Decoding Secrets Of A Googlebot – How It Detects Spam? How Can You Block It?

by Rock David
googlebot

Google Bot is a spy of Google. It uses secret practices to find out if the content of your web pages is relevant, informational and unique. It indexes the valuable pages and deindexes the spam and duplicate pages.

Crawler, Robot and Spider are all the generic names of Google Bots. There are primarily two subtypes of Googlebot – A desktop crawler & a mobile crawler. If you have indexed your site as Mobile First, the majority of the site crawling will be done by the Mobile Crawler.

To know why it is so, Read – Mobile-First Indexing.

What Do We Mean By CRAWLING?

By the term crawling, we are referring to a PROCESS with the help of which Googlebot accesses your site.

Here are some of the predominant CHARACTERISTICS of the process:

  • You should not expect Googlebot to visit your site every few seconds. (Note: Delays may cause the rate to shoot up in short periods)
  • Google can access the majority of the websites concurrently.
  • Googlebot also runs on machines located near the sites if the bandwidth usage has to be cut short.
  • Googlebot’s main aim is to crawl as many pages as possible in a particular visit.

(Note: You can ask Google for a change in crawling rate if you have trouble keeping up with the crawling requests.)

  • It is utterly dependent on the will of the google bot – ‘How frequently does it want to crawl a page?’ (It is called as ‘Crawl Budget’ in technical terms)

PROCESS 

Indexing

The google bot carries out the whole process with the help of the sitemaps & links. No sooner does the crawler find the new links on a website, it follows them. If it finds them valuable during crawling, they will get indexed to serve the user’s interest.

De-Indexing 

Similarly, if Google finds a broken link, Google will de-index it.

How Does Googlebot Know Which Pages Are To Be Visited? 

Google Bots are provided with a roadmap in the form of robots.txt. It gives the Bot the directions of which pages are to be crawled and considered for indexing.

For creating an efficient robots.txt file, you need to apply ‘Crawl Budget Optimization Strategies’. Kinex Media’s Local & Enterprise SEO Services always incorporate such strategies.

How Does Googlebot Detect The Spam? 

Googlebot is more intelligent than we think. Mainly, it uses two points to find if there is an availability of SPAM content on your website or not:

Downloads CSS Files 

CSS, as we all know, stands for Cascading Style Sheets. It interprets the display of the HTML elements on the screen. The Structural code of our website includes CSS. Thus, Googlebot downloads it to determine:

  • If manipulative practices like cloaking are being used or not.
  • If the images (logo, pictograms) contained in the website are relevant and do not include the hidden texts.
  • And if the website is constructed by following the webmaster guidelines.

Downloads Images

Googlebot also downloads the images. It does this to enrich ‘Google Images Engine’. The crawler is indeed Image-Blind, but it is not Text-Blind. It detects the relevance of your image by reading the alt tag.

Can You Block Google Bot From Visiting Your Site? 

We would like to clarify the following three things before answering this question:

  • Making Googlebot unable to CRAWL a page
  • Preventing Google from INDEXING a page
  • Making Page INACCESSIBLE to crawlers & users

Coming to the point, you can block GoogleBot by keeping the A, B, C reasons in mind. But the intelligent readers will get hit by a question – What Is The Need To Block Googlebot? 

  • To maintain PRIVACY – 

Suppose you have private data on your site that you do not want all the users to access. If the Google bot crawls it, it will index the content, making it appear on the SERP that you do not want. So by blocking the Google bot from visiting our site, we are terminating this process. 

  • To not show LESS VALUE CONTENT – 

If you notice that you are having duplicate content published on another page, you will not want Google to crawl it because it will negatively impact your rankings. So it would help if you block Googlebot from accessing it. 

  • To keep Google FOCUSED on Important Content – 

For instance: You have one main page on which important information is published. The other five pages are not that important, and you have created them for the sake of Page Creation. Thus they are of no value. You won’t want google to crawl those unimportant pages and the essential & main page with a negative impression. So it would be best if you prevent Google from accessing those unessential pages.

How Can I Block A Googlebot From Accessing My Site? 

Following are the easy-peasy ways to prevent Google from accessing your site: 

  • Remove the Content 

You can prevent content from appearing in SERP by removing it. 

  • Password Protect the Files

Google can’t crawl the password-protected directories. If you have unwanted, private or confidential content you don’t want to see in SERP, store it in the password-protected directory on the site server. 

  • Use ‘noindex’ tag 

Noindex tag serves as a command to google that tells it not to read a particular page.

Note: In this case, your web page would not appear in the Search Results. But the users can access it through the other links. 

  • Add <meta name=”robots” content=”nosnippet” />

By adding this tag, you are passing a message to the spider that this page should not be considered to generate a snippet. 

  • Using the URL Parameters tool 

You can block the crawler by using a URL Parameter tool.

Caution: Use it only if you are an advanced user. If you are not, you may block a large portion of your site’s URL that will not be easy to debug in case it gets wrong.

Why Is It Necessary To Study The Behavior Of Googlebot?

If you don’t know how Google crawls your content, no matter how optimized your content is or how many links you have obtained, you will fail significantly to get it ranked.

Is There A Single Kind Of Bot That Serves All Purposes? 

As mentioned, primarily, we can differentiate Google Bots into two subtypes – Mobile Crawler & Desktop Crawler. Secondarily, there are different robots for different purposes.

For instance: ‘AdsBot’ & ‘AdSense’ robots help check the relevance of the Paid ads. ‘Android Mobile Apps’ is responsible for checking ‘Android Apps’. Apart from that, several other bots evaluate the content based on their niches, like ‘Images’ and ‘News’.

My say!

I hope this article gave you a better understanding of Googlebot, its detection process and its behavior.

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