There are plenty of ways to improve organic rankings. For starters, creating quality content, inserting optimized images, using header tags and incorporating attractive meta descriptions can be sufficient for your site. Yet for those who are aiming for more than that, it is best to shift your attention to the power of technical SEO. Presumably, one of the most important key takeaways from 2019 as we approach the end of the year is to prioritize technical SEO and think like a web crawler.
Googlebot is a web crawler. Think of it as a spider that jumps from one webpage to another to scrape for valuable content and information. For those who are only familiar with Googlebot, other web crawlers or user agents include Bingbot (Bing), Slurp Bot (Yahoo), and Alexa Crawler (Amazon Alexa). These are web crawlers that come in the form of user agents because they are branded bots of particular search engines.
Fundamentals of Search
So how do web crawlers work? Web crawlers perform a three-step process in order to generate entries for a search engine index.
They start with discovering sites through internal linking, sitemaps, and fetch requests. Take note that despite the fact that web crawlers are attracted to sitemaps, they still do not account for PageRank.
The next step of the process is reading. Web crawlers read webpages to scrape information much as a user would. Going back to links found on pages, web crawlers also discover new information by crawling to those links. They crawl from one link to another and bring the scraped data back to the search engine’s servers.
How Web Crawlers Index Your Site
When you want to optimize a site, you would need to satisfy both the users and web crawlers for UX and crawler experience. While it may be difficult to think about fulfilling the requirement of search engines to rank high and keep users’ interests in mind, there will always be a solution.
Since you are a user yourself, the only thing you have to do now is to think like a web crawler. Here are the following optimization methods web crawlers like Googlebot uses that you should apply to boost your technical SEO and increase the UX your website almost instantly.
Principles For A Googlebot Optimized Site
Since Googlebot optimization comes before search engine optimization, learn the principles for an optimized site below.
Use robots.txt Wisely
Robots.txt or robot exclusion standard is a text file containing instructions of web robots on how they should crawl pages. This text file is created by webmasters for their website. Simply put, robots.txt is essential because they serve as a directive to all Google bots. These web crawlers are on crawl budget; directing them to crawl to the right pages will prevent crawlers from expending it.
To use robots.txt wisely is to modify it accordingly. The whole idea of robots.txt is to tell web crawlers where it should not go. This means that crawlers must not crawl through any unnecessary pages or silos of a site. The more time the web crawlers spend on crawling to important sections, the more necessary data it can scrape and bring back.
Create Fresh Content
A site whose content is visited frequently by crawlers is more likely to gain traffic. Again, you must note that PageRank is the determinative factor in crawl frequency. Yet when compared to the freshness factor of similar ranked pages, PageRank becomes less important. Site pages with low ranking can still win your site traffic if they get crawled frequently than your competitor.
Utilize Internal Linking
Internal linking connects one page of the site to a different page on the same site. It aids in site navigation, defines the hierarchy of a site, and distributes page ranking power throughout the site. Utilizing internal linking means generating lots of content. More content means more ways to incorporate internal links.
A great linking strategy is a counterpart of an awesome content strategy. You should be able to create plenty of relevant and linkable content. After site content is created, link deeper and make use of links natural for readers.
For users to search for anything and everything they can think of can be tedious because of the amount of information available online. The existence of web crawlers took hard work of searching for users. These web crawlers index sites with the most valuable content.
With this, users are recommended with a few of the best pages out of the existing almost limitless amount of pages with similar information. To think like a web crawler is quite simple. The goal is to appease the search engine’s requirements through site content that delivers outstanding UX to experience organic growth. Finally, your intent to think like a web crawler brings you to learn how to boost your technical SEO.