What do Search Robots Do?: The internet as we know it is constantly expanding, and there are practically unlimited web pages online, growing in number every day. There is a heavy influx of content from online shops to informative blogs and government websites, adding to the already vast pool of information.
But when you search a query on Google or any other search engine, it provides you the ideal results, even the new web pages. So how does this magic happen?
This blog article will discuss all there is to know about search robots that a search engine like Google utilizes to ensure the perfect results against each query. We will also discuss how search robots (aka web crawlers) filter out unwanted, malicious, or redundant web pages. Let’s start.
What are Search Robots?
A search robot, commonly known as Web Crawler or simply Crawler, is responsible for having the information of almost all the webpages in the world like their metadata, content, use, etc. This way, when a user searches for a query, the relevant information can be retrieved and presented.
Search robots often work as an underlying entity of a search engine and provide helpful information. An extensive algorithm takes your data provides a list of links and results. You can think of search robots as the librarian of a vast yet disorganized library. The librarian has the job of keeping a card catalog. So when someone comes to the library looking for a specific book, they can find it quickly and easily.
How does a search robot work?
As we mentioned, search bots work more or less like a librarian. They search for the relevant information online and then label the content into categories for effective division. Once categorized, the content goes through an indexing procedure that catalogs the pages, allowing the search engine to access and evaluate them.
Typically, every commonly used search engine starts crawling operations on a website by demanding access to the robots.txt file. This file contains the set of rules that suggest which pages the search engine must or must not crawl. On top of the website’s information, the robot.txt file can also contain relevant links to other websites useful to the crawler.
Then, the web crawler has all the information required to index the pages and execute the commands. The search engine uses this index to optimize the search results consistently. Hence, search robots are practically the basis of any search engine.
What happens when you type in a search term?
Google bots or any search bots are the discoverers of new resources, like someone on the hunt to track down all the islands on earth. And like any other travelers, once they are on a site, they explore it trying to find valuable clues that may resonate with the ultimate goal. In the case of a web crawler, the ultimate goal is to collect valuable data.
So, when a crawler is searching a webpage, it extracts metadata while studying the title, summary, and content inside to figure out the data on the website. This data then goes to Google’s algorithm to know precisely where to find keyword-specific information once a user searches for it.
A search robot often discovers a web page that Google is already aware of due to a past visit. In this case, the crawler visits the URL and begins the crawling operations. Then the Google software analyzes the textual and non-textual parts of the page, rendering it in terms of quality to better understand where to show it in the search results.
When a search engine receives a query request, the search bots look for the ideal information based on the indexes provided by the web crawler. But these indexes have many dividing factors that make search results more specific. This way, the user gets the most personalized search content that matches their needs. For example, if you live in Chicago, searching for “bicycle repair shops” will provide entirely different results than someone who searched the same query in Tokyo.
When you type in something without a search intent, how does Google determine what it is trying to find?
Search engines allow anyone to search for practically anything they can come up with. It is essential to have specific rules and practices to be efficient. For example, when you search on google, the algorithm evaluates the query to judge its nature. A search query about ‘eat pasta’ can bring your results about nearby restaurants that offer Italian food. It may also produce recipes, nutritional facts, or even the history of pasta.
This categorizing and distinguishing process works by adding an imperative sentence ‘I want to the query, allowing the search engine to display ideal results.
In most cases, when a user types a keyword with no search intent, the Google algorithm presumes that you already know what you’re talking about, meaning you have all the information on the topic. It translates actual meaning from indicator words and phrases such as why, how, what, where, etc. This practice allows the search engine to paint a picture after evaluating essential features.
Significance of Search robots for search engine optimization
As mentioned before, search robots form the basis for any search engine to perform efficiently and deliver quick search results. They crawl and index webpages to allow Google to rank the websites according to the designated factors. The crawl plays a significant role in today’s SEO practices.
There is only a limited amount of time and budget available for each website that a crawler spends on it. As the owner of your website, you can optimize your web pages by introducing seamless navigation to use your crawl budget effectively. For instance, search robots often crawl a frequently visited page and deem it essential in its search results. Similarly, a website with multiple reliable incoming links also takes priority.
Using robots.txt fill will give you a certain amount of control over a web crawler. The file will have clear instructions about which web pages the search robots should and should not crawl.
We conclude this article in hopes that you now understand what a search crawler is and how it works. Search engine crawlers are inarguably a significant powerhouse when it comes to navigating through the perplexities of the modern internet.