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What is Googlebot? The answer plus how to optimize for Googlebot

Googlebot is and its role in positioning your website through internal links in SEO?

Would you like to know the aspects that you should consider that will make you get to know Googlebot better?

Did you know that SEO tools allow you to simulate the Google bot, such as Screaming Frog?

Google Search Console the Google algorithm or robots that crawl websites is based on several factors that determine whether your website will rank higher or lower on the results page, ranging from the relevance of the content to its quality, as well as ongoing technical issues (whether you have an informational website like a blog, or you want to do SEO in e-commerce ).

In fact, within SEO search engine optimization, some factors are minimum requirements and others that will make you compete. All of them are necessary to achieve the first positions in Google, but we cannot start the house from the roof.

The following pyramid shows the most basic elements of SEO; At the base of the pyramid are the fundamental elements to appear in Google, and above them, those that will help your website to be competitive:

In today’s article, we will talk about the most basic part of SEO, those fundamental elements that, if not taken into account, can stop your website from reaching a position in Google: crawling and indexing.

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CRAWLING AND INDEXING

First of all, you need to understand these two concepts. Although crawling and indexing often go hand in hand, they are two different phases in the process that Google follows to include the content of your website in its index. What does it consist of?

Crawling is the process that Google and other search engines follow to learn about your website. To do this, they use robots that navigate the web pages through the links, which in the case of Google is called “Googlebot.”

Crawling is the method that search engines follow to navigate your website. On the other hand, indexing is how search engines include a website in Google’s SERPs.

For example, Google can crawl a website and not index it; you can browse it, but it is not saved.

HOW DOES GOOGLEBOT WORK?

These are the steps that the Google bot follows to crawl our site:

  • When Googlebot arrives at your site, it starts following all the internal links to discover your content.
  • It analyzes the content of the pages it has crawled.
  • It makes a copy of your website, which it then stores in its index.
  • Catalog the content based on the theme.
  • It gives value to the web based on its content.

When the user searches on Google, through the Google algorithm, it offers a ranking with the results that best fit their search:

WHY IS A PAGE ON YOUR WEBSITE NOT INDEXED?

There are several reasons why a URL on your website is not indexed in Google: 

The URL is blocked in the robots.txt file.

The robots.txt file is a file that tells search engines which URLs they can and cannot access. If a URL or a set of URLs are blocked in this file, Google won’t crawl them. 

no-index meta tag

It is a tag in the HTML of each web page that indicates whether or not a page should be indexed and whether or not search engines should follow its links. 

It is displayed as follows:

It will get indexed, and search engines will follow the links to discover other pages.

It will be indexed, and the search engines will not follow the links on that page.

It is not indexed, but search engines will follow the links to discover other pages.

Neither is indexed nor will the links be followed.

Linked

If a URL is not linked to any site, it is difficult for Google to discover and index it.

Content in Javascript: If a URL is in Javascript, Google may have problems in its tracking that also affect indexing.

GOOGLE AND JAVASCRIPT

JavaScript has become, without a doubt, the main language of the web, but Google has always had problems crawling and executing it correctly. Although today the Internet giant has evolved a lot in this regard, it still has some problems.

This does not mean that a JavaScript website cannot position, but rather that it will cost Google a little more to index it.

WHAT CAN YOU DO IF YOUR WEBSITE IS IN JAVASCRIPT?

Your JavaScript website can be rendered on the server or directly in your browser. Depending on how it is done, it will be more or less difficult for Google to track it.

  1. Server-Side Rendering: a site can be created in Javascript but be configured so that it runs on the server, and when the web is loaded in the browser (for example, Chrome), it does so as a web in HTML, a much simpler language to understand for Google. From an SEO point of view, this is the recommended option as it makes the website work faster for both users and search engines.
  2. Client-Side Rendering: Contrary to the previous case, it will load JavaScript directly in the browser; it would be more difficult for Google to crawl the web.

HOW DOES GOOGLE PROCESS JAVASCRIPT?

The JavaScript indexing process is done in 2 phases:

  1. Googlebot crawls the web: Googlebot accesses a URL but first checks the robots.txt file to make sure it can crawl it. Then, through the links, it consults the linked URLs (unless it is instructed not to follow them). If the page is Server Side Rendering (that is, it is processed on the server), there is no problem, and it is indexed.
  2. If the page is Client-Side Rending, if it is executed in the browser, Google queues the URLs and waits for more resources to manage them. Googlebot crawls the already run page (in HTML) and finally indexes it.

Conclusion

In conclusion, we must bear in mind that if Google cannot correctly crawl the web, it will be much more difficult to index it and position it. Remember, internal links will be essential for the correct crawling of your website, and keep in mind that if your website is in JavaScript, you should talk to the technical team to ensure its correct indexing.

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