What is Search Engine Crawling, Indexing, and Ranking

Search Engines follows a three basic steps including crawling, indexing, and ranking to generate results for your queries. This blog will give you a deeper insights into these terms, and how it works.

Search engines are an essential part of the World Wide Web information system, being used by millions of users every single day. It is considered as a type of answer machine, as they allow us to find the answers we seek, with just a few keystrokes.

But have you ever wondered how it happens, that you just type a query in Google or any other search bar and receive instant, and helpful answers within seconds!

It does not happen magically. To deliver you the perfect answer, and resources, Search engines have to work through three primary functions including crawling, indexing, and ranking the pages.

So, this article intends to present a general overview of how Search Engines crawl, index and rank any content on the Internet.

What is Search Engine Crawling?

Crawling is the discovery process in which search engines send out a team of robots (known as crawlers or spiders) to discover publicly available web pages. Those crawlers then compile information from all websites so that it can easily be retrieved when needed!

Search Engine Crawling Representation
Search Engine Crawling

These bots start by fetching a few web pages and then follow links on those sites to find new URLS. By hopping along this path of links, the crawler is able to find new content.

Note: if you want to get a list of popular crawlers, then check the blog.

How do web crawlers affect SEO?

If spider bots don't crawl your website, then the rest of your SEO does not really matter.

Because without crawling the website, it can't be indexed, and it won't show up in search results. For this reason, if a website owner wants to get organic traffic from search results, they must not block web crawler bots.

What is Search Engine Indexing?

Search engine indexing is the process of storing and organizing content found during a crawling, with the purpose of fast and accurate retrieval when someone searches for a similar topic.

What is Search Engine Ranking?

A website’s rankings in SEO refers to its presence in the search engine results page.

There are many ranking factors that influence whether a website appears higher or lower on the SERP. These factors includes content relevance to the search term, quality of backlinks pointing to it, and many more.

💡 If you want to know more about those factors, please visit our blog on how to rank a WordPress website.

For newbies, read what is SEO.

Note: Appearing higher in SERPs is only possible if your website gets crawled.

Instruct Search Engines to crawl your website

If you can't find content on your site that should be indexed, or you found content being mistakenly indexed on search engines, then there are some optimizations you can implement to make sure that the crawlers are correctly indexing your web pages.

This way you can better direct crawlers on how you want your web content to be crawled.

To instruct bots to crawl certain pages and sections of your site, you can use sitemap.xml files.

To direct Googlebot away from certain pages and sections of your site, you can use robots.txt file.


Your website will only be crawled naturally, if it is “crawler friendly.”

Make your site Crawling Friendly

You can make your website Crawling friendly by regularly performing SEO Audit of your website, and don't worry as the Brand Overflow SEO Audit tool has got your back, no manual auditing required, just enter your domain and see within minutes what's working and what needs improvement.

How SEO audit tool can help:

The SEO Audit tool can help you by:

  • Checking your site's health, Using our specialized website crawlers.
  • Monitoring site issues related to technical, optimization, and for basic ranking factors.
  • Showing you exactly what to fix so you can rank higher in SERPs.

Fix Errors with SEO Audit Tool:

To find the site errors, first you will have to simply enter your website link into SEO audit tool:

Once you generate a file, you will receive the overall health of your website. Not only this, but you will also receive errors associated with your website.

Brandoverflow' SEO Audit Tool

SEO audit tool will help you resolve all the issues faced by your website, so it can be crawled, indexed and ranked easily.

Final Words:

When it comes to search engine optimization, knowing the fundamentals of crawling, indexing and ranking are a great start as these factors really impact on your site optimization. An SEO audit tool can identify problems that are keeping your site away from being crawled, indexed, and ranked .

In case of further assistance, feel free to contact me at [email protected]