Therefore, site owners keep up-to-date sitemaps to let the engines know which websites they might need to index.

Importance of meta tags

Under the URL and title of each search result in Google, you’ll see a brief description of the page. Descriptions are called snippets, and they do not always match the actual content of the website.

This is because many websites have meta tags, which are personalized descriptions that site owners add to their pages.

Site owners usually come up with attractive metadata descriptions written to entice people to click on a website.

Google also lists other meta information, such as stock availability and prices. This is very useful for those who run e-commerce websites.

Searching the web is an important part of using the Internet. Searching the web is a great way to learn more about current websites, communities, and discussion threads.

Web crawlers visit millions of pages every day and add them to search engines. While web crawlers have their drawbacks, such as consuming resources, they are valuable to both site owners and visitors alike.

Related Article: Apple Secretly Builds Its Own Search Engine Amid Google Antitrust Problems

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Written by Sophie Webster

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