Search engines are answer machines. They exist to explore, understand and organize internet content to deliver the most relevant results to searchers’ questions.
In order for it to appear in search results, your content must first be visible to search engines. Probably the most important piece of the SEO puzzle: If your site is not found by search engines, there is no way for you to appear in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Page).
How Search Engines Work
Search engines operate on three basic functions:
Crawl: Searches content on the Internet by looking at the code / content for each URL they find.
Indexing: Stores and organizes the content found during the browsing process. When a page is indexed, it starts running to be displayed as a result of relevant queries.
Sorting: Provides pieces of content that best answer the searcher’s query; This means that the results are ranked from most relevant to least relevant.
What is Scanning?
Crawling is the discovery process performed by a team of robots (known as crawlers or spiders) to find new and updated content for search engines. Even if the content changes – a web page, an image, a video, a PDF, etc. – but it is discovered by the links the bots reach, regardless of the format.
Googlebot starts by crawling several web pages and then follows links on those webpages to find new URLs. Along this link path, the browser can find new content and download it from a huge database of discovered URLs called Caffein index and then a searcher is a good match for one of the content at that URL.
What is a Search Engines Directory?
Search engines collect the information they find and process and store the content they see well enough to serve searchers in a directory that has a large database.
How Search Engines Rank?
When a person conducts a search, search engines search their index for relevant content and then rank the query or queries for that content that best solves the searcher’s query. This process of search results based on their relevance is known as ranking. In general, you can assume that the higher a website is ranked, the more the search engine matches the site’s query.
You can instruct search engine crawlers not to store them in their index for part or all of your site. For this, you can define in robots.txt or use noindex meta codes on the pages you want.
Crawl: How do search engines find your pages?
As you just learned, making sure your site is crawled and indexed is a prerequisite for showing up in the SERPs. If you already have a website, it might be a good idea to start by seeing how many of your pages are in the index.
The fastest way to check your indexed pages is to go to Google, an advanced search operator, and enter “site: yourdomain.com” in the search bar. This will return all results found in Google’s index for the specified site.
The number of results (see “About XX results” above) is incomplete, but it gives you a solid idea of what pages on your site are being indexed and how they currently appear in search results.
For more accurate results (Google Search Console), see the Index Coverage report in Google Search Console. With this tool, you can submit sitemaps for your site and track how many posted pages are actually indexed by Google.
- If you don’t appear anywhere in the search results, there are a few possible reasons:
- Your site is new and has not been crawled yet.
- There is no link to your site from any external website.
- Your site’s navigation makes it difficult for a robot to crawl it effectively.
- Your site contains some basic code, called crawler directives, that block search engines.
- Your site has been penalized by Google for spam tactics.
Most people are not sure if they can find the important pages of Google. These can be old URLs with weak content, duplicate URLs (such as ranking and filtering parameters for e-commerce), custom promo code pages, staging or test pages.
I recommend using the robots.txt file to get Googlebot away from certain pages and sections of your site.
Robots.txt files are located in the root directory of websites (eg yourdomain.com/robots.txt) and you can determine which parts of your site should and should not be crawled, as well as the crawl speed of your site through specific robots.txt directives.
How does Googlebot handle robots.txt files?
If Googlebot cannot find a robots.txt file for a site, it will continue to crawl the site. If Googlebot finds a robots.txt file for a site, it will usually follow the recommendations and continue to crawl the site according to delki guidelines for the file.
If Googlebot encounters an error while trying to access a site’s robots.txt file and cannot determine if it exists, it will not crawl the site.
Can Search Engines Crawl Your Website Navigation?
Like a crawler discovering your site via links from other sites, you need a link path on your own site to redirect your site from the page. You have a page that you want search engines to find, but it becomes invisible from another page to another page. Many sites make the critical mistake of configuring browsing to be out of reach of search engines, preventing them from being listed in search results.
Let’s take a look at the common crawlers suggestions for navigating your site;
- Having a mobile navigation that shows results different from your desktop navigation
- Personalization or offering a browsing experience unique to any other type of search may appear to be cloaking to a search engine crawler.
- Forget to link to a homepage on your website via navigation – remember, links are browsers’ paths to new pages!
It is very important that your website has a clear navigation deep and useful URL folder structure.
Do You Use Site Map?
The sitemap is exactly what it looks like: It can be anywhere other than browsers on your site and use a list of URLs to index. One of the easiest ways for Google to find your top priority pages is to create a file that meets other standards and submit it to Google Search Console.
While running a site does not replace the need for good site navigation, it can definitely help crawlers follow the path to all your pages.
If there are no other sites linking to your site, you can submit your XML sitemap to Google Search Console to get your site indexed. However, there is no guarantee that they will include a URL posted in their Directory!