A search engine crawler is also sometimes referred to as a web crawler. This is a program which is used to scour the entirety of the World Wide Web or the Internet. It also has rather apt bug-like names including ants, web spiders, web skutters, web robots, bots, and automatic indexers. When people refer to the process of indexing web pages, though, they call it “spidering” or “web crawling”. Search engines run on these spidering or web crawling methods to update their indexes.
While search engines use these programs, websites themselves also use the spidering process. During the maintenance of big websites, the crawlers are put to use for fast searches of old, archived web pages. Spidering or web crawling begins with a simple list of all webpage URL addresses. As the process progresses, though, the hyperlinks in these web pages are also documented and indexed. This is why when you search for websites using specific keywords, homepages appear on top of the list. Sub pages, on the other hand, are listed at the bottom.
Crawlers do have to prioritise their downloads, though, which is why it’s not realistic to claim that it’s able to download every single web page that’s published online—at least not right away. Web crawlers prioritise searches, and sometimes, these bots are unable to keep up with the pace by which websites change their content. By the time crawlers are able to index the preliminary pages of a single website, more pages would have been added.
The Internet is also growing every day, with more blogs and amateur pages put up. At best, web crawlers are only able to index the main pages of these websites. If there are no descriptions handy, they will have to go with the text that’s included on the domain name.
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