SEO: What is a Search Engine Spider?

Grozina / SEO: What is a Search Engine Spider?

SEO: What is a Search Engine Spider?

A search engine spider, also known as a crawler or web spider, is a software used by search engines to explore web pages on the internet. They follow links from one page to another, accumulating and indexing information for search engine results. These spiders employ various algorithms to decide what content to collect such as text, images, hyperlinks, key terms and orphan pages. These spiders help search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo and Yandex to understand the construction of sites and pages, their links with other sites, and the basis for ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs.)

How does a search engine spider work?

Spiders make use of schema markup to understand the content of a webpage. For example, if you are a hotel, you can use schema markup to inform search engine spiders about the accommodations you offer.

Spiders find your schema markup, sitemaps, sitemaps, robots.txt protocol or noindex when they crawl your site, and update their index with this information to enhance their understanding of your website.

What are the different search engine spiders?

Significant search engine spiders include:

Googlebot – For Google
Bingbot – For Bing
Slurp – For Yahoo
Baiduspider – for the Chinese search engine Baidu
Yandex Bot – for the Russian search engine Yandex

Some search engine spiders specialize in a specific industry or platform. For example, there is Twitterbot, the spider used by Twitter, which is specifically designed to find content within the social media platform. Other specialty spiders can be used for industries such as e-commerce and technology, where a higher level of accuracy and complexity is needed.

What can search engine spiders see?

Search engine spiders view what a user would see on a webpage. They assess the quality of content, which affects the ranking of the page. Spiders also review meta-tags, images, ALT tags, blogs, videos and PDF files.

Common SEO Errors

Mistakes that may prevent search engine spiders from viewing your entire website include:

  1. Blocking search engines from crawling your website. This is done when you do not want search engines to crawl your site. If you want them to crawl your site later, remove the coding that instructs them to not crawl.
  2. Using JavaScript for navigation instead of HTML. Spiders do not fully understand JavaScript, so include navigation types in your HTML as well.
  3. Leaving orphan pages can stop spiders from crawling all your pages. Link essential pages to one another internally to provide a path for search spiders.

Avoiding these SEO errors can ensure your website remains visible and engaging for visitors, enhancing your search rankings and generating organic traffic.

Related: JavaScript, HTML and CSS
Related: Orphan pages