Even if you aren’t technologically savvy, you know what a search engine is. But do you know how Google works? Do you know what a search engine Spider Bot/web crawler does?
The answer to the questions has a strong impact on your website’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Also how it ranks on the Search Engine Results Page (SERPs) over time.
All right, buckle up, and let’s ride through this article!
- A bit of search engine history
- How do search engines work
- A web crawler isn't dumb
- Avoiding the pitfalls of Google’s index bots
- A better way to get to the top
A bit of search engine history
In 1990, before most of us had ever used the interwebs (known as the Internet today), there was the Archive search engine, called Archie. Veronica and Jughead followed (we have no idea what happened to Betty or Reggie).
Then, there were the ones recognized by a broader audience: Excite, Infoseek, AltaVista, Netscape, Yahoo!, MSN, and Bing. And last but not least, Google.
In the early days of search engines, you needed to know the exact wording of a website's URL to find what they were searching.
You couldn't type in "toys for my cat" and generate relevant eCommerce shops and blogs. If the only cat toy website was www.theonlycattoysite.com, you had to enter the URL title correctly, or you would be looking at a blank results page.
How do search engines work
Nowadays, Google can turn a search like "best toys for my furry friend" (try that search out) into a list of relevant or connected sites. You probably take that for granted every day.
Have you ever stopped and wondered how search engines like Google accomplish this? We’ll tell you: They use bots or "spiders" (world wide web, get it?).
Google bot 3-step process
- The bot "crawls" websites and fetches (gathers information on the page) before transferring it to Google’s servers.
- The spider searches the internet for new content by checking sites in Google’s Index for updates and links to pages they have never scanned before.
- The Spider Bot sends the latest info to Google’s servers to index the content. It uses algorithms to decide which sites match specific search queries.
A web crawler isn't dumb
Many small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) worry about the keywords on their site. They believe search engines count each keyword to determine the site’s relevance and eventual ranking. Modern SEO is about more than keywords.
As of 2020, Google has 200 ranking factors for SEO optimization. Everything from keywords, meta tags (titles and descriptions), content structure, backlinks, internal and outbound linking, website navigation, and the list goes on.
Over the years, a search engine like Google has learned how to measure how user-friendly a site is and how worthwhile is the content.
When a user types something in the search bar, all Google needs to do is reference its index of websites and decide which ones have the right mixture of relevance, content quality, and authority to display on the results page.
As any website administrator knows rankings aren’t stable. Your competitors are adding and modifying content frequently, and the spiders’ work is a neverending story.
Regularly updating your content is essential. It not only expands the topics and information Google recognizes, but it also signals to the search engine that your site is healthy and active.
Avoiding the pitfalls of Google’s index bots
Once upon a time, search engines were easy to "trick.” Web designers used “black hat SEO” methods to manipulate a site's ranking in Google’s organic search results. Keyword stuffing is the most recognizable strategy. Google has become proficient at recognizing deceptive behavior.
When a spider reports consecutive infractions, it could result in a penalty. Penalties can be a slap on the wrist, like a downranking, or worse, a delisting.
Now think about what your site traffic would be like if Google didn’t list it on their results pages? People could still find your page by typing the URL into the address bar manually. Still, that’s not going to bring you new traffic.
The old SEO adage, "Content is King," is more true now than ever. If Google's spider bots see that you're maintaining a content-rich site, focusing on SEO best practices, your site has a good chance at ranking.
Risking your website ranking with manipulative tactics should never be the option. Improving your website content is the alternative.
A better way to get to the top
There is no guaranteed way to get your site ranked #1, even with the best Spider Bot. There are hundreds of other businesses fighting for that top spot on Google. The best place to start is understanding what everyone is fighting over.
We would like to offer you a complimentary SEO audit for your site. It’s worth $500, but you aren’t going to pay a dime.
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