What it is, what it is used for and how it works

Table of contents

What is a Spiderbot or Web Crawler?

A spiderbot is a computer program that scans the web automatically, “reading” everything it finds, analyzing the information and classifying it in the database or index of the search engine.

Internet crawlers are in charge of finding new pages by following all the internal and external links they find.

It is the way search engines like Google feed their index.

What is it used for?

Web crawlers are the search engines’ tools for crawling the web and classifying its content. It is their way of finding new content and updating the information they offer to users.

Without these programs, search engine results would soon become obsolete.

Apart from the traditional use of spiders, we can find other very useful functions of this type of program.

A web crawler or spiderbot can also be used to detect errors on a web page, check its status or detect changes in the pages such as variations in the price or catalog of an eCommerce.

How does a Spiderbot work?

The way crawlers or spiders work is very simple.
We have already said that they act as explorers to detect new content.

To do this, the first thing they do is to start from a list of web addresses and they detect the links in it to add them to their list and analyze them again in search of new links to explore, and so on ad infinitum.

These programs or bots are always looking for links in the pages and classify them in their index once they understand their characteristics.

Web crawlers, while on the page, collect information about the page, such as text and meta tags.

They then store the pages in the index so that Google’s algorithm can rank them based on the words they contain in order to retrieve and rank them later for users.

What to do to crawl my website if it is new

If your website is new and does not yet have inbound links for crawlers to explore, you can ask search engines to visit your page.

How to do it?
Very simple, register your new property and verify it in the services that search engines make available to web page owners such as:

  • Google Search Console
  • Bing webmaster tools

And then use the tools available to force the indexing of your URLs and/or take the opportunity to upload the sitemap.xml file.

You will be providing directly to the web crawler the links that it must explore your property.

Most popular Spiders

Among the hundreds of crawlers that exist, the bots of the most popular search engines stand out. Among many others, the main ones are:

  • Googlebot
  • yandex bot
  • baiduspider
  • Yahoo! Slurp
  • DuckDuckBot
  • Bingbot

We can also find spiders from other SEO tools such as:

  • Screaming frog SEO spider
  • Ahrefsbot
  • SemrushBot

Try to perform periodic check-ups to detect these errors and avoid major problems.

Webcrawlers and SEO​

The crawling of a website is essential for SEO positioning. Crawlers provide Google with a large amount of information about each site, which directly affects its positioning:

  1. Loading speed: loading time is a key factor for web positioning due to its impact on the user experience.
  2. Crawl budget: The time available for crawlers to analyze each website is known as the crawl budget. Optimizing this time is essential so that the webcrawler can visit and index all the relevant content and not waste time on low-quality or worthless content.
  3. Error pages: URLs that display error messages are detected by crawlers, which can negatively affect SEO. Web redirects are a good option to fix error messages, as they tell crawlers the correct URL to access.
  4. External Links: If a website has many external links pointing to it, crawlers will visit it more frequently and find it more relevant to users.

In conclusion:

A crawler web or search engine bot crawls Internet sites by passing through links on web pages.

The spiders store their findings in a giant index, so that the algorithm of the search engine in question classifies the contents and, based on certain parameters (in the case of Google, more than 200), decides what to display for each user query.

Keep in mind that the crawlers scan the web regularly to always have an updated index of the web.

And you can use the tools of the different crawlers to warn of changes or the publication of new content on your website and even force the indexing of your new URLs.

Resources mentioned:

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a spider or spiderbot?

A web spider is a simple computer program used by search engines to read and classify Internet content. To make the search engines’ job easier, it is necessary to have a thorough understanding of how they work and the rules that govern them.

What is a meta-search engine on the Internet?

They are the search engines of search engines. This type of tool launches simultaneous searches in the most popular search engines and delivers the most relevant results to the search engines. They have no database of their own and return a combination of the best pages they find in the search engines.

What is the Google spider called?

Googlebot. That is the name of the main crawler that Google uses to index the results in its database of different web pages. There are other bots on which Google relies to detect and explore other types of content such as images or videos.