Effective digital marketing and SEO requires a certain degree of automation. Hence, online marketers use different tools for marketing on digital platforms. Google Search Console is deemed an essential tool for online businesses seeking high ranking and visibility on Google. This article covers one significant aspect of this Search Console’s features. Today, we are going to talk about the importance of monitoring crawl errors in Google Search Console.
But before that, it’s important you understand what ‘crawling’ means in the given context.
Google doesn’t register new webpages on some central registry. Hence, it continually keeps looking for new pages and adds them to its list of known pages. So, whenever it finds a new webpage, Google crawls over it. This implies that it visits the webpage to find out what it contains. Google analyses the content on the page (both text and non-text), and overall visual layout.
What is the importance of site crawling?
Before appearing in the results of Google SERPs, a website/webpage basically has to go through three levels. Google’s ranking decision is based on indexing which is again dependent upon crawling.
Until Google doesn’t crawl a site, it won’t know its content. And hence, it won’t be able to match it to the people who are looking for that content. Therefore, indexing and positioning of a website on Google SERPs without site crawling is impossible. Hence naturally, search engine optimization is impossible without site crawling. In fact, to make sure that Google crawls over their webpages, website owners themselves submit their sitemap (list of pages) to it.
This is not limited to new webpages only. Websites/pages that are updated also need to be crawled over by Google. Assume you realized that the content on a particular page on your website provides has outdated information and it is affecting its ranking negatively. So, you update the information accordingly. Now, Google needs to crawl your webpage to record the new changes. Doing so will make Google reconsider your site’s indexing and positioning. And if your updated content is worth it, Google may as well give it a higher ranking and visibility boost on SERPs.
Google Search Console and crawling
Google Search Console is a free web service provided by Google which helps webmasters monitor, maintain, and troubleshoot their site’s presence in the SERPs. Therefore, it is an important tool that helps understand how Google sees your website. Moreover, since sufficient keyword data in Google Analytics is lost, SEOs have come to increasingly rely on Google Search Console. Hence, it is another indispensable element while strategizing for visibility and ranking on Google search.
One of its many features is providing troubleshooting crawl errors. But why should you check crawl errors? Before answering that, let’s make sure you understand..
What is crawl error?
Precisely, a crawl error occurs when Google tried to reach a page but fails at it. Google Search Console divides such error into two categories:
# Site errors– Such crawl errors imply that Google isn’t able to access your website at all. There can be several reasons behind it. The most common of them being-
- DNS errors
- Server errors
- Robots Failure
# URL errors– URL errors are comparatively less severe but severe nevertheless. It implies that some particular page(s) on your website is unreachable for Google search engine bot. Some of the factors causing such an error can be-
- Mobile-specific URL errors
- Malware errors
- Google New errors
Why should I monitor my website’s crawl errors?
Now, since we’re through the concept and importance of crawl errors, let’s talk about the importance of monitoring the same.
Webmasters put a lot of effort into optimizing their sites for higher Google ranking and visibility. If one doesn’t regularly monitor the crawl errors for their website in Google Search Console, their whole SEO efforts would go in vain.
Let’s understand the need to monitor and rectify site crawl errors in relation to the levels a website has to clear before appearing in the SERPs:
The success of an online business greatly depends upon its visibility. For that, it is important for the website to rank high in Google SERPs. Where and how a website is positioned on the SERP is determined by how Google indexes it.
To match a page with a search query, it is important for Google to analyze its content. This is exactly what indexing is. Just like a book indexes contents of a similar subject, Google indexes your webpage according to what query it answers. For this, Google first needs to access your content.
Both the functions stated above are eventually rooted in crawling. If Google can’t access your content, it can’t index or position it. Crawling does just that. Google visits your website and crawls over its content to understand what your page is about.
Apparently, if there’d be any crawl errors, Google won’t be able to reach your webpage (or worst, your whole website). And since it won’t know what your webpage’s content is about, it won’t be able to index it in its database or display it on SERP.
Therefore, your website needs constant monitoring to identify and rectify crawl errors.
Crawl errors signify obstacles that restrict Google from accessing a website. This further blocks the search engine bot from indexing it. Since proper indexing of a webpage is crucial to determine its ranking on Google SERPs, it is essential to keep a check on crawl errors.
So, make sure to monitor your crawl error using Google Search Console once in every while and save your SEO efforts from going into vain.