You already know that search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the main pillars of your digital marketing. To help you refine your SEO efforts, it is worth digging a little deeper into what actually makes optimization work – and this brings us to SEO spiders.
Every major search engine has spiders – they are the bots that make SEO happen. It is the actions carried out by these bots that lead to the ranking of your web pages. It is vital, therefore, to understand how SEO spiders work and how to appeal to them. Once you do this, you will have a more thorough understanding of how search engines work, what they look for, and how to optimize your site accordingly.
What are Google SEO spiders and how do they work?
Every search engine uses spiders, but since Google currently dominates the search engine market, we will make it the focus of our discussion. A spider or crawler is a simple piece of software programmed to carry out a very specific purpose, going out across the internet to seek out particular pieces of information. Google has strict criteria regarding what it wants in a website in order to rank it highly. The spider’s job is to seek out these criteria and catalog web pages accordingly.
Google’s spiders scan websites, gathering and storing data as they go. Their job is to determine the nature of web pages, as well as the quality of their content. Every new site that is launched will be crawled, analyzed and cataloged by one of Google’s myriad spiders. The data is then sent to the search engine to be indexed. When a search query is done, the results and rankings are generated from these indexes.
What do spiders look for? They start by downloading and analyzing the site’s robots.txt files, which tell them what pages can and should be crawled. They then check your links, using the internal ones to navigate around your website, and examining the outbound ones to see if you’re linking to your sources (affecting the search engine’s assessment of your content’s quality) and checking your backlinks from other websites. Then, they check your copy. This step is not simply a matter of scanning for keywords – the bots are programmed to assess the relevance, quality and authority of your content. The spiders then check your images. They are not advanced enough to understand what they are looking at when they see an image, so you need to include alt tags and titles that will explain clearly to the bots what they are looking at.
The importance of optimizing your website for SEO
Your website is in constant competition with those of other businesses in your industry, in a bid to attract audiences and generate leads and sales. Google is like the regulating body of this competition, and SEO spiders are the adjudicators that it sends out to see how the competitors measure up. It is therefore vital to optimize your website and know exactly what the spiders are looking for so that you can fulfill their criteria.
To sum up, here’s what you need to do to make sure the SEO spiders score your site favorably:
- Structure your site well, with a logical flow and hierarchy that the spiders can navigate easily – which is a good indicator that users will be able to do so too.
- Do your keyword research and work the keywords into your content.
- Focus on creating quality content that is accurate, well-researched, authoritative, and offers your audience value.
- Optimize meta-descriptions and titles.
- Add alt tags for images.
- Make sure that all information regarding the name, address and phone number of your business is consistent throughout your web pages.
- Update your site regularly. Spiders don’t visit your site only once. They will continue to check and update Google’s indexes.
WSI New Media Marketing is a full-service digital marketing and search engine optimization company in Greensboro, North Carolina. Contact us for expert help with your SEO, social media marketing, and other digital marketing tactics and strategies.