Understanding SEO Crawlers

Back to main article

Search engines rely on automated crawlers and bots to recursively browse the web and index pages. These crawlers systematically browse the web by recursively following links from page to page. As they follow links across the internet, these crawlers analyze factors like content, site speed, mobile optimization, authority signals, and engagement. All of this data gets fed into algorithms that calculate how high or low to rank pages for relevant keyword searches.

How crawlers index and rank web pages

Crawlers extract information from pages such as titles, headers, and metadata as they index the content. They may execute JavaScript code to surface dynamic content. XML sitemaps and robots.txt files provide guidance to crawlers on what pages to index. Constant recrawling allows search algorithms to account for changes on websites.

Optimizing websites for crawlers with prerendering

Prerendering can significantly enhance crawlability by generating HTML for key pages ahead of requests. This avoids empty loading states and improves speed metrics like time to first byte, contentful paint, and overall page load times that search algorithms evaluate. Prerendering allows crawlers to more efficiently navigate paginated content like product listings or blog archives since pages can be accessed immediately without having to render each one sequentially. It also interprets JavaScript to surface dynamic content to crawlers that might otherwise be obscured behind client-side scripts. Overall, prerendering fundamentally improves the crawling experience for both bots and human visitors.

Factors that influence search engine rankings

Faster indexing can help new pages rank higher quicker after discovery. Inbound links from reputable sites signal authority and trust. Mobile-friendly, fresh content is favored over desktop-only sites with stale, duplicated content. Publishing original, updated content incentivizes search bots to recrawl frequently.

Best practices for optimizing crawlers and users

On-page optimizations like effective metadata and internal linking improve crawlability. Link-building should focus on earning references from relevant industry authorities. While crawler optimization is beneficial, ensuring a positive user experience through strong web design, robust information architecture, and fast performance satisfies both bots and human visitors.

Conclusion

Following SEO best practices along with good web design principles leads to the most crawlable and engaging websites with higher conversions. The ultimate goal is an optimal experience for human visitors that also meets the needs of search engine crawlers.

Learn more about how PhotonIQ Prerendering can boost SEO ranking and user experiences, chat with an Enterprise Solution Architect.


Related content

Rendering for Revenue — How Intelligent Edge Side Page Rendering Unlocks Faster Sites & Revenue


Terms of Service