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Googlebot's Mission: Scan, Index, Cache & Rank the Web

Googlebot, the Google robot, also known as a spider crawls, indexes, and ranks the entire world wide web. It combs the internet for new and existing material and using an algorithm of ranking factors determines the position of your website in Google search. Googlebot's mission is to read the code files of a website, save information in Google's cache index and make available the Google algorithm as part of the indexing of your site in Google’s massive worldwide server storage units.

When someone searches and queries Google for a search keyword, it scans Google’s complete website index in a split second using the most advanced technology (which started as an invention by Larry Page and Sergey Brin of Stanford in 1997, called PageRank). Then based on the algorithm’s best choices, it returns the SERPs.

Google takes into account many things when ranking a website, you can work on ranking in one area and it might help you, the algorithm is looking at a broad aspect of a website.

Googlebot crawls the web and indexes all the sites on the web, meaning that Google takes a picture of a site and keeps it on file in a cache. To see this cache, go to any search page, find the down pointing arrow menu next to the site description and click on Cached.

Google SERP looking at cache

You will see the full version Google cached with links to other coded aspects of the site. Google caches three site elements; Full version (actual page), Text-only version (page without images or CSS formatting) and View Source (code). By looking at those three elements, you get a good idea of the scope of what Google sees.

For instance, by looking at just the Text-only version, you can see the site without images or color; you get an idea of what text elements Google sees. This is important, John Mueller says again and again, because Google doesn’t find context for your website in images or video, it counts on the text for keyword terms, category and context. So be sure to add Alt text to your images and video to make sure Googlebot can contextually define your site’s full value including images.

Google Cached Full Version

Full version of ford.com cache

Google Cached Text-Only Version

text-only version of ford.com google cache

Google Cached View Source Code Version

View source version of ford.com Google cache

Use the Search Console for a more detailed approach to the subject, and see exactly what Googlebot sees, and thus get an idea if there are missing pages to your site that Googlebot isn’t seeing or parts of a page that Googlebot's missing. Using the Webmaster Tools / Search Console > Fetch as Google tool, you get a Googlebot view of your website - seeing the site exactly as Googlebot sees it.

By understanding the basic Googlebot functionality, you can get insights into how your website looks in Google’s massive index of every website it can find on the web, and every fact it can glean about the Universe.

About The Author
Michael has his sights on being a Rank Ranger scout. Always searching for the perfect website, scouring the world for SEO tips, optimizing photos, content and links. Whatever can be projected from an LED screen, can be a marketing tool.

Michael believes that Rank Ranger is the ultimate haven for SEO warriors and is passionate about guiding them to find the best way to use our SEO software - reports, graphs, tools and white label features - to improve the way they manage SEO and digital marketing!

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