How Does Search Engine Crawl Work?

What’s the process behind your Google search on how to cut hair yourself in quarantine?

How does a crawler work?

Crawling is basically a discovery process where search engines send out a team of its robot spiders to find new and updated content on web pages, discoverable through links or URLs (Uniform Resource Locators).

Crawlers pay special attention to new sites, dead links, and changes to existing sites, kind of like an ever-growing library.

For example, the Google search index is easily over 100,000,000 gigabytes in size, taking note of keywords and website freshness in order to organise information in its servers in a way that when you search, you’ll get the most relevant results to the question you’ve asked.

Diagram on how crawlers take keywords from websites, upload onto servers, which is then available when you Google a keyword
Diagram on how crawlers take keywords from websites, upload onto servers, which is then available when you Google a keyword
Source Seobility (CC BY 4.0)

Why should crawlers matter to you?

As someone working in digital marketing, understanding how to get a web page ranked highly on a search engine is important. Because there are so many pages on the Internet, and the frequency and dynamism of their change, search engine crawlers have a hard time crawling. All these variations give these crawlers a huge workload of URLs — and cause them to prioritise certain web pages and hyperlinks. Here’s a list of the file types that are indexable by Google’s crawlers.

A Generation Z kid studying sociology and searching for the Fortress of Solitude.

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