Crawling And Indexing: Both Important, But Different

SEO Speedwagon , Friday, August 15, 2008 1:30 PM
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In the search world, there's crawling and there's indexing. The two terms denote important actions taken by the engines, but Erik Dafforn thinks that they've been used interchangeably as of late. And since they're not the same thing, he devoted a blog post to explaining how they differ.

"Crawling is the process of an engine requesting -- and successfully downloading -- a unique URL," he says. "Indexing is the result of successful crawling. I consider a URL to be indexed (by Google) when an info: or cache: query produces a result, signifying the URL's presence in the Google index."

Both are vital to maintaining a successful Web site (and snagging high organic rankings), but one of the differences stems from the amount of time each takes to get done. A site can be crawled within hours of being uploaded to a domain, but it can take much longer (in an example Dafforn provides, more than a week) to be indexed.

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