There are different components that form an SEO strategy, one of which is commonly referred to as crawling, with tools often being called spiders. When a website is published on the Internet, it is indexed by search engines like Google to determine its relevance. The site is then ranked on the search engine with a higher ranking being attributed to a higher visibility potential per primary keyword.
In its indexing process, a search engine must be able to crawl through the website in full, page by page, so that it can determine the site’s digital value. This is why it’s important for all elements of the page to be crawl-able or else there might be pages that the search engine won’t be able to index. As a result, these wont be displayed as relevant results when someone searches for it with a relevant keyword.
Search engines like Google work fast. A website can be crawled and indexed within minutes of publishing. So one of your main goals is to see to it that your site can be crawled by these indexing bots or spiders. In addition, the easier your site is to crawl, the more points the search engine will add to your overall score for ranking.
There are different methods that you can try to optimize your crawl rate and here are some of them:
- Regularly update your site’s content but watch out for duplicate content.
Your website should provide relevant information to your visitors. Take the time to craft fresh content and work with a regular schedule in place. Regularly update your content to keep returning visitors coming and entice new people to visit your site.
It is important that you have relevant content on your page but be careful not to publish any duplicate content may it be a copy-pasted document or a close revision of an existing online article. Search engines can track these and when they do, your site’s ranking will surely fall.
As for crawling, the more frequently your site is crawled by search engines, the better it is for your rank. By regularly uploading content, you are ensuring that your site gets crawled as often as possible. Three updates a week is a good measure to start with.
Also include social media widgets on your site pages. Especially Twitter, use accounts that are active in terms of engagement and you’ll get the same updating effect. Every linked tagged tweet will turn up as an update leading to your site automatically being crawled by a search engine as it notices the “new” content.
2. Make sure that your site loads pretty quickly by investing in the right servers and systems.
Load times matter. You want a system that will provide you with a reliable uptime. The last thing you’d want is to be in the middle of a crawl and then have your site crash. If your site is down for a relatively long period of time, search engines will adjust their bots to this rate and even your future updates will be crawled much slower than what’s ideal.
3. Create a sitemap and interlink your site’s different pages but block unwanted pages.
Create a sitemap and bots will find it easier to crawl your site. They can actually do the indexing directly from your sitemap. Here, you can link the pages together with ease. The trick is to only include the relevant or valuable landing pages of your site on the map. This means foregoing any admin pages and the like; pages that are only of relevance to you as the site owner.
4. Make sure that you optimize all the media on your page.
Finally, help the spiders out by optimizing your on-page media. As they can’t read non-text media, having alt tags can help them identify the different materials. Use keywords in these tags and make sure that they’ve been written to be index-ready.
Now all you have to do is monitor your crawl rate month on month to start. There are tools that can be used for this so it won’t really be a hassle to you. You can also manually set the crawl rate to a speed of your choosing but only use this feature if you feel that there’s something questionable about the bots’ efficiency.