Crawling and Indexing

30 March 2012

Search Engine Indexing and Crawling Revealed

Have you ever imagined how a simple text search query in a search engine throws up millions of results almost instantaneously? The advancements in the search engine algorithms have meant the ushering of a sophisticated era where search engines are powered by highly technical, but accurate, coding to give quick, exhaustive and precise results for the searched term. Here’s a quick lowdown on how the search engines, like Google, crawl and index the web pages.

Crawling and Indexing

The search engines have a built in “crawler” (a.k.a. “robot” or “bot” or “spider”), which is a complex program designed to follow the relevant links to different web pages on the internet. Its job does not end by visiting the relevant web pages. It also has to perform the task of reading the relevant text, retain that information and indexing it (i.e., making a copy of the website within the search engine). The entire process is called “Crawling the Web”.

For instance, Google uses its indigenous PageRank technology and HyperText Matching Analysis to throw relevant results for the searched terms. Of late, Google has started using Panda algorithm to rank the web pages in terms of their relevancy to the searched keyword or keyphrase. The entire process of determining the importance and ranking of web pages is highly technical and beyond the scope of this article. Suffice it is to mention that search engine crawling and indexing is undertaken by the proprietary programs and algorithms developed by the respective Search Engine companies.

Crawling and Indexing

How to Make Your Website Crawled and Indexed by Search Engines?

Here are some tips to help you make your website easily crawled and indexed by search engines:

1. The most crucial aspect for your website’s search-ability is its navigational structure. In order to have maximum web pages indexed, the hierarchy of the website content must be carefully laid out. The search engines have their own calculations to rank the web pages in accordance with the hierarchy of the content. For instance, home page is almost always considered as the most important page on a website. The next important pages are located within one, two or three clicks from the home page.

2. As far as possible, use only generic HTML (HREF) links, since many search engines can overlook Flash links and JavaScript links links.

3. An organised website is always a favourite among the search engines. Therefore, break down your products or services into related categories and organise it in such a way that the most relevant and important page is linked from the home page. If the content is large, it still makes sense to break it down to different categories to make it easier for the search engines to crawl and index the web pages.

4. You can also consider including a sitemap to your website, which is simply an index page with organised links to different pages within a website. And don’t forget to link the sitemap from the home page itself for easier indexing.

5. The title, description and keywords tags should be used keeping in mind the rules of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

6. You can also manually submit your website to the search engines to make it known to the search engines that your website also exists. This will ensure that the search engine will crawl your website. However, indexing of your website depends on the relevancy of the web pages of your website.

If you are not well-versed with different SEO techniques, it is advisable to entrust this task to specialists. We will ensure that your website is not just crawled and indexed, but also ranks higher up in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). Take a closer look at our search engine optimisation services.