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"What Are Search Engine Web Crawlers, Or Spiders"


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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Web crawlers refer to a software program which 'crawls' or pulls out web sites with relevant data from the Internet or the web. Since this program searches through the web to pull out specific web sites, it is also known as a spider. This spider, while traveling to different web sites read their content before listing them in the search engine index. Spiders or Crawlers are used by all major search engines to update and present their index. Besides crawlers, the web spider is also known by the names of web robot, a 'bot' or software agent.

The web crawlers use a very methodical approach to complete the indexing procedure. They prepare a list of web sites to visit, according to a set algorithm and list these web sites in the search engine index.

Search engine crawlers are often believed to be used for facilitating web site ranking. However, although it might be partially true, it is not always that the web spiders help in getting your web site in the top rank. In order to get a good ranking for your web site, you need to constantly update your web site with fresh and relevant content. The ranking depends on the keyword rich content and the crawlers will help pulling your web site and listing them. They work more as a filtering tool to pick up the best web sites and listing them rather than facilitating ranking themselves.

Web crawlers are a pre-designed program and they will visit the web site as per set conditions and thus, the content which is there in your web site should match the conditions specified in the program. Web robots are also updated occasionally with new features which might help them identify the relevant web sites better. Web spiders or crawlers can also be used for validating HTML codes, or/and links, collecting specific data from web sites, and even downloading web site contents.

The use of a robots.txt file in the root of your web site can help you hide parts of your web site from being accessed by some web crawlers. However, many times it has been experienced that the robots.txt file does not work with many web crawlers and thus, cannot guarantee the privacy you are looking for. To guarantee privacy of a file or a directory you should use a password protection system.

While looking into the web sites the search engine crawlers check for keywords. It is due to this reason that the role of appropriate keywords is considered to be so important when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO). In order to get noticed by the web robots, it is important that you use your keywords wisely. It is not always necessarily true that if you flood your web site with keywords you will get higher ranking. On the contrary, excessive keywords can be treated as spam. A rule of thumb to prevent this spamming is to not create your content with too many keywords so that your content reads normally as if you would normally speak. Further, it would be wise to include the keywords into the content in such a manner that they look like an integral part of the content and get noticed by the web spiders. Also, ensure your page headings are keyword rich and use the appropriate html heading tags and are prominent. The search engines assign a higher importance to keywords contained within these heading tags.

Provided By: Ray Plumlee
Website Address: www.WWWHelper.com

Ray Plumlee, a retired Naval Officer, retired from the Navy in 1994. Since 1996 he has built his online business by providing services and advice to other people desiring to start an online home based business.

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