Web Crawling and Indexing are some of the most commonly used terms in SEO.
If you have been reading a lot about Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) techniques recently, surely you have come across the terms like Crawling and Indexing. In fact, Search Engines like Google, Bing and others are dependent on these Crawling and Indexing. This article will give you an insight of Crawling and Indexing and how they work.
What is Web Crawling?
For search engines, Crawling means following the of a website and all the links like pages or posts. Search engines have their own software which are known “Web Crawlers” which look at the different links of a website, the very similar way you would visit any website and check different pages. Once the crawlers visit all the links, they fetch all the link and brings back to store in their server. To make this crawling smooth, most of the websites create a sitemap which contains all the links of the website and place it in their homepage. This way, it becomes very easy for a search engine to crawl through all the links of a website.
Earlier, I have already posted articles about sitemaps and how you can submit your Google and Bing. You can check these articles here:
There might be some area of your web page, where you might not want search engines to crawl because it has certain private or confidential content like user details and others. One such area can be your Dashboard, which will contain your credentials to log in to the admin panel.to restrict Web Crawlers from accessing these, you could make use of Robots.txt file. By modifying this file, you can restrict search engines from crawling the certain areas of your website as per your requirement.
What is Indexing?
Once Search Engines are done with crawling in your website, they start indexing the links of your websites in their server. Think this as a book, where all the keywords are given in the last few pages of the books with their page numbers. The concept of search engine indexing is more or less same to this. Google or other search engines add or store all the information of particular website with their locations. Whenever a search query is entered, it searches in its database, finds out most relevant data and displays in the search results.
Based on which meta tag you are using in your website (Index or No Index), search engines will crawl and index your web pages. If you websites are running on WordPress, by default all your contents will be of Index, which means they are allowed for Search Engines to crawl and index. No Index pages will not be added or indexed in the web pages. Ideally, you should let search engines to index the important areas of your website and any area which is irrelevant or repetitive should be avoided. For example, you could easily skip sections like categories, tags, because when search engines crawl through your websites they will across those same categories again, which is not at all required.
If you want to know more about Indexing and Crawling, you might want to read How Google takes care of Crawling and Indexing Process.