Crawling: What Is It and Why Does Google Do It?

As of 2022, there are anticipated to be 1.5 billion active websites. To put that in context, with a worldwide population of just under 8 billion people, almost every fifth person has their own website. The internet is enormous, and in the time, it took you to comprehend these figures, numerous new websites appeared at a pace of two or three every second. As the leading search engine, Google’s mission is to discover new websites, which it does with the help of a piece of software known as a crawler.

What is a Crawler, exactly?

A crawler is a piece of software that aims to visit as many websites as possible to discover new ones and report on the ones it views. The data it gathers is then utilized to develop an index of websites on the internet, allowing users to retrieve data and get access quickly. Crawlers are also known as spiders, ants, and indexers.

Google analyses this data to determine the overall quality of a website, raising or reducing its SEO ranking as a result. The most critical parameters that impact this selection are the ‘core web vitals’ measurement criteria, which include LCP (Largest Contentful Paint), FID (First Input Delay), and CLS (Content Load Speed) (Cumulative Layout Shifts). Visit our core web vitals blog to learn more about each of these measures.

Crawlers are divided into two types.

While a crawler’s role is basic, the work they accomplish is everything, but despite the intricacy of their duty, web crawlers are merely divided into two categories.

The job of ‘discovery’ web crawlers is to identify new pages on your website by following links – generally from your home page – to different regions of the site and checking for any changes that may have occurred since the last crawl.

You also have the refresh crawler, which goes back to sites that were previously scanned to get new data readings and update Google’s overall site information.

Why does Google behave in this manner?

Crawlers are used by search engines other than Google. Bing, Baidu, Duck Go, and all other search engines you’re likely to use have versions of the common web crawler that do similar tasks.

The information collected by the crawler is crucial to the search engine; it evaluates the website’s overall quality and plays a significant role in SEO rankings. Google can swiftly detect hazardous or spammy websites using crawlers, making them harder to locate for people while simultaneously increasing the reach of websites that do fulfill the requirements.