Crawling and Indexing Controls for Search Engine Visibility

Why website owners should be concerned with crawlability & indexability.

Crawling and Indexing Controls for Search Engine Visibility

Why website owners should be concerned with crawlability & indexability

I don’t think it makes sense to only focus on on-page optimization without understanding how search engine crawlers work. There are many myths around crawling and indexing that lead to issues with search visibility.

In order to prevent these issues from occurring, it helps to have knowledge regarding the basics of how crawlers operate. This article aims to provide guidance by outlining key aspects of the crawling and indexing process.

Table of Contents

The Crawling and Indexing Process


Search engine bots, also referred to as crawlers, traverse the web by pursuing links to uncover new webpages. Crawlers may also obtain new URLs from additional sources such as browser data. Each website is designated a crawling budget which dictates the frequency and depth to which it will be crawled.

Crawling is an essential first step in the process that enables pages to be discovered by search engines. Without proper crawling, pages cannot be indexed for search visibility.


Indexing transpires over two primary phases:

Phase One

In the first phase, the HTML code is analyzed and supplemented into the search index. The analyzed version serves as what is indexed initially. This phase focuses on parsing the code itself to enable quick indexing.

Phase Two

Subsequently, in the second phase, the already indexed pages are rendered to replicate what users witness in a browser. This phase creates an indexed version that matches the user experience.

Indexing in two phases enables efficient processing of pages for inclusion in search indexes. Both phases play an important role in how pages are indexed.

Crawling Budgets and Indexation Controls

Websites with extensive scale (10,000+ pages) typically undergo no obstacles being fully crawled. Less capacious sites may not be crawled as profoundly or as regularly. Mechanisms such as robots.txt and sitemaps can be leveraged to signify pages you desire indexed. Appropriate application of these controls enables search engines to maximize pages indexed.

Crawling budgets impact how deeply sites are crawled. By properly configuring indexation controls, website owners can improve crawling coverage and efficiency. This directly translates into higher indexation rates.

Common Crawl Setting Issues

Problem: Improper Crawl Settings

A prevalent issue is that numerous sites employ default crawl configurations without grasping the impact on visibility. Using default settings often limits how search bots crawl and index pages. This leads to suboptimal visibility in search engine results.

Solution: Careful Configuration

Crawl settings including robots.txt and sitemaps should be adapted to cater to the explicit requirements of each website. Carefully tailoring configurations based on site-specific needs allows for optimal crawl coverage.

Carelessness with crawl settings causes many visibility issues. But problems can be avoided by careful configuration of parameters like robots.txt and sitemaps.

Key Takeaways

Having knowledge of how search engine bots crawl and index websites is vital. Website owners should capitalize on controls such as robots.txt and sitemaps to optimize indexed pages. Furthermore, common pitfalls like obstructing integral pages from indexing should be avoided. Configuring crawl parameters accurately permits full search visibility.


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