The technical term, “crawling” means accessing websites automatically and obtaining data. Web crawlers, spiders, or search engine bots download and index web content from the Internet. Search engines, like Google, use bots or web crawlers and apply search algorithm to gather data so relevant links are provided in response to search queries. It helps in generating a list of web pages or search engine results.
But, why is it recommend to block bots and web crawlers? Find out more by reading below:
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Block Auto-generated Web Pages
In the SEO world, crawling and indexing are commonly misunderstood. Web crawler bots analyze the codes, blog posts, and other content of a web page in “crawling”. On the other hand, “indexing” means checking if a web page is eligible to be shown on search results.
The examples of web crawler bots include Googlebot (Google), Bingbot (Bing), and Baidu Spider (Chinese search engine). Think of a web crawler bot as a librarian or organizer who fixes a disorganized library, putting together card catalogs so that visitors can easily and quickly find information.
However, if you don’t want bots to crawl and index all of your web pages, you need to block them. Blocking bots would disable search engines from crawling auto-generated pages, which might only be helpful for a few or specific users, which is not good for your SEO and site ranking.
Make Some of Your Web Pages Not Discoverable
If you’re an enterprise and creates dedicated landing pages for your marketing campaign or business operations for authorized users only, you can choose to block web crawlers and bots accessing your web pages.
In that way, you won’t become a target for other marketing campaigns by allowing search engines or web crawlers software to access some of your pages and use your information or get an idea of how you formulate your digital marketing strategies.
Here’s how to block search engine spiders:
- Adding a “no index” tag to your landing page won’t show your web page in search results.
- Search engine spiders will not crawl web pages with “disallow” tags, so you can use this type of tag, too, to block bots and web crawlers.
Prevent Malicious Bots from Accessing Your Website
Targeted website attacks tend to use malicious bots to penetrate and access important data on your website, such as the financial information of your customers. While you might have web server security rules set in place, you can have additional protection by blocking malicious bots to avoid unauthorized access.
Here are some helpful tips to prevent malicious bots from attacking your website:
- Adding an additional application plugin, such as the Wordfence security plugin for WordPress prevents such attacks.
It’s also advisable to set access rules to get rid of malicious requests. You can disallow a specific search engine by inputting the name of the search engine on the disallow user agent of your robots.txt file.
You can disallow other search engines from crawling your website except for Googlebot by only allowing Googlebot as your user agent in your robots.txt file.
Note: A robots.txt refers to a file that’s associated with your website. It’s used to ask web crawlers to crawl or not to crawl some parts or web pages of your website. In short, a robots.txt file specifies which of your web pages should be crawled by web crawlers or spiders.
Avoid Hurting Your SEO Ranking
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a digital marketing discipline that reads web content, allowing a search engine to crawl and index a website, so it shows up higher in Google and other search engine results. However, you don’t want search engines to crawl all of your web pages, most especially those irrelevant pages and those you want to keep on your own for personal reference.
If your web pages are not crawled and indexed, they won’t show up in search results. While you want to obtain more organic traffic and higher SEO rank, poor quality web pages may also hurt your SEO. So, if you don’t want a specific web page to appear on search results, you can either delete it or block web crawlers and bots.
While you want Google and other search engines to notice your best web pages to gain higher traffic, quality leads, and sales, you probably don’t want all of your web pages to be crawled and indexed.
Your important business web pages intended for internal use or company use, poor quality web pages, and web pages for authorized users only should not be crawled and indexed. You can accomplish these goals by blocking bots.
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