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What Are Web Crawlers & How Do They Work?

Web crawlers are systems designed to scan your website, effectively reading and itemising every website they discover. Crawlers are how search engines find and catagorise the most relevant information presented to us when we search for a product of service online.

Search engine web crawlers are designed to ‘scan’ every website they discover to learn about the content and topic described by the website. The information found by these web crawlers is stored in a huge library which it can access when you or your customers enter a search query into the search engine.

These website crawlers regularly scan the web for new content, and recrawl your website, checking against its library to ensure the information presented to us when we enter a search query into the search engine is as up-to-date and relevant as possible.

How do web crawlers affect SEO? We’ll use ‘plants’ to give our explanation a little context. If you owned a plant shop and were optimising your website for ‘bamboo houseplant’, it is super important that your website talks about bamboo houseplants, organically in the content - without looking spammy to you and I. If you don’t include words like ‘bamboo houseplant’, ‘bamboo indoor plant’ and similar keywords, Google and other search engines may not rank your website as relevant when users search for similar keywords.

To help make sure the web crawler considers your website relevant, you can filter keywords into your website content through: page names, titles and meta descriptions, body content, image names and alt tags, with the first words on the page being super important.

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