To rank on search engines, your website has to be technically and flawlessly optimized. Sometimes, even if you’ve written great content using well-researched, high-value keywords, there’s no sign of traffic. The problem is not the content, but the technical usability aspect, or crawlability issues, that search engine crawlers encounter on your website.
What are crawlers?
Search engines like Google have what are known as “crawlers,” also called robots, spiders, or bots. The Google bots move continuously 24/7, and when they find a website, the HTML version is indexed into a massive database. The index is updated every time the bots visit your website and find a new or revised page. The importance of your website to Google is based on the frequency of changes made and what the crawler finds during its visit.
What is crawlability?
Google spiders need to crawl across your website properly to index it, which is crucial for ranking on search results. But if there are technical SEO issues on your site, the bots cannot crawl, which can impact user experience. You can get help from the best digital marketing agency in Sydney – Australian Internet Advertising. AIA uses the right SEO techniques to let clients gain traffic, build brand awareness, and enhance their conversion rates.
What things impact crawlability?
Some of the crawlability issues are high priority, while a few are mid-level.
- The first thing the spider looks for is the robots.txt file. For your pages, you don’t want the bots to crawl specify ‘disallow’. Directives like this can block Google bots from indexing the most crucial pages on your site. This can even stem from typos.
- Before crawling, the spider looks at the HTTP header for a status code. If the status code tells the spider that the page does not exist, the spider won’t crawl and index your website.
- When Google bots encounter 500 or 404 error pages, it means a dead-end for them. If they hit multiple error pages, the bots will ultimately stop crawling across your website.
- SEO tag errors, including on the hreflang or canonical tags, are directives to the search bots. They could be incorrect, duplicated, or missing.
- The root cause of some issues in search engines can be that they’re unaware of which content version to index due to the coding setup. This can be a problem for pages with multiple parameters in the URL, redundant content elements, pagination, and session IDs.
- The way a website links between relevant posts is also essential for indexing. When each web page in your layout is properly interlinked through the page text, it’s much less likely to cause indexing issues. Link to relevant content and follow other best SEO practices like no internal 301 redirect, a complete sitemap, and correct pagination.
- Mobile SEO is crucial to grab attention from Google bots. If the spiders view a site as unusable for smartphones, then they rank it low, which can cause significant traffic loss.
- If your site does not have the problems mentioned above but is still not indexing, then the issue may be “thin content.” Search bots are smart and detect that these pages are not worth indexing. Maybe the content isn’t unique, doesn’t offer value or has no external links from authoritative sites.
A website with no crawlability issues can enjoy relevant traffic as search engines concentrate on offering a better search experience rather than fixing issues.
Read also: Why Is SEO Important?