If you want to learn SEO or looking to start SEO for your website, you need to know the basics. Crawling and indexing are two of the most essential steps in SEO, determining your site’s visibility and accessibility. It is crucial to understand the difference between crawling and indexing. But before we spell out the difference between crawling and indexing to you, let’s start with a brief intro.
What is Crawling and Indexing?
Crawling is the first step in SEO, allowing search engines to discover new content on the internet. To do this, they use crawlers (also known as crawling bots and spiders) that follow links from already existing pages to the new page. Every day, thousands of pages are uploaded on search engines, so crawling is a repeated and never-ending process.
After the page is crawled, to understand whether the information on the page is valuable enough, search engines do indexing. This is the major difference between crawling and indexing. Indexing is the process of analyzing textual content, content tags, and key attributes such as text, images, videos, alt, and Meta tags from crawled pages. Search engines also determine whether the page is a duplicate of an already existing page or canonical. The web page is then stored in the index, which is a vast database.
Understanding the difference between crawling and indexing
Crawling and indexing are two different stages of SEO to understand and categorize the millions of web pages on the internet. The difference between crawling and indexing is simple. Crawling is all about discovering new pages and the links leading to more pages. Whereas indexing is about analyzing, organizing, and storing the crawled data.
In other words, crawling is the process of exploration, where search bots roam in the digital world gathering information about the websites. On the other hand, indexing is the organization of this gathered information, making it readily available to serve relevant search queries.
To be more précised, let us explain the difference between crawling and indexing with an example. Think of crawling like a detective gathering clues and evidence from a crime scene. While indexing is storing those clues in an organized manner so they can be easily retrieved when needed.
A Word for The Wise
To sum it up, the difference between crawling and indexing lies within their distinct roles. Together they form the backbone of SEO. Both crawling and indexing ensure that your website doesn’t only exist on the internet but also gets the recognition it deserves. Overall, a well-crawled and indexed website has a higher chance of appearing in search results.