5 Main Functions of Web Crawlers, Spiders and Bots

web crawler

What are Bots, Spiders and Crawlers?

Ever wonder what serves you page results on Google search engine result pages (SERPs). Not only are these pages well organised, they are also arranged in order of importance. As a user, it is a bad user experience to search on Google and the results you get are irrelevant, trust me it can be annoying.

Well its time to meet the Web Crawlers, Spiders or Bots

web spider

These Web crawlers are set of programs or instructions written to crawl and index your website. Although they do more than index and crawling, they check links that are pointing to your websites too.

It is much safe to say these three words mean the same thing. They are all related to search engine. These are set of computer programs designed to do the following




4.Calculating Relevancy

5.Retrieving Results

Process of fetching all the web pages linked to a website. This task is performed by a software called a crawler or a spider (or Googlebot, in case of Google).
web crawler crawling


Process of creating index for all the fetched web pages and keeping them into a giant database from where it can later be retrieved. Essentially, the process of indexing is identifying the words and expressions that best describe the page and assigning the page to particular keywords.

web crawler index


When a search request comes, the search engine processes it, i.e., it compares the search string in the search request with the indexed pages in the database.


It is likely that more than one page contains the search string, so the search engine starts calculating the relevancy of each of the pages in its index to the search string. The relevancy most times depends on PageRank, Domain Authority, Page Authority, Social Shares and other factors.
calculating page relevance


The last step in search engine activities is retrieving the best matched results. Basically, it is nothing more than simply displaying them in the browser.
display results

There are ways these crawlers can be controlled when accessing your site. One good example is using the Meta Robots Tags. Also you can use the Robots.txt file to control them.


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