Google crawling is the search engine’s discovery process to follow links and crawl websites. Google uses bots or so-called “spiders” to scour a site and follow links to pages on it.
Google crawling is one of the primary reasons webmasters create sitemaps that contain all links in existing blogs or content pages. Google uses bots to check these sitemaps and other web addresses obtained from previous crawls to look deeper into a website.
Read More about “Google Crawling”
How Do You Know If Google Crawled Your Website?
With millions of websites today, not all pages are crawled by Google and other search engines. That means some pages may never show up on search engine page results (SERPs). As such, it is essential to know how Google crawls websites.
Google crawlers were developed to crawl as many pages with each visit to a particular website. But that would depend on a website’s bandwidth. The bots identify which websites they will crawl, including the frequency and volume of pages they can fetch from each site. The ranking is based on how valuable your site is or the volume of changes made to it since it was last crawled.
If you want to understand GoogleBot activity on your website you can check Crawl Stats report, which will give you something similar to this:
Note that you should not expect all URLs on your site to be indexed after crawling. Google may crawl your page but decide not to include it in the index. If you want to check the number of indexed pages, you can do so by typing “site:yourdomainname.com” on the search bar. The results show you the pages indexed for a given website. See the example below.
If you want to check if a particular page was indexed you can use this search operator “site:yourURL”. For example, site:https://www.techslang.com/definition/what-is-machine-teaching/
What Factors Affect the Google Crawling Process?
Not Using Robots.txt Appropriately
If you noticed some of your pages are not being crawled or indexed you should check your robots.txt file. This file tells GoogleBot which pages it can/can’t request from your site. Any page or file that is disallowed in robots.txt won’t be crawled or indexed.
However, remember that ensuring that search engines don’t crawl specific pages, including old ones with duplicate Uniform Resource Locators (URLs) or thin content and promotional and test pages is a useful practice. These pages can negatively affect the quality of your website and its ranking. So you can try to direct Google spiders away from them by leveraging the robots.txt functionality.
Failure to Use an XML Sitemap
Suppose you use a content management system (CMS) like WordPress. In that case, it may recommend that you automatically create and use an Extensible Markup Language (XML) sitemap, so Google knows you have a newly created or updated website that you want to be crawled.
Too Many Fancy Features
Knowing what Google crawling is and how it’s done helps webmasters understand how SERPs work and, therefore, how to make their websites more visible to target audiences.