Knowledge Center

Search Engine Crawlers

Ever wonder how Google and the other major search engines get information about your business? Find out more with this fact filled article.

According to a recent Nielsen estimate, internet users visit an average of 96 separate domains a month out of the one billion (and growing) websites hosted online. While it is relatively easy for users to find and access those domains, user experience and search across the web would not be nearly as easy and intuitive without search engine crawlers.

Search engine crawlers are programs designed to browse, find, and index publicly available information on the web so it can be accessed by search engines in response to a query. In the process of scanning the internet, search engine crawlers move from link to link, "reading" each word and marking the pages where those words are used. These findings result in a giant index of every word and all websites containing them. In addition to indexing new websites, search engine crawlers regularly scan lists of web addresses from past crawls and sitemaps provided by website owners, so the information they provide to search engines is always current and up to date.

Due to the large volume of web pages on the internet, the pace and frequency at which new pages are created, and the addition of dynamic sites, it is not an easy feat for search engine crawlers to index the entirety of the world wide web. Therefore, search engine crawlers prioritize web pages and links based on the richness and accuracy of their information. Web pages and local listings with rich and accurate content are the most favorable sites to a search engine crawler as these are the most valuable to a search engine when delivering results to a searcher.

In the interest of maintaining user retention, search engines want to deliver the most current, accurate, and relevant results. For businesses aiming to nab a top spot on a search engine results page, search engine optimization, or SEO, is essential to ensuring that search engine crawlers index the best content that relate directly to search keywords. The location and frequency of keywords is vital for SEO, as is a local SEO strategy. Search engines ultimately value pages and listings with enhanced content (i.e. images, menu items, product lists, etc), fresh content (frequent updates), and consistent content (NAP data and enhanced content is the same on each and every listing).

When scanning the web, a search engine crawler will trust businesses that have consistent data across every site and business listing. If the crawler encounters data that conflicts with what it has previously found, it will create a duplicate listing. A duplicate listing can be detrimental to a business' overall digital presence and can be confusing and frustrating for searching customers. Learn how Yext's Duplicate Suppression can help solve this problem.

Ensure your business' online information is correct and consistent so that search engine crawlers can index it and so searching customers can find it. Yext helps businesses rank well on search engines by managing how business listings appear across the web. Businesses can use the Yext Answers Platform to manage digital knowledge — from traditional NAP to enhanced content. Data in all of the right places helps businesses rank higher on search engine results pages.

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