Every single search engine depends primarily on Search Robots (better known as Crawlers) for collecting and finding information from the web. However, these Robots possess a very limited capacity and hence, are unable to find every single piece of informative material through the web during the searching phase. Such scenarios are more frequent when searching is done with large content based websites. It becomes extremely difficult to pick the latest and most informative contents while accessing the index of Search Engines. Robots are programmed in such a manner that they crawl through the website while trying to pick the most valuable contents. But how can a human user carry out the same task? This is a point of concern that needs clear, comprehensive discussion. In the following few lines, we will try to discuss about the necessary tactics that can be utilized to get crawlers crawl on out finely created websites.
The importance of crawling the web
The first step is to learn about the proper web crawling tactics. Yes, Search Robots follow a certain type of strategy to crawl the web. The human user needs to adopt the same. Popular search engine Google carries out the crawl process with the creation of a long list of website URLs, the ones that got generated from the previous crawling process. This is the first step that allows them to start indexing & following the links on those web pages. Let me clear one thing: the behavior of crawlers have a strong resemblance with the web browser. At first, they request web pages from the server. Then, they download the requested pages and finally, send them to Google index. The new pages are sorted out by addition of links on the requested pages and creating a page list that highlights the pages to be crawled. Always remember, it is the links that helps in directing crawlers.
Crawling the website
Crawlers are likely to start up the crawling activity from the client’s homepage. But these crawlers need to follow certain links, isn’t it? Yes, but what type of links will they be following first? In most general context, crawlers try to add those links that are available at the top of web pages. Accordingly, the crawling process takes place.
According to a research work carried out by Rolf Broer, there came up certain interesting facts that aroused the chances of links being crawled. One of the most interesting facts to observe was the length of the URL. If the URL is shorter, there is a strong chance of gaining attention from the crawlers. This strongly highlights the fact that parameters are not there to be followed for URLs.
Another important finding from this research work highlighted the fact that adding certain semantics to the link like headings have no direct influence on a link in regard to gaining precedence over other links. In fact, such links can often be ignored as the crawler have an idea that such pages have already being crawled beforehand.
Before concluding, let me share another important trick to help crawl the websites in a better way. HTTP headers are one of the best ways to communicate with the crawlers. So, be very careful when creating one. Using Google’s Webmaster Tool can be highly beneficial as it provides the site owners with some additional information that can be supplied to the web crawlers.