Getting pages to rank high on search engines has become quite an arduous task nowadays. And a crucial part of getting this done involves the use of crawler bots. These applications are required to access and index important pages on a website as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Because of the stiff competition among sites, crawler bots spend less time on websites that are difficult to search through. Consequently, such sites rank lower than they should. Hence, a crawl-friendly site is great for SEO. According to Joel House Search Media, here are the nine crawl-influencing factors that affect the technical growth of your website.
First of all, you want your site to be crawlable. This means your site should be accessible to search engine bots as often as possible. The first thing to check for is the robot’s exclusion standard file on your site (usually Robots.txt).
Web crawlers first come in contact with these files, and they determine which areas of it will be accessible or not.
The Robots.txt file that determines the access to crawl certain pages may seem like a bad thing, but it is not. The only problem is that it may be misused. It can give access to specific crawlers and improve their efficiency at your site’s detriment. You do not want potentially indexable pages on your site denied access to a web crawler.
Unless you restrict some pages to crawlers, there are only but a few reasons your pages are not indexed or given a low priority by crawlers.
Number of crawled pages
After finding out what the crawlability of your site is, you need to keep track of the number of crawled pages regularly. Any page which is not crawled will not get indexed.
Indexable URLs/ indexability
Indexation is necessary for your site to attract traffic, and the quality and quantity of indexed pages are crucial to its growth. Here;
You need to know how many indexable pages/URLs you have and if they are the desired ones.
You do not want web crawlers to waste valuable time and resources crawling on pages that won’t be indexed at all. The sooner you find the non-indexable pages on your site, the better.
Using flash content on a website requires caution. A link or content in a flash element will most likely not be indexed at all. Therefore, you shouldn’t use them on your website. And the same goes for HTML frames. They are poorly indexed on sites, and they should also be avoided.
Make sure there are no pages with denied access like those with a 403-status code. Pages like this waste crawl budget, and the best way to remedy such situations is to mark them as no-follow links.
Redirections, such as a redirect loop (when two pages direct to each other),wastes crawl budget. Another abuse of this tool is using temporary redirects like 302 or 307 codes. They require crawlers to revisit the first page repeatedly, which wastes the budget. Permanent redirect (a 301 redirect) should be used when the original page doesn’t need to be indexed.
Interlinked web pages.
Web crawling softwares follow links from pages for a more in-depth and effective search. For this reason, you should interlink all pages appropriately to ensure a thorough crawl on your site. You may have seen this a lot on other sites where new content is linked in old related ones.
In interlinking, the essential pages on your site shouldn’t be more than three clicks away from your homepage. Web pages that aren’t linked to other pages (called orphaned pages) should also be sorted out. Orphaned pages are difficult to find by people and bots, and broken links waste crawl budget.
No one enjoys waiting for what seems like an eternity for a page to load. Every second counts even for a bot when crawling your website. The faster your pages load, the quicker and more efficient the bot is on your site. Load speed has recently become a factor for ranking a site.
The goal is for your site to be as cooperative as possible with any crawler visiting. If one spends too much time going through large data files, there won’t be time for it to visit other pages. A quick load speed will make your site grow through the ranks. In a nutshell, you want your site to be responsive, friendly, and prompt.
Powerful tools like Google Pageinsights can help you measure how fast your page(s) load on both desktop and mobile.
Creating and submitting sitemaps is a quick way of making your site discoverable by web crawlers. They help bots view all the critical pages on your site and how they are linked. It is essentially a map for web crawlers.
Ascertain that all your important pages are included in the sitemap, excluding all the ones you don’t want to be indexed.
Lastly, make a quick review of your sitemap. It should follow the right format and XML protocols. Use open-source tools to help your sitemap analysis in discovering broken and orphaned URLs.
Server errors can prevent crawlers from accessing your site. A 5xx error status code is an excellent example. Also, an overloaded or misconfigured server can stop your site from responding to bots and users.
Duplicate content is commonly found in websites, and it has its perks. Unfortunately, having copied webpages may not be suitable for your site. Duplicate content reduces crawl rates and lowers your ranking. Even if you set a canonical tag on duplicated pages, a bot will crawl through all the pages before indexing any of them.
If you need to have duplicate pages, keep them to a minimum. Also, make certain pages without unique content, and new links should not be accessible to crawlers. Permanent redirects and Robots.txt file can be used to fix this.
There isn’t one single method to make your website crawler-friendly. Every site can become much better if you get down to work on it.
Nothing is stopping your site from topping the list, so use tools and take the steps outlined above to grow your website technically.