What is Googlebot?

Have you ever heard of or read about Googlebot? The word itself sounds rather amusing, one can almost imagine a tiny little robot traveling through the Internet, gathering information and knowledge. However, obviously – this is not really the case. Once you start thinking within the lines of reason, you can pretty much make a solid conclusion all by yourself. What is Googlebot – it is a computer program powered by Google that spends its time crawling the web and adding pages to its index. And apparently, most people have a question that immediately follows: What is a crawler? Let the WordPress experts at WP Full Care try to answer your questions and help you understand this issue better. Let us start from the very beginning.

an illustration of the web
Googlebot is a computer program crawling the web.

The question “What is a Googlebot” deals with the question of web crawlers

To understand the Googlebot, you need to be able to grasp the meaning of the word “crawler”. Because that’s exactly what a Googlebot does. It crawls. To be exact, it crawls the web. Googlebot does it via links. It visits the page and scans it from top to bottom, reading content and analyzing what is new and updated, so that Google can use this information to understand the page and change what is indexed in its database. Wondering how Google does all of this? It is a complex process that keeps Google using numerous computers. They go about the entire web and search for this content and pages and read what they find there.

Naturally, it goes without saying that Googlebot is this particular search engine’s crawler. Other search engines have crawlers of their own. Have you begun to grasp the meaning of this word? Or do you still find the question “what is Googlebot” unanswered to a full extent? Let’s try to explain it further, by attempting to provide an explanation of how Googlebot actually works.

Understanding Googlebot gets easier once you realize how it works

As one might imagine, fully understanding what something actually is – gets much easier once you take in how it works. Googlebot performs its duties by using sitemaps and link databases it discovers in its previous crawls. It is during those crawls that Googlebot decides where to go next. So, to put it simply, it visits your website, picks up on a new link and just puts them in its “visit later” basket. Checking your website’s “crawlability” is something you need to do in order to be certain that Googlebot is able to index your site correctly.

It only makes sense – making your website available to the crawlers, Googlebot included, means that they will come and visit it more often. Think about all the ways you can improve your site’s SEO and the overall user experience.

google logo
Each search engine has its own crawler.

Can you block Googlebot from visiting your website?

The entire web presents a myriad of broken and outdated links. Just as soon as an incorrect link to your site is published, Googlebot will immediately try crawling it. You have several options if you wish to stop Googlebot from crawling the content on your website. Just make sure you know the difference between wanting to prevent Googlebot from crawling and indexing a certain page, rather than the whole website.

Since indexing basically means adding pages into Google search, Googlebot crawls and indexes your pages based on the meta tag you use. Keep in mind that each WordPress page and post is indexed by default. It might be a good idea to index only the most important parts of your website or blog. PPC pages or Thank you pages should not be indexed. 

Should you focus on web crawlers’ experience when creating a website?

Making an amazing website, whether it is a WordPress or any other kind, means satisfying the users’ needs and requirements by providing them with a helpful, as well as an intuitive site. At the same time, you should try to satisfy Googlebot as well. All of this will result in your website experiencing more organic growth. This, after all, is one of the most important issues when owning and maintaining a website – making it available and approachable to people.

So who should you try to please with your website? Creating and maintaining a website is not an easy task to do – so you should keep your target goal in mind at all times. So are you looking to satisfy your website’s users or Googlebot? The right answer, of course, is – both. Unfortunately, this question causes a sort of debate among the designers, developers and the SEO experts out there. On the other hand, it presents a chance for everyone to work together. This enables the eventual understanding of the balance between the experiences of users and web crawlers.

As you might expect – designers are looking for ways to satisfy the users, SEO experts are trying to keep Google’s satisfaction in mind, whereas we also have web developers, including WordPress maintenance professionals, who are attempting to achieve the best out of both worlds.

All in all, one certainly considers it important to create the best possible user experience, but optimizing your website for Googlebot is just as important.

a person working on a laptop
Should you be looking to satisfy your website’s users or Googlebot?

Some basic facts to keep in mind about this particular WebCrawler

When we try to explain the Googlebot and trying to optimize your content for this web crawler, remember that there is a number of things you should pay attention to. Keep in mind that asking for help and contacting experienced professionals is always advisable when your website’s functioning is in question. But whichever changes you decide to apply, it is a good idea to test them for a while – a few weeks or so, before making new changes. Give Googlebot enough time to understand and index them!

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