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Crawlability Of Your Website – What Impacts This Foundational Factor of Ranking On SERP?

As we are moving ahead in the internet era, the number of websites is increasing.

And so does the quantity of content on the web.

Though the population is growing, the number of results (webpages), which can appear on the first page of SERP, isn’t.

That makes the competition fierce.

Of course, ranking on the first search engine result page is a big thing; most participants want that. Instead, we should say there are hardly any who don’t bother about their website ranking.

Well, what about you?

We believe you also want to attain a top position in the SERP. Do you?

Okay, so we were talking about competition. To make a way through the tough race, people turn to search engine optimization (SEO). They use various techniques, including optimizing content, link building, image optimization, URL structuring, speed, etc.

That’s great!

And some even start applying Black Hat SEO. Well, that’s not right.

But many people miss paying heed to the fundamental factor – The crawlability of the website. Without being crawled, your website cannot be indexed; leave aside ranking.

What is Crawlability?

It’s the first stage that makes way for your website to reach the pool of visible online content. Actually, for your website to be searchable, it needs to be indexed by the search engine. But for that to happen, it’s required to be accessible by the search engine. And the ability of search engines to fetch your webpage is crawlability.

Crawling is an automated process wherein the crawlers (bots) of the search engines look for the content on the internet through software. Let’s see the concept in the words of Google. It states: “Crawlers look at webpages and follow links on those pages, much like you would if you were browsing content on the web. They go from link to link and bring data about those webpages back to Google’s servers”.

There are different bots for different search engines like Googlebot, Bingbot, etc.

Crawlability vs Indexability

These two are cardinal concepts, and thus, understanding them is essential. Crawlability, as stated above, is the ability of the bots to access the webpages. On the other hand, indexability is the ability of a search engine to index your page to make it visible to the searchers. And to index a web page, a search engine analyses the same for various things. A key point to note here is that a search engine may or may not index your page even though it has crawled the same.

Highlights

  • Crawling is the first step. If bots can’t crawl your website, then your website can’t be indexed.
  • And it doesn’t mean that a website that has been crawled will compulsorily get indexed. Indexing is a different matter, and various issues known as ‘indexability issues’ impact this process.

Dealing with the crawl issues is a part of technical SEO, we have seen in our earlier post. But what are the issues affecting the crawlability of your website? How can you ensure that your website is crawlable?

Read through to find out.

Crawlability Of Your Website – What Impacts This Foundational Factor of Ranking On SERP?

Crawl errors are the errors affecting crawling means preventing the search engine bots from accessing the web pages. So, you can understand how crucial it is to fix the crawl errors!

Okay, what are those?

Crawl errors are categorized mainly into two types –

  • Site Errors
  • URL Errors

Site Errors

As the name indicates, site errors are those present on your website. And they affect the whole website, making it non-crawlable. Thus, site errors demand urgent attention. Well, what kind of issues come under site errors?

There are three types of site errors.

  • DNS Error– DNS stands for Domain Name System. DNS errors occur when the search engine bot can’t connect with your domain, and thus, is unable to access your website. DNS issues can be of two types – DNS lookup and DNS timeout.
  • Server Connectivity – For crawling your website, a bot spends a limited amount of time. If the server doesn’t respond during that duration, the bot stops trying, and the request gets times out. It means the server is taking a long time to respond. There are several types of server errors, and to fix the issue, you need to find the exact problem. One of the causes can be excess load on the server.
  • Robots.txt Fetch – You need to provide a robots.txt file only when you don’t want the bots to crawl some pages/URLs. If you have a robots.txt file, ensure it is readable by the bot. If the bot is unable to fetch that, you will get a robots failure error. As a result, crawling gets postponed.

URL Errors

URL errors, though mattering, are less severe as compared to site errors. It’s because they affect the crawlability of specific URLs only and not the entire website.

Here are the problems forming part of URL errors.

Soft 404 – When a page, instead of 404 not found, shows 202 (found), then the error is soft 404. The reason could be that the page has very little or no main content.

404 (Not Found) – A request is sent for an URL that no longer exists.

Not Followed – This error occurs when the bot is unable to follow a URL completely. It could be due to a broken link, JavaScript issue, etc.

Access Denied – It means the bot is blocked for a web page and can’t access that webpage for crawling. These happen due to many reasons.

  • The robots.txt file disallows the bots to crawl certain pages/URLs.
  • Hosting provider blocking the bot or server requires authentication.
  • To view a particular URL, you want your visitor to sign in.

Server and DNS Errors – These are the same as explained in the above section (under site errors). They will appear in URL errors if they affect specific URL(s) and not the entire website.

Oh… a lot of technicalities!

But, it’s an important topic, and you must pay attention to this part.

Rule out the possibilities of these errors on your website and make it crawlable. And if you think that’s too much work for you to handle or need technical support, we are just a message away. Drop an email for quick assistance.

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