What technology do search engines use to ‘crawl’ websites?

(A) Android

(B) Interns

(C) Automatons

(D) Bots

Answer – Bots

Bots are the right answer to “What technology do search engines use to ‘crawl’ websites”? These are automated programs designed to explore and collect information from World Wide Web. They also organize information to provide relevant search results. Before talking about them in further detail, let’s see what is web crawling and the process of web crawling.

What is Web Crawling?

As the internet is becoming more accessible, hundreds of thousands of web pages are created every single day. We use search engines like Google to find information or go to a website, but how do these search engines know what results to show?

Here comes automated programs commonly referred to as Bots or Spiders and they go through all the information available on the World Wide Web in a systematic manner. This whole process is known as web crawling or spidering.

The main goal of these bots is not only to collect information but also to make sense of it so that search engines are able to give correct and relevant answers to searched queries. Most popular search engine have their Bots and some work differently from others.

How Does Web Crawling Work?

The Seed List: The whole systematic process of web crawling starts with a list of available URLs on the internet known as a seed list. The list will have links from older crawls, popular web pages, or site maps that the website owners give.

Fetching: Once the bots have a starting point they then send HTTP requests to the servers that are hosting the websites and are available on the list. These requests are made to ask the website for their content like HTML code, stylesheet (CSS), images, and other objects within the webpage.

Parsing and URL Discovery: Next, comes the process of analyzing the HTML code provided by the web page and retrieving all the valuable information including the content, headings, hyperlinks, and other such elements. The hyperlinks found in the HTML are also queued for parsing, creating a loop of moving through the vast space of the internet.

Prioritization: There could be hundreds of websites with the same content on each of them therefore it is necessary to sort them for better relevance. In this case, bots use pre-defined algorithms to filter them out and give priority based on multiple factors.

How fresh the content is, the relevancy to search queries, popularity, and how important the website is in the overall ecosystem are some noticeable factors. Crawlers follow strict rules and standards to preserve good online conduct and avoid overloading web servers.

Indexing: Once the crawling part is finished, the indexing is done. Because there is a large amount of data, it must be organized so that the web page can be retrieved quickly. This organized database links keywords, phrases, and other key information to web page URLs to form an Index.

Updating the Index: Bots do not stop crawling the web as new pages are being added to the internet ecosystem every day. Besides that, search engines need to update their index to provide accurate, fresh, and relevant information in the search results.

More about Web Crawling

There are some web crawlers that only show search results for specific fields like research papers, news stories, or government-based websites. Additionally, to avoid becoming caught in loops or crawling the same pages repeatedly, web crawlers keep a list of viewed URLs and use URL deduplication methods.

In order to fully understand the meaning and logic of a website’s content, modern web crawlers use advanced techniques to collect data in structured formats from web pages. To prevent content from being accidentally scraped, certain websites have safeguards in place to prevent web crawlers, like restricting requests, CAPTCHA challenges, and IP address blocking.


The answer to the question “What technology do search engines use to ‘crawl’ websites?” is Bots. These automated programs roam the vastness of the internet to collect and index information. If you want to learn more about these Bots, read the answer above.

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